Roofing replacement work is an important part of maintaining the long-term value of a house. If the time has come for a roof replacement, you might wonder how extensive the job is likely to be. A contractor will have to look at these four aspects of a project to figure out what the job will probably involve.
Layers of Materials
Especially with shingled roofs, you'll find many have layers that go beyond what materials were in the original installation. There is nothing wrong with this. Depending on how big the maximum snow load is for winter in your part of the country, you can often get away with having between three and six layers of shingles on a roof.
However, every layer leads to more work during the roofing replacement process. Particularly, the disposal process can be more challenging with more layers on a roof. You'll have more tons of waste, and that means bringing in more or bigger dumpsters to haul off the removed materials.
Condition of the Uncovered Roof
Normally, roofing replacement projects entail stripping the structure down to the wood. What comes next depends on how good the structure of the uncovered roof is.
If the old roofing materials did their job, the wood will be free from warping and rot. That means the contractor should be nail new roofing felt to the wood and put on a fresh layer of shingles or whatever materials you want to use.
However, your luck may not be that good. Over time, the odds go up that water will find its way down to the wood and cause damage. A roof replacement contractor may have to pull the plywood decking off to replace damaged sections. The worst-case scenario may require fixing beams to restore the structural integrity of the roof.
With the roof stripped down to bare wood, this is a good time to check for additional problems. If you want to fix ventilation problems in the attic, for example, this is an excellent opportunity. Similarly, if there's a chimney, you might want to have a professional inspect its condition. A roofing contractor can also clean up the spots where vent pipes, skylights, and dormers stick out from the house.
Size, Complexity, and Slope of the Roof
The dimensions of the roof naturally tend to make projects harder. Likewise, the steeper a roof's slope is, the more careful the contractors will have to be. Also, a complex roof with many corners may require closer attention.
Be sure to hire a licensed professional if you are looking at getting a roof replacement.