Home Improvement Projects – PART I: Roofing Repair and Replacement

The Value of Roofing Projects

A home is, first and foremost, a shelter. Having a good, solid roof over one’s head tops the list of things Nebraska homeowners desire and consider important. For this reason, roofing projects hit the mark in so many different ways: consider buyer appeal, cost, return, and owner joy, and you’ll find that a new roof is possibly one of the smartest investments homeowners can sink their money into.

Roofing Repair and Replacement

In fact, in a recent report from the National Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), owners are reportedly more apt to put money into remodeling for two primary reasons: to increase the home’s value and to improve their enjoyment of the home. That roofing offers the biggest recovered percentage of original cost – 105% – is certainly incentive enough for any homeowner to pick roofing repair and/or replacement as an investment. Moreover, the satisfaction factor, or the “joy” homeowners get out of new roofing, rates a high 9.6 on a scale of 1-10 – all the more reason to seriously consider getting a new roof replacement in Omaha or Lincoln area. These findings are further borne out by the figures from the most recent Cost vs. Value report (as of 2016) which estimates the CvV of roof replacement at a high 71.7%.

Do You Need Roof Repair? Signs of Roof Damage

Are there signs of water damage on your roof? Don’t jump the gun and have a brand new roof installed immediately. The California Contractors State License Board says that if your roof was properly installed and is less than than 15 to 20 years old, it can often be repaired rather than replaced. Indicators that’ll tell you when a replacement is truly called for include the following:

  • Roof age. If the roof was installed over another layer or several layers of roofing and is older than 20 years, chances are you need a new roof.
  • Buckling and curling shingles. If you notice your shingles curling or losing granules, it could mean that they’re past their life expectancy.
  • Roof valleys. If your roof shingles are falling apart or missing in roof valleys, it’s a definite sign you need a new roof. Valleys are one of the most important areas of your roof.
  • Missing shingles. This is another sign your roof could be failing. Check to see if all of the shingle “tabs” are intact.
  • Chimney flashing. If your flashing consists of roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with a long-term, watertight fitting, which would be a metal flashing system.
  • Shingle granules in the gutters. Roofs tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle. Inconsistent or darker colors on some parts of the roof is another sign the granules have worn away.
  • Daylight through the roof boards. If you notice a spongy feel or trampoline bounce when walking on the roof, the underlying decking may have been weakened from moisture. Check your attic to see if there is any daylight coming through the roof boards. Also check for moisture in the insulation.

Deciding Between Roof Repair and Replacement

When deciding whether to simply patch leaks and damaged areas, or to do some partial or complete reroofing, there will be cost consequences either way. If damage is significant but confined to one side of the roof, partial reroofing may be more viable as it will cost thousands of dollars less than doing the entire roof. On the other hand, you should also consider that even if only part of your roof is showing signs of wear, replacing the roof could cost less over the long term than doing one part now and the remainder in a few years – so study and weigh your options well.

Finding a Roofing Contractor

A large part of getting your money’s worth depends on hiring the right contractor for the job. Finding a good contractor involves:

  • Getting referrals
  • Doing your research
  • Meeting the roofer face-to-face
  • Getting everything in writing

Keep in mind, too, that the cheapest quote won’t necessarily be the best. You also need to ensure that your preferred contractor has adequate insurance (a definite non-negotiable) and is, as much as possible, locally based. During the job itself, make sure to communicate your wants and expectations to your contractor clearly to avoid any potential problems.

Aside from roofing, another roofing-related home improvement project you might want to consider is gutter replacement. More on this in Part II.

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