So, Your Roof Needs to be Replaced?
Okay, you’re thinking it’s about time to replace your roof (or your leaking roof is letting you know it’s time). No matter the dimensions of your home, this is a crucial decision that shouldn’t be made on impulse. You need to be sure that you’re selecting the right contractor to install the roof, that the book will install it, and that the weather cooperates with the contractor during the replacement.
Once you’ve determined to replace your roof, though, there is still a bit of concern about knowing just when is the best time of the year to take on such an enormous project.
There are pros and cons to getting your roof replaced by professionals such as Schultheis Brothers during each season of the year. When deciding what time of year to replace your roof, know that the season and attendant weather in the Pittsburgh region plays a crucial role in roofing projects. Choosing to replace your roof can affect everything from building and construction strategies to the price of materials and labor.
The truth is, a good contractor can replace a roof almost anytime, but there are plusses and minuses of each season, so you can choose when it’s best to replace your particular roof.
Before proceeding, however, let’s take a brief look at when you should consider a roof replacement.
Will repair be sufficient to remedy the problem?
Considering the rather substantial cost of a roof replacement, you first need to consider whether your problem could be fixed with repairs before committing to a total replacement.
Many pointers can help you decide whether you need a new roof, but we’ve reduced them to the most critical ones.
First, checking your roof’s performance occasionally is good, but certain issues aren’t always detectable. This is why you need to check the date of the last replacement to see how much life it has left and figure out if you might need a new roof sooner rather than later.
Typically, shingle roofs in the Pittsburgh area last 20 to 25 years, while roofs installed over a layer of shingles must be replaced after 20 years.
One other sure symptom is bald spots on your roof from lost granules. Granules make shingles more robust, deliver additional protection for your home and make them fire-resistant. If you start to detect bald spots on your roof from missing granules or observe granules in your gutters or elsewhere, it may very well suggest your roof is on its last leg.
If you detect water stains or spots on the interior of your home, your roof’s waterproofing could be compromised. Since water doesn’t automatically drip down from the precise spot on your roof where there is a leak, it can be rather tough to discover where your roof is damaged. In this instance, it’s best to contact a professional to come out and assess the damage.
While these are certainly not the only indicators of a potential problem, they will give you a good idea that it’s time for your roof to be replaced.
Note: if you’re unsure of the best course of action, contact Schultheis Brothers and discuss the situation.
Immediate roof replacement
There are definite circumstances, nevertheless, in which you should get a roof replacement immediately. If your roof is damaged in such a manner that it endangers the structural integrity of your home, you need to call a roofing contractor to get your roof replaced as soon as possible, no matter the time of year. Not only can this damage trigger severe issues to your roof if not dealt with, but it can also reduce the value of your home and, more importantly, put your and your family’s health and welfare in jeopardy.
The following issues demand an immediate roof replacement, regardless of the season:
- Shingles falling off
- The roof is sagging or drooping
- Lightning strikes
- Fire damage
- Extreme water damage.
Okay, all that aside, which season is optimal for roof replacement under normal circumstances?
Fall is considered one of the better times to get your roof replaced by many roofing contractors since it doesn’t pose many barriers. The weather is beginning to cool down, and there isn’t much worry when it comes to precipitation, apart from a sporadic NorEaster’ or tropical storm residue, so it pretty much guarantees the work will be finished before the onset of winter weather.
Another advantage of autumn roof replacement is that since the weather isn’t usually as hot as the summer months, there will be few, if any, stretches of extreme heat that will stop the work on your roof. This means the number of days it will take to finish the job should also decrease.
One more thing: Near-perfect temperatures with lower humidity and not as much rain allow your shingles to set and seal successfully before any extreme winter weather arrives.
For these reasons, fall is perhaps the most popular season for roof replacement for some contractors. The blending of mild weather and a rush of clients wanting to finish their roofs before any extreme weather sets in does, nevertheless, generate a seasonal steam of homeowners wanting their roofs replaced.
Since this season is highly favored, unearthing appointments in the fall can be mind-numbing, so it’s best to plan ahead to beat the rush. You need to call as early in the year as possible to ensure they are open on the dates you want. Contact your roofing contractor for a quote and get on their timetable so your spot is set aside for the fall season.
