First steps to repairing your roof

As a proud homeowner you want to take good care of your home. But not all of us have the time, tools or expertise to fix every part of our house by ourselves. Finding the right company who does check all these boxes can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t know what to look out for, especially when it comes to roof repair. When roof repair is done poorly, damage to the rest of the house and your belongings can be catastrophic. Besides that, repairing or replacing your roof is quite an expense, making it even more important to find a trusted contractor that is worth the money. Not only the contractor but also the materials used to repair or replace your roof with, is highly important.

The first step in repairing a roof is to determine if the roof has to be fully replaced or that partially fixing the roof is enough.

As a general rule, a partial roof repair is possible when, for example, tiles are shifted on your sloped roof. If you have a flat roof and there are just some small cracks in the roof covering, a small roof repair is sometimes also an option. Major maintenance of your roof is necessary when there are large cracks in the roofing material, roof tiles have been moved or removed from your roof for a longer period of time or when you have a lot of water damage on the inside of your house.

Not only the condition of your roof but also the age of the material used for your roofing affects whether you need to carry out major or minor maintenance on your roof. Therefore, find out what type of material your roof consists of and how long it will last.

When the lifespan of your roof is coming to an end, it is worth considering not doing minor maintenance but performing major maintenance on your roof. Although major maintenance is a major expense, it can become more expensive if you continue to improve your roof only partially each time. Especially when your roofing is old and will soon need to be completely replaced. When old material fails at one spot and gets fixed with a minor repair, some other spots may fail shortly thereafter, making it more cost-effective to just replace all of the old material for new material.

It would be a good idea not only to have a look at your roof yourself but also to have multiple quotations drawn up by different roofing contractors. In this way, you can obtain professional information on what the right choice is for your type of roof and roofing material. Always be informed by different roofing contractors. In this way, you can guarantee yourself the best option for your roof and not the most expensive one.

Unless you have a lot of knowledge about roofs, always choose a roofing contractor to have your roof repaired. Especially in the case of a flat roof, the risk of leakage is very high when you repair your roof yourself. Therefore, you have no guarantee when the repair goes wrong. Are you a DIY-person and do you have the time but have little knowledge of roof repair? Then you can also consider working with your roofing contractor on the roof. This will reduce the costs of repairing your roof and you might learn a thing or two in the process!

What kind of roofing material is suitable for your home?

There used to be just a few options, but nowadays there is a variety of materials you can choose from. Every type of material has its own benefits.The suitability of the type of roofing depends on several factors:

  • The slope of your roof
  • Weather conditions in your area
  • Size of your roof
  • The durability of the material
  • Cost of the material
  • Insulation
  • The longevity of the material
  • The style of your home
  • The weight of the roof material

So which type of shingles is the best?

There are many options when it comes down to shingles. We have made a list of the most popular choices and some of their perks and downsides.

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles last around 15-20 years. Asphalt shingles are the most popular roofing material because of their cost effectiveness. Because they are so popular, the quality of the offered asphalt shingles varies widely. First tip in finding the right asphalt shingles is to never go for the cheapest ones but look for shingles that have a decent hail rating, even if it rarely hails in your area. Hail ratings are a great indicator of the durability and impact resistance of the shingles. Did you find asphalt shingles of your liking but can’t find a hail rating? Just keep looking for other asphalt shingles. No hail rating on shingles is often an indicator of bad quality. It's better to spend a bit more than to have to repair your roof every couple of years.

Wooden shingles and shakes

Wood is a natural insulator and lasts around 30 to 50 years. Wooden shingles are often made of cedar and redwood. Because they are a 100% natural material they are the most sustainable roofing material on the market. However, wooden shingles are prone to crack. Again, looking for a good hail rating will provide you with the best wooden shingles.

Plastic polymer

Plastic polymer will last for 50+ years and require less maintenance than wooden or asphalt shingles. Although they are more expensive than asphalt or wooden shingles they are also more durable. Since its plastic, this material is not considered sustainable, but they do last a long time.

Slates

Slates last up to 150 years! It is one of the oldest roofing materials. Slates are also one of the most expensive materials. Slates are the most sustainable and durable roofing material. Note that placing slates should be done very carefully since can easily crack.

Solar roof tiles

Recently some new types of shingles have hit the market, like the Tesla Solar roof. These shingles are made of ceramic glass, integrated with solar panels. They are very durable - hence the lifetime warranty but you guessed it - also very expensive. They do however collect free electricity in the meantime, and you don’t have to ever worry about replacing your roof tiles again.

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Donald R.

Author for local newspapers and national magazines in the greater midwestern area, loves sailing with his wife Deb.

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