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Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

What is the best roofing material?

The best roofing material for your home will depend on your budget and what you’re looking for. If you want a roof that has longevity, consider the following: 

Asphalt Roof

Lasts 20 years

$5 per square foot

Metal Roof

Last 50 years

$10-$18 per square foot 

Clay Roof

Last a lifetime

$15-$20 per square foot (for terracotta)

$20 per square foot (for Spanish clay tile)

Concrete Roof

Last a lifetime

$10 per square foot

Slate Roof

Last a lifetime

$10-$75 per square foot

Sources: The Spruce, NAHB

Contact the best roofers near you to get started on your roofing project today.

Does adding a new roof increase a home’s value?

Home sellers who add new roofing to their homes recover as much as 107% of its value, according to the Remodeling Impact report. If you’re thinking about selling your home, consult with your realtor or a real estate expert to find out which repairs you should prioritize before you put your home on the market. 

If replacing or fixing your roof is on your to-do list, contact the best roofers near you to receive free estimates.

Is it worth it to hire a roofer?

There are several reasons why it’s worth it to hire a professional roofer instead of attempting it yourself. The first is safety. Roofing is inherently dangerous, as a fall from a roof could seriously injure or kill you. Roofers have specialized equipment and training to help prevent accidents.  

Next is experience. Roofers know how to spot problems (leaks, missing shingles, moss or mold growth, etc.)  in your roof that could potentially save you from costly repairs down the road. 

And finally, roofers save you time by getting the job done quickly and with a high degree of quality.

How long does a roof last?

A roof’s lifespan depends on two major factors: the material and how well the roof was installed. Assuming that the roof is installed properly, here’s how long different roofing materials should last:

  • Asphalt shingle roof: 20 years
  • Metal roof: 50 years
  • Slate roof: 100+ years (lifetime)
  • Clay roof: Lifetime
  • Concrete roof: Lifetime
  • Copper roof: Lifetime

Contact the best roofers near you to get free estimates and start planning your roofing project today.

How do you know when you need a new roof?

Some of the signs that indicate you need a new roof include cupping, warping and peeling asphalt shingles, as well as cracks on certain shingles. Other warning signs may include:

  • Leakage
  • Exposed nails 
  • Missing granules
  • Droopy, sagging roof
  • Moss, mold or fungi growth 

A metal roof may need to be replaced when it grows rusty and begins leaking. Tile roofs made of clay, slate or concrete need repairs when cracked. Cleaning and inspecting the roof regularly can help prevent major damage from occurring. 

Contact the best roofers near you to inspect, repair or replace your roof.

Does a roofer need to enter my home?

Generally, a roofer will likely not need to enter your home. The bulk of the work takes place on and around the edges of the roof, where roofing material meets either dormer walls or other structures. So, there is usually no need for person-to-person contact. However, there might be some cases where a roofer needs to enter your home, perhaps to inspect damage or access electrical outlets.

You can take care of any consultation calls using video chats, photos and emails, and payment should take place on virtual platforms. Put together a strategy with any local roofing professionals you contact.

Can a metal roof be installed over shingles?

Metal roofs are durable, environmentally friendly, safe and budget-friendly. If you’re considering an update, metal roofing installation doesn’t have to mean completely removing your old roof. In many cases, metal roofing can be installed over your existing shingles. Research building codes in your state, as many require that after two roofs have been installed, all roofing materials must be completely removed before a third roof can be put on. This protects your home’s structural integrity and your family’s safety. Carefully read contractor reviews and choose someone with extensive experience with metal roofing installation. One concern when installing metal over shingles is that over time, condensation can build on the shingles and cause the metal to rust. This will lead to rust around the panels, making them more likely to come loose in a storm. Nationally, the average cost for metal roofing installation ranges from $6,000 to $20,000. The wide price range represents different roof sizes, different types of metal, and the cost of labor in different parts of the country — and can also include the cost of removing an old shingle roof prior to installing the metal. As a line item, the average cost of removing an old roof to prepare for installing a new roof, plus adding new roof decking, costs on average about $45-$75 per square (the pro roofer’s term for 100 square feet), depending on the pitch of the roof. Always make sure you have a clearly written contract and a warranty on both the labor and the metal.

 

What is a standing seam metal roof?

A standing seam metal roof may be a strong, durable, safe choice when you’re considering metal roofing installation options. A standing seam refers to the raised seam where the sheet metal roofing panels join. Traditionally, shingles and roof panels lie flush to the roof, making them more prone to rust or penetration by water at their seams. In a standing seam metal roof, the raised (or standing) seams run vertically from the roof ridge to the eaves, with no horizontal seams. In addition, the fasteners joining the metal panels together are concealed, providing even fewer opportunities for water or moisture to build up. The cost to install a standing seam metal roof will depend on the type of metal you select, the size of your roof, and the cost of roofing labor in your region. Materials will play a major role in your metal roofing installation costs. If you select standard galvanized steel, the cost per square (100 square feet) might be in the $150-$300 range, while a high-end choice such as copper or zinc could be between $1,000 and $1,500 per square. Here is one example of cost:   

  • Standing seam metal roof: $300 per square to start, including materials and labor.
    • A 30-square roof could cost $9,000 or more.

What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a roofer during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Because social distancing is important during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s recommended that you message roofers after narrowing down your choices through an online search of local roofers near you.

Ask if the roofer is willing to conduct an assessment via video chat rather than a traditional site inspection. Additionally, strategize on what other steps you can collectively take to make sure you’re following guidelines on social distancing during this time, including conducting a virtual payment.

Can I use digital payments to pay for roof installation, replacement or repair?

Digital payment platforms are common among roofers, roof repair companies and other services. The COVID-19 pandemic will likely cause more service providers to adopt platforms like PayPal, Zelle, Google Pay, Square Cash, Venmo and others instead of cash or check to decrease the risk of transmission.

You can typically find out whether roofers accept digital payments on their online profiles, and you should confirm this information with them during a consultation call.

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