Repairing or Replacing Your Roof


A proper suburban home has many different systems working together to make the home safe, comfortable, and secure, not to mention cost efficient. The walls’ insulation should be working well to trap heat in winter and cool air in summer, the windows should not be drafty, the plumbing and sewer systems should not leak or get backed up (water damage can be serious), the heating and air conditioning system should work well and not have grime or air leaks, and on the outside of the home, the roof and gutters should be in good shape. If not, expensive and stressful damage may harm the house and its many components, especially drywall and electric wires and devices in the walls. Different types of roofs can work well in different climates and frequency of storms, not to mention or aesthetic reasons. What types of roofs are best for a home in the desert or on the Florida coast? When is it time to hire roofing companies? What does a residential roofing contractor cost? These questions and more are important for any homeowner to ask to keep the roof working well.

Roof Basics

Most types of roofs will have shingles on them, especially asphalt shingles. Many types of roofs will have shingles that last 5-6 years, or up to 10-12 based on sun exposure, winds, and storms. One inch of rainfall can dump over 600 gallons of water onto an average sized roof, and heavy snow can also be a factor. In areas more prone to snow, such as Montana or Minnesota or most Canadian regions, types of roofs built to endure great weight may be recommended, and in storm prone areas like Florida and North Carolina, types of roofs built to endure hurricanes will be available for purchase for homeowners, and contractors will be on hand to install them. In parts of the American Midwest known informally as “Tornado Alley,” roofs will have to endure very strong tornado winds and flying debris thrown by these storms.

Roof Damage and Repair

A roof is a very static part of the home and may often be taken for granted, but there are calamities that can harm the roof, and through it, damage the rest of the home, too. For examples, squirrels are a major hazard for roofs. These rodents can leap from nearby tree branches onto the roof’s walls and chew their way in through the wood, and once they get in through these holes, squirrels will build nests in air ducts and chew on cable or electric wires and even plastic pipes, harming these utilities. The nests block air flow in the heating and cooling system, but the worst damage may be rain water and melting snow coming in through the holes that the squirrels made. Water will rot and expand wood in the attic and roof (which will need its own repair), and the water will also damage drywall and short out electrical components and wires, which will be another repair job that needs doing. Strong hail may have a similar effect, punching through the roof or its sides and creating holes. Lastly, the gutters may become clogged and too much water will build up in them, causing them to break off the home due to their weight.

Roofing companies and roof inspections are needed to keep a roof in good shape. Inspecting the roof once or twice a year is important for diagnosing problems such as squirrel or hail damage, or noting how many shingles have rotted or fallen off. A homeowner can look up local roofing contractors and compare their prices, location, and hours of operation, and may also ask for previous customer contact information so customer reviews can be collected. With all this data gathered, a homeowner can choose the best contracting company for the job and hire them to repair or replace the roof, based on the extent of the damage. Squirrel damage or rotted shingles will need repair, while a roof blasted apart by a tornado or hurricane will be a whole replacement job. A customer may also visit local hardware stores and get recommendations on local contractors by the staff there.