New Roof? How to decide.

<p>Our roof is 15 years old and it's shingle. During a recent storm, a few pieces flew off which allowed the rain to drain into the house. We were incredibly lucky that the rain poured directly into the bathtub! So, we're getting that section fixed.</p>

<p>Now comes the next decision...is it time for a new roof? The insurance adjuster said our roof was in good shape. He said the shingles are not brittle and the roof overall looks good.</p>

<p>Our concern is what about the next storm? And the one after that? We live on the gulf coast, so it's a matter of when, not if. </p>

<p>How do you decide it's time for a new roof?</p>

<p>Your adjuster is not your friend. Have a real roofer look at it. Most avg comp roofs are really good for up to 20 years. Sun, heat and storms hurt that. You can always milk out a few more years by patching but it will show and look crappy. Look in gutters for bits washing off from shingles. If their are a lot it might be time soon.</p>

<p>I don't know if this could be applicable to your situation, but a few years ago my sister's roof was damaged by a storm. Somehow they got the insurance company to apply the repair bill towards the cost of replacing the entire roof, and it only cost them an extra couple of grand to get a badly needed new roof. Though it sounds like their damage was greater than yours.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Your adjuster is not your friend.

[/quote]
But wouldn't 'not' replacing the roof potentially cost the insurance company more given that the insurance company wouldn't be paying for the new roof?</p>

<p>pug - You need a competent roofer to check out your roof but you need to be really careful since they obviously have an interest in it getting replaced. Just because a few pieces flew off in a storm I wouldn't assume the whole roof needs to be replaced. It could just be that the section that blew off wasn't installed well. I'd be reluctant to replace the whole roof unless the shingles are obviously worn out.</p>

<p>If the first roofer says you need to replace the whole roof then get another roofer to get another opinion and cross check what they say and specifically why they say it needs to be replaced.</p>

<p>Repair it yourself until you get a hail storm and insurance pays for the entire roof replacement. I was truly shocked that our insurance paid to replace our entire 12 year old roof after we lived in the house for only 2 years.</p>

<p>Don't have a roofer look at it, have a home inspector look at it. He won't be there to sell you a roof.</p>

<p>We replaced our roof this spring when it was 19 years old, 11 years short of the expected life The shingles were in good shape. They were not brittle, but the guys that put the roof only must have set the nailer too high, because every few months, a shingle would come loose (nails had punched through). The three tab shingles no longer meet code in coastal areas. We need laminated tab shingles now, with special nailing patterns. We had a full tear off and replacement done, and we have had a borderline hurricane and a nasty windstorm since, with not a drop of rain inside. </p>

<p>When you decide to get it done, plan on a full tear off. Make sure you get at least 4 estimates. You will be astounded at the price differences. Carefully review the low bidder for experiance, recommendations, liscense, building permit and insurance. Chances are, it is a guy who works out of his kitchen and saves big on overhead and works. I've had occasion to contract two different roofs in the last year (one home, one at work). Both low bids were half of the high bids, and were installed quickly and neatly by experianced fully manned crews (and the builing inspectors said they were well done).</p>

<p>Unless you do not have the money, go ahead and do it. Your new roof give you piece of mind that an insurance policy doesn't. Do be sure to notify your agent when you upgrade your roof. It may help at renewal time and will definately help if your change insurers.</p>

<p>Is e roof original to the house? If so, the builder most likely used lower grade shingles, and you are nearing the end of your roof's life. (Unless you specifically requested an upgrade on the shingles.)</p>

<p>We had our roof replaced this year. It was 17 years old, had been shedding into our gutters, and we had had a few shingles replaced that had come off in a storm. The final straw was a leak during the hurricane and following week of record rains in Sept. /Aug. </p>

<p>It helped us make comparisons by pre-selecting the shingle and roofing material manufacturer we wanted to use. (For us it was Certain Teed.) We looked up master roofers for that manufacturer, and asked some friends and neighbors for referrals. We had six companies give us estimates. Expect the roofers to spend time up on your roof. Ask for photos. They will do measurements. The master roofers are able to offer excellent guarantees on workmanship and materials because they are applying all roofing materials from one company, with the materials being applied in a specific manner. A reputable company will tell you exactly what materials they will use, and how they will apply them. Every roofing company we looked at, then, was a Certain Teed master Roofer, all were using the exact same materials, and were applying them in the same method. It made comparisons much easier. The price differences were sort of astounding, all things considered.</p>

<p>
[quote]
have a home inspector look at it

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That can work as well and has the advantage of the non-financial interest in it but then you have to get a competent home inspector who really knows what he's doing and what can actually be done with the roof. Not all home inspectors are highly competent and are usually generalists at best.</p>

