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Myths Debunked: 7 Common Misconceptions About Roof Repairs

Some homeowners conduct DIY roof repairs to reduce costs. However, DIY roof repairs are more likely to cost them more in the long run. For one thing, improper or irregular maintenance can void the warranty. Not to mention without professional training or experience, homeowners are more likely to make costly mistakes. 

If you’re trying to craft a budget for roof repairs, there are more practical ways to reduce costs and maximize your returns on investments (ROIs) without compromising the quality of the roofing installation. It’d be a good idea to start the planning phase for your roofing project by doing your research on some costly roof repair misconceptions. 

Myth #1 Your Roof’s Fine as Long as You Don’t See Any Leaks

As long as you don’t see any leaks, your roof should be fine, right? Well, not exactly. For all you know, your roof might have suffered extensive damage – it’s just that the warning signs haven’t started to appear yet. Remember: warning signs like ceiling stains usually only appear when enough water has accumulated in certain parts of your roof. 

By the time you start to notice signs of moisture damage, it’s likely too late to mitigate roofing damage. That’s why it’s important to have your roof routinely inspected by a qualified roofer. Through routine inspections, contractors can detect and fix relatively minor roofing issues before they start to affect other parts of your home. The same goes for roof replacements: it’s best to let contractors handle roofing replacement, roof repairs, lumber decks construction or any home improvement project for that matter. 

Why Roof Repairs and Inspections Should Be Scheduled After Extreme Weather Events 

What if you still don’t see any signs of roofing damage even after a storm passed through your area? Does your roof still need to be inspected? Yes; no matter how durable your roof is, it’s bound to suffer some form of damage. 

Myth #2 It Doesn’t Matter Who Conducts the Repairs or Installs Your Roof 

Don’t forget to vet a roofing contractor before hiring one. Without the necessary experience, it’s easy to miss the subtle warning signs of early roofing damage. Not to mention less qualified contractors are more likely to make costly installation errors that can weaken your roof. Here’s a vetting tip: the number of years a contractor has been working in the industry should give you a good idea of the person’ level of expertise. 

Myth #3 The More Insulation Your Roof and Attic Have, the Better 

In temperate areas, attic and siding insulation makes sure cool or hot air doesn’t leak out of the house. In general, the insulation in your roof and attic should have an R-value between 30 and 49 (60 in cold areas). While under-insulated attics are a common issue, especially in older homes, there is such a thing as an over-insulated roof and attic. Having too much insulation can interfere with the airflow in your roof and attic, trapping moisture and creating a damp environment that’s the perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. 

Myth #4 Roof Repairs Are the Same in Every Area and Climate 

Remember: there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach in home improvement projects, and roof repairs are no exception. Conducting roof repairs isn’t as simple as replacing a few shingles or panels. For one thing, contractors would need to know the area’s local building codes. Not to mention that they have to factor in your area’s climate and how it can affect the lifespan of your roof and indoor comfort. 

Here’s a tip: if you’re looking for a roofer or deck builder, it’s best to hire professionals based near your area. Since they’re more familiar with your area’s building codes and climate, they can make better recommendations. 

Myth #5 There’s Nothing Wrong With Choosing Cheap Shingles – Shingle Quality Is Just a Marketing Trick 

Contrary to what some may believe, shingle quality isn’t just some marketing trick: it has a real impact on the durability of your roof. For instance, asphalt shingles – the most popular roofing material in the country – would normally last 20 years. However, high-quality shingles can last up to 40 years. 

It might be tempting to choose the cheaper option, especially if you’re on a tight budget. However, when making an investment like a roof or siding replacement, you should focus on the quality of the roofing or siding materials as well as the features that can help maximize your ROI. What if you’re not sure about the quality of a brand? When in doubt, it’s best to stick to reputable brands, such as GAF. 

Here’s a tip on how to maximize your ROIs: GAF roofing systems installed by Master Elite® contractors are eligible for exclusive warranties that offer more protection and better value for money. The Golden Pledge® Limited Warranty, GAF’s strongest warranty option, covers material defects for up to 50 years and workmanship defects for up to 25 years. To learn more about your warranty options, consult a Master Elite contractor. 

Myth #6 Your New Roof Can Be Installed on Top of Your Old One 

Repairs should be able to fix minor to moderate roofing damage. However, if your roof suffered extensive roofing damage, you might need to replace it. It’s technically possible to install new shingles on top of your old roof. However, most contractors wouldn’t recommend going with this plan. Yes, it’ll help you save on labor costs. Contractors estimate homeowners can reduce the cost of a new roof by 10% to 20% if they choose to install it on top of their old one. However, it’s also likely to cost them more in the long run. For one thing, adding extra shingles will increase the burden on your home’s structure, potentially damaging it. 

How heavy is a new shingle roof? The shingles needed to cover a typical 2,000 square foot roof have a combined weight of roughly 5,000 pounds, which is heavier than an SUV. That’s why if you’re going to have your new roof installed on top of your old one, you’ll need to have the structure of your home reinforced, eating up what little money was saved by labor reducing labor costs and, in most cases, costing you more. 

There’s also the issue of underlying roofing problems. Installing a new roof on top of your old one won’t stop the roof leaks. If anything, it’ll worsen the problem by making it nearly impossible to diagnose and fix the leaks. 

In general, a multi-layer roof is also more prone to moisture damage than a single roof installation. Since the fasteners and nails aren’t long enough to penetrate the old shingles and the wooden sheathing, the new shingles tend to be easily dislodged, potentially reducing the lifespan of your new roof by about 25%. No matter how you look at, it simply makes more practical and financial sense to have your old roof torn off before installing a new one. 

Myth #7 You Only Need to Have Roof Flashing Replaced When You Install a New Roof 

Flashing refers to the thin pieces of metal covering seams or joints on your roof. Seams, the area where roofing panels overlap or two different surfaces meet, are often considered as the weak points of a conventional roofing system. By extension, the roof flashing covering seams is considered a weak point as well. It’s not uncommon for flashing to loosen or become dislodged over time, which is why they should be routinely inspected, along with your roof, and replaced if necessary. 

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