How to Prepare for Getting Your Roof Replaced

The roof of your home protects everything that is important to you. When roof replacement or roof repairs are needed, it can be a stressful and tense situation. But there are things you can do to minimize the impact a big home improvement project like replacing a roof can have on your household.

Depending on what is involved, a roof replacement can take anywhere from two to five days. A good roofing contractor will cover the roof overnight. For most types of roof replacement, the occupants can remain in the home. However, it is advisable not to be in the house during the day when roofers are there – the noise is constant; entering and exiting can be dangerous; and the experience can be claustrophobic since many contractors will cover the entire house with tarp. If these conditions are going to be bothersome for any member of your family, plan to spend the day somewhere else.

Before they can replace the roof, the old one needs to be removed. This can cause quite a mess. When shingles are detached, debris consisting of bits of tar paper, roof granules, nails and pieces of shingle or roof tile can fall through the gaps between the boards. Cover up items stored in the attic or crawl space.

Even though they will be covered, any plants and small shrubs close to the house might be damaged from the weight of the debris falling on them. Annuals will most likely have to be replaced, but perennials should be fine as long as the root system remains in tact. As part of the cleanup process, most roofing contractors will do a sweep of the area to find any nails that escaped the tarps. Make it easier for them by cutting the grass the day before they arrive.

Make sure that contractor is aware of any special instructions regarding how you want vents and venting to be handled. If you have a satellite dish, a roofer will reattach it, but you might have to recalibrate it after the roof replacement has been completed.

Problems can arise. As with any home improvement project, things don’t always go according to plan. The roofing contractor is bound by a contract you both signed, but it doesn’t hurt to budget for the unexpected. A roofer doesn’t really know what condition the roof decking or sheathing is in until all the shingles have been taken off. If sections of the roof deck or the entire roof decking need to be replaced, it might cost a little more time and money to complete the job than you originally anticipated.