What to Expect When Re-Roofing Your Home

The roof of your home is of primary importance in protecting it from the elements. When re-roofing becomes necessary there are many things to consider. The following list will help you understand what to expect during the re-roofing process.

  • Any construction project can cause stress for certain family members such as pets, children or seniors. This should be considered before the project begins and appropriate provisions should be made.
  • Typically, large trucks will deliver materials. Driveways and walkways should be cleared to make way for deliveries. Materials will typically be stored on your roof, on your driveway, or around the perimeter of your home temporarily through the project. You may want to discuss your preferences about this with your contractor.
  • Job length can vary from 1 day to several weeks, depending on complexity of the roofing job, and material type being installed.
  • Rain gutters do not have to be removed in most cases, unless new rain gutters are being installed as part of your roof package.
  • During re-roofing, debris may fall from above, electric cords, tools, ladders, and materials will likely surround your house. The tear off and re- roof process can be messy and loud at times.
  • It is not necessary to be at home during the re-roofing process, but it is a good idea to be available by phone as unexpected things come up that your contractor may need to consult with you about. Sometimes, when the existing roofing materials are torn off, repairs that were not visible and therefore not contracted for, are necessary such as the replacement of sheathing or other structural issues due to dry rot or water damage. This is what is normally referred to as a “change order” or an “extra”. It is typical to run into unforeseen roof repairs, but good communication between the contractor and the homeowner are invaluable to the successful outcome of the project.
  • Your contractor may need access to power outlets. If you are not planning to be at home it can be helpful to orient your contractor to the location of your breaker box in case of a tripped circuit breaker or other similar issue.
  • The re-roofing process can cause vibration down to the foundation of your home. So, it is recommended that the homeowner take precautions to protect any fragile items such a collectibles or pictures by removing them from shelves, or walls, to prevent damage.
  • Some debris may fall into your attic. Debris or dust may also enter the interior of your home though skylights or tongue and groove ceilings. It is recommended that you cover the areas below as well as storage areas, such as attics, where personal belongings are stored with tarps or drop clothes.
  • Cathedral or vaulted ceiling areas can experience “nail pops”, (a sheetrock nail which backs out and causes a hole in the interior finish) from the tear off and re-roofing process. This is unavoidable. Usually these repairs are the responsibility of the homeowner.
  • Upon completion of your roofing project your contractor should do a thorough cleanup of your lawn, driveway and walkways. A large magnet will typically be used to collect nails and metal debris. It is virtually impossible to guarantee the collection of every nail, so be cautious and don’t hesitate to call your contractor for a return trip with the magnet if necessary.
  • New roofing will form to the surface to which it is installed. If the roof structure is un-even, or has sags, or rises, the shingles will not hide these areas. If these areas pose a structural problem, your contractor can address this and present repair options. After the initial install, some shingles will appear raised, not sitting as flat, etc., this is due to the storage and shipping of the product and will flatten out as the sun warms the roof, and the product has time to lie down.
  • You may experience a rainy day or two during the course of your re-roofing project. It is not prudent to do some phases of a re-roofing project if it is raining. However, some phases of roofing can continue in the rain. Depending on the severity of the weather conditions safety can become a factor and so work may cease for a period of time to allow for improvement of conditions. Tarps may be installed over your roof temporarily as a precaution.  Weather can create a slower process and may effect scheduling, so allow for possible delays in the completion of your project. Remember, re-roofing your home is major construction, but a reputable contractor will take necessary precautions to keep your home and family safe and dry.
  • Upon completion of your re-roofing project, you should receive an itemized invoice. Final payment is typically due upon completion. Warranty and any other pertinent information will typically be available for you at the end of the job.