A total roof replacement is a significant investment dreaded by most homeowners. However, putting off a roof replacement project for too long may result in the old roof failing, allowing water to damage the inside of your home. This isn’t something to take lightly. Always schedule periodic roof inspections to determine the overall condition of your roof and understand when it’s time for a new roof.

1. When You May Need a Complete Roof Replacement

Although old age is often the primary reason for replacing a roof, extensive weather damage may also require a complete roof replacement. The best way to know whether you need a new roofing system is to hire a trusted local roofer to conduct a thorough inspection of the roof. Here are some signs you may need a new roof:

  • Your roof is older than 15 years
  • Some areas of roof materials seem darker than others
  • Some asphalt shingles are missing granules, or there are lots of particles building up in the gutters
  • Shingles are cracked or have curled edges 
  • Your roofing system is sagging in areas
  • Daylight is coming through holes or cracks into your attic  
  • There are signs of water damage to your ceilings and attic 

2. What Constitutes a Complete Roof Replacement 

When roofers conduct thorough roof inspections, they can unearth hidden issues which could call for a complete roof replacement. An experienced roofer will also estimate how much longer your roof could last before requiring a replacement. Overall, a complete roof replacement involves assessing and repairing or replacing the following roofing components.

1. Roof Deck

This is the wood boards making up your roof’s framing. All other roofing components, including shingles, are installed over these boards. If your roofer determines the decking is substantially damaged or rotten, it might need to be replaced before installing your roofing components. 

2. Flashing

Roof flashing is the metal placed in areas where shingles meet the wall, chimney, skylights, etc., and along open valleys. When installing a new asphalt roof, your flashing might not need to be replaced, especially if it’s still in good condition. However, if the flashing is damaged or rusted, or if you’re upgrading from 3-tab to dimensional asphalt shingles, your flashing will need to be replaced. 

3. Roofing Underlayment

Underlayment is a felt material which covers your decking to provide extra moisture protection. Every roof replacement must include a new underlayment since it’s the last line of defense against the elements. 

4. Drip Edge & Ice and Water Shield

Roof valleys are crucial for directing water in the right direction down the roof. They, therefore, need protection from the constant flow of rainwater and ice. An ice and water shield is the waterproof membranes used to protect roofs from ice and water damage. A new ice and water shield will need to be installed around roof penetrations and in the roof valleys when replacing your roof. Additionally, your roofer should install a drip edge metal flashing at the edges of the roof to control the flow of rainwater away from the fascia and other roofing components.

5. Asphalt shingles

Shingles form the top layer of the roof, which is why many people only think of shingles when planning a roof replacement project. To ensure the shingles are installed correctly the first time, hire a professional roofing contractor. Besides, many top shingle manufacturers have certified roofers trained to install the shingles correctly with a backup warranty on both the materials and the workmanship.

6. Ridge Cap

A ridge cap is installed where two slopes of a roof meet. Typically, they’re thicker than regular asphalt shingles and pre-bent to match the ridge of your roof. Any roof replacement must include ridge caps to prevent leaks between roofing slopes.

7. Roof Vents

Last but not least, you need proper attic ventilation to prevent your attic from trapping hot and cold air and causing damage to your shingles. Roof vents allow your attic to breathe properly, which helps prolong your roof’s lifespan.

3. How Long a Roof Replacement Takes

A complete roof replacement may seem like a long and complex job, yet the average roof replacement project takes just a couple of days. The size, design, and complexity of your roof will dictate how long the replacement takes.

There’s going to be noise to deal with in the course of the project, so making plans to be elsewhere may be helpful. It’s always a good idea to keep children or pets from playing around the house while construction is happening. Fortunately, your roof will last for many decades once replaced.

The team at KM Construction has been providing dependable roof replacements to the residents of McHenry County, IL, for more than four decades. Our quality workmanship ensures your new roof will last for decades, and we proudly offer a lifetime warranty for new roofs. If your roof has been damaged by a storm or is simply wearing out, we can replace it. We provide roof replacement services for slate, wood, copper, asphalt shingles, and flat roofing. Contact us today to schedule a free roofing inspection to determine if your roof is due for replacement!