<p>If you do replace the roof, consider covering the whole roof in Grace Ice and Water Shield. It will never leak even if shingles get ripped off.</p>

<p>We just replaced our roof two years ago, it was 17 years old. It was supposed to last 20 - 25 years, but had ugly black streaky mold on it (the front of the house faces north and doesn't get enough sun). We figured better to do it BEFORE we had a problem. The new shingles are an upgrade and made the whole house look better - and the next time it rained it was a LOT quieter inside. The new roof made it through a hellacious winter with zero problems, although many people we know had ice dams. (Of course we had zero problems with the old roof too...)</p>

<p>If you do replace the roof, talk to your insurer (or investigate online) about shingle choices that will reduce your insurance premiums. We paid a little more for super hail resistant shingles and save a huge amount on our homeowners insurance each year.</p>

<p>Thank you all for the words of wisdom. Lots to think about as we move forward.</p>

<p>If you have a carpenter or contractor who has done work on your house and is both knowledgeable and trustworthy, they might be able to help you assess the status of the roof. Our reliable, non-roof selling carpenter who comes for routine maintenance was able to give us the head's up that our 17 year old roof was about due for replacement. He was so right; before the roofers got here we had a small amount of leakage for the first time ever. If you are replacing your roof, do ask around for references. There are some fly by nights in the industry and you want a company that has been around and will be there going forward, as well as one with a solid reputation locally. Good luck.</p>

<p>pugmadkate...your roof LEAKED. It leaked enough that you had water IN your bathtub. Sounds like it needs to be replaced.</p>

<p>Lafalum...our roof and yours sound the same...only 17 years old but covered with black grime. Ours had an ice dam LAST winter (along with most of the rest of this part of the country)...the leak was confined to one valley on the roof...and leaked in the garage.</p>

<p>We are getting estimates now. Ours will be replaced this spring.</p>

<p>Without addressing the question of whether the roof could last a few more years, how will you feel during those few years? Will you worry every time it rains? Sometimes peace of mind is worth a few bucks to just get it done.</p>

<p>I would replace it but don't ask your insurance company to pay for it. I have read that they are very cautious about any water damage (because of mold issues) so if they hear that there was a leak inside your house, they may use this as an excuse to raise your premiums or drop you. Don't mean to scare you, but after reading this article I was very cautious about what we presented to our insurance company.</p>

<p>Home</a> insurers' secret records - 1 - homeowner claims - MSN Money</p>

<p>How long a roof last depends on where you live, how well the roof was done in the first place and what kind of roofing material was used, there is no set number. I have a split and due to construction about 15 years ago, the two rooves are different ages. The low side is now around 26 years old but has been holding up, the asphault tiles are not popped up, plus it is a second layer. I have kept an eye on it, checked the attic under the roof, and have seen no signs of leaks or issues, but it is going to need to be replaced in the next year or so. In most places, rooves expire anywhere between 20 and 30 years. </p>

<p>You only need to do a tear off if there are already two layers of shingles there, and the roofers in my area (it depends where you live) don't recommend doing a tear off if you don't have to (and if you think about it, they make more money doing a tear off...). </p>

<p>I agree with others, best choice is to find an experienced inspector, they don't have a financial interest in selling you a new roof.</p>

<p>My other piece of advice is general, try to find a firm that is local and has done roofs in your area, and don't take the lowest bid without knowing the firm! There are a ton of guys in my area who cruise around my area and leave cards and flyers that advertise cheap prices, but take it from me, don't use them, most of those guys pick up laborers working as day laborers and they use questionable materials.Knowing where the guy is located, and that his reputation is on the line, tends to make them work better, and if a bit more expensive, is worth it. </p>

<p>Couple of things to look for, whether code or not:</p>

<p>-In my area it is code to have an underlayment put on the roof (I think it is called ice block), it is basically a rubberized membrane that is put under the shingles from the edge of the gutter and up about 3 feet, in the case you get a winter ice dam and ice creeps up on the roof. Works great, have survived several cases of these and no damage/drips.</p>

<p>-You also might look into roofing that has a vent at the peak of the house, helps ventilate the attic area.</p>

<p>I am really surprised that your insurance doesn't cover this. We had a freak windstorm (actually it was a hurricane) in the midwest about 3 years ago, and I lost about 5 shingles but the entire roof was replaced under my insurance policy. I moved this past spring, and we had a hail storm in May, and again, the whole roof was replaced under my insurance policy. Both times I had at least 2 separate roofing companies come out and look and give me estimates for repair/replacement, and then put the claim in. Can you ask for a second opinion from your insurance agent?</p>

<p>The deductible on my house insurance is more than the cost of a roof. That could be a reason your insurance may not pay to replace the roof.</p>