If there is one area of home maintenance and repair that fills the homeowner with doubt and reluctance, it is roofing repair. There are good reasons for this, of course. Roof replacement is a big job that requires real expertise. It’s also one of the costliest tasks you will face as a homeowner. Still, though no one wants to think about roof repair until the rain is dripping inside the house, you know that no roof lasts forever. One day all of the homeowners in Bellevue and Redmond will be overseeing the installation of a new roof. While that eventuality may still be years away, we want to share with you some essential considerations.

Different Roofing Materials

There are several basic types of roofing material from which you must choose when it comes time to replace your roof. Each of these various surfaces has distinctly different qualities. As you read about how they differ, you will likely recognize the sort of roof you’d like installed on your house when the time comes.

First are shake shingles. These are wooden roofing shingles, usually made from cedar trees. For those who enjoy a genuine wooden look on their roofs, cedar shingles may furnish just what you seek. Being natural wood, shake shingles are subject to catching fire. In some municipalities, there are local regulations that prevent the installation of wooden shingles because of this danger. Other city or state governments allow the installation of wooden shingles but require that the shingles be treated with a fire-resistant coating which periodically must be reapplied.

A second, very common, type of roof is the composite shingle. These are made of asphalt and fiberglass with mineral coatings and a cover layer of fine granules. Composite shingles are rated according to the number of years they are predicted to last. They also tend to fall subject to weather conditions, the slope of the house, how water flows over them, and even the relative temperature of the attic beneath them.

Finally, there are metal roofs. These roofs are made of durable metals like aluminum. The field lock-standing seam type of metal roofing prevents water leakage and is fireproof.

Durability and Cost

How are these roofs rated when it comes to durability and cost? If they are properly installed and maintained, a shake shingle roof can last more than 20-40 years. Over time the cedar may fade. The color can be restored by staining the individual shingles. The cost of having a local Bellevue roofer or Redmond roofing contractor install cedar shake shingles for a 2000 square foot house would run between $16,000 to $20,000.

Composite shingles can last from 12 to 20 years, and premium composite roofing shingles can last even longer. The cost of composite shingles is quite a bit less than shake singles, even though the prices for this type of shingle vary widely. On average, a composite roof installed of around 2000 square feet would run in the neighborhood of $5000 to $8000 when hiring a licensed Bellevue or Redmond roofing company.

Metal roofs can last from 40-70 years. Surprisingly the cost per square foot of a metal roof is slightly less than that of an asphalt composite shingle. Because the type of metal, the way it’s joined at the seams varies, it can cost between $8500 to $29,000 to put a metal roof on a 2000 square foot house when using a local licensed Eastside roofing contractor.

When Should You Replace Your Roof?

Assuming rain is not coming through the roof every time there is a storm in Bellevue and Redmond-which would be an obvious sign that it’s time to get a new roof. There are several signs that your roof may be ready for a new roof replacement. The first question to ask is, what type of roof covering do I have and how long has it been up there? Asphalt composite shingles that have been in place for more than 10 or 12 years should be examined closely since they might be aging out. Shake shingle roofs last on average about 30 years. Metal roofs may last for over 50 years.

Once you’ve figured out the relative age of the roof covering on your house, here are some telltale signs to watch for:

  • Missing granules on composite shingles; these are actually meant to be a protective coat on the shingles. Its absence means the roof has sustained considerable wear.
  • Damaged flashing; these are the flat pieces of metal that are found in the eaves, around the vents and fireplaces coming through the roof.
  • Rotting shingles; cedar especially is known for being water-resistant; if the shingles have this rotting, it’s probably time for replacements.
  • Curling shingles
  • Blistering
  • Water spots on the ceiling; often water leaks start small, but they get bigger quickly.

Do It Yourself or Licensed Roofing Professionals

In large measure because of the costs involved, some homeowners decide to go DIY on the roof repair. This raises the question, should I try to re-shingle the roof myself or should I seek out a professional? If you are a professional roofer, then by all means you should supply your roofing services. If you are not a roofer, then the best thing you can do is contact a professional roofing company.

Several considerations come into play as we reflect on whether or not you should attempt to install your own roof. First, roofing is a labor-intensive job. If you don’t have a great many able-bodied friends who aren’t scared of heights and are willing to give up a couple of days in a row, that’s one good reason to trust the pros.

Second, you can’t warranty your own work. If you roof the house and the roof leaks, who can you blame? Professional roofers are licensed and bonded. Any costly mistake made by the pros will be covered by their insurance. If you do it yourself, you’ll have no one else to blame for your mistakes.

Summary

Keeping a good, clean, regularly inspected roof over your head is one key to peace of mind in the short term. Eventually, you will need to have the roof replaced. In this case, you will want to compare dollars to dollars and gain as much insight into your options as possible. Contact us at Roof Pros NW when you’re ready.