Before you risk life and limb on a ladder, we recommend you stay at ground level and use binoculars to spot cracked, curled, or missing shingles—often signs that your roof is in need of repair or replacement.
In addition to examining the shingles, make sure to check the flashing around chimneys, skylights, and roof valleys, as well as the rubber boots around vents for cracks.
If you have an existing leak, or suspect you need a new roof, we strongly recommend consulting a professional roofing contractor. They are trained to assess damage and make recommendations on materials, and they are equipped with proper safety gear.
If you need a new roof, and two layers of roofing are already in place, building codes require stripping the roofing down to the sheathing. Most homes are strong enough to support two layers of roofing, but installing some of the heavier laminated shingles over even a single layer may overstress rafters and other structural parts of your home. If you are considering doubling up, check the manufacturer’s warranty of the new roofing material to make sure it covers that type of usage – be aware that it usually doesn’t.
Another important reason for the complete removal of the existing material before re-roofing is to have your roofer check for rot, water damage, or insect infestation.
Whenever a new roof is installed—or if old shingles are being removed—you’ll need new underlayment (roofing felt or synthetic underlay) to create a moisture barrier between the roofing and the wood sheathing and rafters underneath. The sheathing may also have to be replaced if it’s damaged.
No matter what type of roofing material you select, make sure the installation is done by a reputable and professional company. You should also ensure that you are protected by a warranty and that you know how to properly care for your roof in order that it can last you for as long as possible.