Reroofing is necessary maintenance, depending on your roof's materials. Finding a roofing solution that is the most cost effective and longest lasting can be confusing - how do you find what's best for your home and budget?
The average roof consists of three layers of material. Resting atop your rafter boards is the first layer, known as the solid decking. On top of that is a layer of felt underlay, and finally comes the roofing shingles. Extra materials include flashing, a kind of siding that extends the roofing protection to the sides of the house, eves, and chimneys, and rain gutters.
You may only need to replace the underlay and shingles, but chances are good that you may need repairs to rafters or to the decking. So, the first thing you need to know is how your roof is constructed.
If there are multiple layers of shingles on your roof, building codes may require you to strip all of them and start over from your deck. You can get opinions from a housing inspector or a contractor, and get estimates from different roofing companies. Make sure they inspect the roof from the interior of the attic as well as from the street.
To help you decide what to spend, think about how long your family intends to stay in your home. A new to fairly new roof is always an asset when you're trying to sell your home, but reroofing adds very little to your home's resale value according to thestreet.com's report on home improvements. Most homeowners are only able to recoup 60% of the project's worth.
If you don't plan to stay in your home more than a few years, asphalt shingles are the cheapest option, but what you save in cost is what you pay in durability. Basic asphalt shingles last at most 15-20 years and that's without harsh weather conditions like snow or strong winds which can break down the material faster.
Newenglandmetalroof.com says asphalt begins to deteriorate upon exposure to these elements. The roofers recommend it only for the cost-conscious consumer who may wish to sell their home before the end-life of the roof. If you plan on maintaining your home for many years, you may want something more durable for your roof, such as clay tile or metal.
Clay tile is very expensive but can last well over forty years. Clay is not suited for every region however; it is best in mild climates as freeze-dry climates weaken the material fast, says pathnet.com. Clay tile does crack occasionally too, so repairs should be completed soon after damage is noticed to avoid further deterioration to the underlying material.
Metal roofing is increasing popular across the country. Consumers are finding that it's highly durable in almost every climate, easy to maintain and lasts upwards to 20 years longer than asphalt. Metalroofingwholesalers.com says other benefits of metal roofing include reduced energy costs for heat and air, reduced home owner's insurance, and a wide variety of styles available to find a custom fit for your home. This is a premium material though, so expect to pay more than asphalt.
Whichever material you choose, be sure to contact your insurance company and let them know you are planning a new roof. You may get a better rate on your homeowner's insurance, especially if you've removed old layers of roofing.
Government ratings through ENERGY STAR show that qualified roof products can help reduce the amount of air conditioning needed in buildings, and can reduce peak cooling demand by 10-15 percent. Check Energy Star's roof list for tax credits.