Sure, there’s a decent chance that a fall roof replacement project will work well with your home’s overall improvement timeframe. Still, it also means you’ll be confronting steep competition for a roofer’s time and could possibly pay a higher price for their time.
Winter is an especially tricky time of the year, so is it okay to replace a roof in the winter? Actually, this time of the year can be terrific for homeowners as it’s typically a much slower time for most roofing contractors. This can offer better flexibility for appointment scheduling. Moreover, this might be particularly essential if you’re having serious problems with your roof that simply can’t wait for better weather.
Of course, the chief concern in the winter is the freezing temperatures and snow or ice that can play havoc on a roof replacement project or simply inhibit the shingles’ sealants from setting. Shingles possess a tar sealant on the back that is triggered by heat and sunlight, but with restricted amounts of both in the winter, this important seal may not adhere properly. Many roofing companies might augment the process with hand-sealing techniques so that your shingles don’t blow off with the wind. However, this may very well be accompanied by added labor costs.
Another thing, cold weather can also cause the shingles to lose some flexibility, making it a bit more problematic to cut and insert the nails.
And don’t forget about the limited hours of daylight. Your roof installation project might take a bit longer during winter since the days are considerably shorter, and the materials are more difficult to put on, not to mention the possibility of snow and ice on the roof.
On the plus side, even if the weather suspends the project, booking another date with the contractor would be pretty straightforward, thanks to their typical wide-open availability throughout the winter. Perhaps the only other thing you must be concerned about is that most roofing contractors do not work on or around holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s, so you’ll need to schedule around these days.
You might want to consider making your roof replacement a part of your spring-cleaning to-do list, as spring is similar to fall weather, with moderate temperatures, ideal for construction.
Initiating a roofing project in the spring has several other benefits, as roofing contractors are emerging from winter and are usually still available. This means a labor shortage shouldn’t be a big issue.
The temperate weather also ensures that workers can safely and comfortably work outside without being affected by weather such as severe heat or subfreezing cold. Moderate temperatures also help materials like shingles set since they depend on thermal heat to do so, without melting as might occur in the summer heat or cracking as they are apt to do when exposed to the winter cold.
One more benefit of the spring weather is that humidity is more often than not quite low, making it less probable that moisture will trigger any damage, so you’ll have your brand-new roof by the summer, providing there aren’t any major problems.
Of course, most roofing contractors deem spring as an ideal time to replace a roof since the weather is most likely to be warm and enjoyable. Still, spring can also deliver storms, sporadic showers, and other adverse weather conditions that appear out of nowhere.
While there aren’t a ton of negatives to be concerned with when mulling over replacing your roof in the spring, it can be a bit tough to attempt to schedule a new date with a roofing contractor during the spring when their schedules may be more booked out than in winter, so you need to keep this in mind.
Summertime is normally the go-to season for roof replacement. The comfortable temperatures and often predictable weather make roofing during the summer months pretty straightforward.
Actually, the earlier in the summer you can reserve time for your roofing project, the better. This is when humidity will typically be lower, and the weather isn’t going to be as intolerable.
In the summer, the sun also generates plenty of heat for the tar strip on the back of the asphalt shingles to activate and adhere properly. This can help prevent any future fly-offs or leaking.
However, if you wait until the “dog days” of summer, the hottest and most unbearable days, the conditions aren’t going to be as comfortable. First and foremost, the heat can make for unworkable conditions (e.g., your roof can be up to 20 degrees hotter than the temperature on the ground). These extreme temperatures can also affect the installation since the asphalt shingles might soften, making them less robust and more susceptible to damage during installation.
With the season’s popularity, getting a quick scheduling turnaround time will also be more difficult. From the initial inspection visit to the crew stepping onto your property, it could be a considerably lengthier wait time than in other seasons.
The good news here is that, despite the pros and cons we’ve discussed, you can replace your roof during any season if you select the right professional to install it.
It’s always best to talk to the professionals at Schultheis Brothers to help determine which season would be best for your home, depending on the health of your roof, your location, and whether you’re exploring asphalt shingles, metal, or solar roofing.