The Essential Roofing Q&A

A roof installation can be a major home improvement project because your roof protects your home from moisture damage, however, it’s definitely worth the investment. The roof also makes up a lot of your home’s surface area, which has an impact on energy efficiency and curb appeal. Before you hire roofing contractors, you may want to ask the following questions.

How Do You Decide Which Roof Color is Best?

If you take a drive through a typical residential neighborhood in a suburban area, you may notice that most of the roofs are black. Asphalt roof shingles have long been the standard choice. While black shingles are the lowest in cost, they absorb a lot of heat from the sun. Lighter colors such as green, tan, and gray are attractive and efficient. Some homeowners associations place restrictions on roof tiles and colors, so check the rules before deciding on a hue.

Which Roof is Best For a Hot Climate?

When you live in a hot place, you need a roof that will reflect most of the energy back into the air. One option is a metal roof. These roofs are coated with materials that are highly reflective. A metal roof could cost $20,000 or more, but it will last for about 50 years. Clay tiles are another option. This style is often used in desert areas. A clay tile roof usually lasts for at least 25 years, and costs start at $15,000. If you want to lower your carbon footprint, consider a “green” or cool roof. This could be a good choice if you have the time to devote to upkeep.

Why is Roof Ventilation Important?

The sun’s heat penetrates through your shingles, into the waterproofing paper, through the plywood, and into the attic. Once the attic is hot, a lot of that heat gets into your home’s living spaces. Ventilation allows the heat to escape. Active ventilation options include attic fans and turbines. Passive ventilation options include box, gable, and soffit vents. An electric attic fan costs about $1,000 to $2,000 to install, but it could lower your air conditioning costs and pay for itself after a few years.

Should You Get a New Roof Before You Sell Your Home?

A new roof is always a powerful tool when you want to sell your home. Buyers tend to appreciate a new home because they know it will save them the hassle of getting a new roof since many buyers can’t handle larger expenses like a new roof installation after they’ve just purchased a new home.

Signs You Need to Repair or Replace Your Roof Before Selling:

  • Buckling Shingles
  • Cracked Shingles
  • Lost Granules
  • Leaks
  • Ice Dams
  • Recent Wind or Hail Damage
  • Sagging Roof (which may indicate underlying deck rot)

How much Does a New Roof Increase the Value of Your Home?

While putting on a new roof is clearly a good investment, there are at least three factors you need to consider:

  1. The Condition of Your Existing Roof: Keeping your roof in good condition is considered a basic part of home maintenance. Most home buyers will expect the roof to be in good condition and if it isn’t they’ll likely be reluctant to buy. If you’re trying to sell a house with an old roof or a very damaged roof, replacement is a more secure investment.
  2. Market Conditions: Adding a new roof doesn’t automatically increase home value in every market. General housing market conditions affect the value of all home renovations. Local appraisers and real estate agents are your best bet to understand the market conditions you face and how a new roof will directly affect you.
  3. The Roofing Material You’ve Chosen: Your choice of roofing material may impact the return you receive on a new roof. In general, home renovations need to match your neighborhood. There’s no sense in investing in a luxury home feature because your home value can’t rise very much above your neighbor’s home value. If you invest in designer shingles, you’re unlikely to get the full value back if your neighbors have less expensive shingles

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What Type of Roofing Material Should You Use:

  • Asphalt Shingles Durable, affordable, and easy to install, asphalt shingles are the most common roofing type in the U.S. and will typically last about 25 years or more.
  • Synthetic or Composite Shingles These shingles are designed to look like slate or wood but are comparably priced to asphalt. They can last up to 50 years with minimal maintenance.
  • Wood Shingles Wood shingles are about twice as expensive as asphalt and last around 25 years. Some cities don’t allow wood shingles due to fire hazards.
  • Metal Roofing A metal roof is made out of connecting sections of metal roofing, cut to fit your home. They are expensive, yet durable, lasting around 50 years or more, and are common in areas where there is more snow.
  • Tile, Clay, or Cement Tile, clay, or cement tiles last for long periods of time, typically fifty to one hundred years. However, they are incredibly expensive, costing about three times as much as asphalt.
  • Slate Slate roofs can last over 100 years since they are made from real stone. Unfortunately, they are heavy and expensive, costing about twenty times more than asphalt.

Keep in mind that roof replacement is much more expansive than just undertaking a new paint job. However, even if you don’t see a huge financial return, a new roof could help you get the full asking price, less time on the market, and smoother negotiations.

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