If your roof has not received some tender loving care for the past few years, now may be a good time to start giving it a second look. Homeowners often forget that so many things hinge on the health of their roofs—from safety during extreme weather to how the home will be protected from floods during heavy storms.
If you’re thinking of upgrading your roof after a long time, here are some modern roof safety tips and design ideas to inspire your next remodel. You can make the process as smooth and convenient as possible.
Do a comprehensive inspection of the whole house
While form and appearance are important, your roof’s primary function is to protect you, your loved ones, your belongings, and your entire property from the elements and harsh weather. Before touching it, have a professional inspect all the problems from a safe vantage point. Ask them to check for cracks, curls, and shingles that are no longer there.
You can also enlist the help of plumbing professionals to check your home for mold, as well as water stains that may be indicative of leaks. Essentially, you want to do a comprehensive inspection of your entire home because you want to address the other problems that an old roof caused, not just to get rid of said roof.
Know what you’re allowed to do as a homeowner
As a homeowner, there are some things you need to answer for, like your local area’s rules and code for renovating or changing an existing roof. Some communities only allow their occupants’ specific actions, like allowing only two layers of roofing materials.
Meanwhile, some homeowners associations would require more layers to be removed before new roofing can be installed. These rules and codes can change from community to community. You should visit your local municipal building to know what you’re allowed to do. Your contractor might be able to help with this information, too.
Get everything in black and white
Don’t settle for anything less than a detailed proposal from the contractor you’re going to work with. You should have a thorough knowledge of what type of roofing you will get—from material to design and color. You also need to have a broad knowledge of what materials will be used and the scale of the project.
Consider having someone you trust go over the details with you, preferably someone who has a background in architecture or engineering. You need to know if your home’s existing roofing will be eliminated completely or just covered with a new layer. You also need to know whose shoulders it will fall on to install new vents and flashing.
Last but not least, ensure that the proposal has details on starting time and estimated completion time. Having an idea about the deadlines will give you the right to follow up on their progress.
Don’t neglect the vents
If your home has an attic, ensure it’s properly ventilated because this will provide an extra layer of protection for your roof. It will ensure that your roof has a more functional life and that it will last longer. Once again, ventilation requirements vary from region to region. But a general rule of thumb from the National Roofing Contractors Association is that there should be at least 1 square foot of free vent area per 150 square feet.
Use tried and tested materials
There’s a reason why there are go-to materials for roofs: These materials have paid their dues and stood the test of time, and they are the materials that design and construction experts trust to last longer and protect homes. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association posits that 80 percent of residential properties in the United States use asphalt shingles, which means it’s the trusted material for most Americans because they’re relatively easy to install, and they’re more economical.
If you look for alternatives to these go-to materials, make sure that your local code or guidelines allow it. Materials like redwood and cedar might look better than asphalt, but they don’t always inspire feelings of being safe from a residential fire. Once again, be guided by your community’s local code and ask them for tips about how you can use these materials without sacrificing fire safety. Make sure that you are code-compliant for every step of the renovation to avoid bigger problems in the future.
Your roof needs as much tender loving care as every other part of your house, if not more so. Inspect it before the weather and temperature shift, and see how you can protect your home from changing seasons.
Meta title: Making Your Roof Renovation Safe: What You Must Do
Meta desc: If you’re thinking of upgrading your roof after a long time, learn some pointers for roof safety to lead the smoothest renovation process possible.