Q&A Roof Replacement: Should I Repair Or Replace My Roof?

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Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Q&A with Hometown Roofing ATX!

Today’s topic is all about roof replacements.

We’ll discuss everything a homeowner needs to know when it comes to replacing their roof and the consequences they’ll face if they hold it off for too long.

As most of you know, the topic of “roof replacement” has a lot of moving parts to it. You’re dealing with roof inspections, insurance claims, materials, and proper installation.

If you don’t want to read this entire blog post, we have a little Q&A recording you can listen to while you’re out on a drive or just can’t sit and scroll the entire post.

If you do get the chance to read the blog post, we suggest you read it. There is information in the blog post that the Q&A recording didn’t have.

Let’s get to it.

 

Question 1: How Can Homeowners Know When They Need A Roof Replacement?

Our answer is. Generally, from our experience, homeowners do not know whether their roof needs repair or replacement without a professional’s pointing it out in the first place.

We’d like to ask you, the homeowner, how regularly do you take a look at your roof or even take notice of it?

The answer is most likely never.

A lot of homeowners just don’t have the time to check every little part of their roof for damages.

And even if homeowners did make the extra effort to check their roof more regularly, they’ll still never get to the bottom of the issue that’s causing the damage to their roof.

The majority of roof damages are not visible, especially with damages stemming from hail, wind, and old wear and tear.

Most hail and wind damages can be little impacts scattered all around the roof or hidden underneath the layers of your roof shingles, and the only real way to detect these types of damages is for a person to be on top of the roof.

These small and hidden damages are what cause the most problems for homeowners because they get completely ignored. And, within time, they grow into huge roofing problems within a short period of time.

The times when homeowners do notice damages on their roof is when it’s too late. Their roof starts leaking, and more shingles go missing. The worst-case scenario is the roof make a home uninhabitable.

 

Question 2: How Does A Roofer Help Homeowners Detect Damages That’ll Likely Get The Approval From Insurance Claim?

When you know that your roof is damaged and needs a roof replacement, the next issue that homeowners need to deal with is getting their insurance approved for a new roof.

The first thing homeowners need to do is make sure they’re working with a roofing company that knows how insurance works, inside and out. It’s in the homeowner’s best interest to do so because if they were to work with a roofer who doesn’t know the ins and outs of the insurance claim process, they’d end up not getting a new roof or spending a lot of money out of their pocket.

Here at Hometown Roofing ATX, we have 40+ years of experience in roofing and insurance claims. If you’re in Austin, TX, give us a call at (512) 707-9182, and we’ll get you going in the right direction.

Getting Your Insurance Claim Approved

Getting approved for your insurance claim varies from company to company. But in general, most insurance companies will require your roof to have a specific amount of damages in an area to qualify for a claim.

In cases where the homeowner has insurance with a lower quality insurance company, it’s much harder to get their claim approved because the requirements are either:

  1. Both sides of your roof need to be damaged to get the claim approved.
  2. The entire roof has to be destroyed for the approval of the claim.

With a good insurance company and with the right roofer by your side, it’ll make things a lot easier and gives you total peace of mind.

Here’s how we usually inspect a homeowner’s roof to help get them approved on their insurance claim for hail and wind damage:

1.) Hail Damage For Insurance Claim: 8 hail hits in a 10×10 area

For you to get your insurance claim approved for hail damage, a roofer needs to spot of at least eight hail hits within a 10×10 square on your roof.

With the proper inspection, your roofer can present the findings in photographs and documentation to your insurance adjuster.

2.) Wind Damage For Insurance Claim: Varies from a few shingles missing to a set number of missing shingles

When it comes to getting your insurance claim approved for wind damage, it varies much more widely than hail damage. For wind damages, it’s all about missing shingles. If you’re with an excellent insurance company, they’ll most likely approve and cover your new roof’s cost only by just having 4-5 shingles go missing.

While other insurance companies that aren’t as good, it’ll require you to have 28+ missing shingles before they would even consider approving your claim and covering the cost.

Why Homeowners Need to Have A Roofer That Understands How To Work The Insurance Claim Process

Most of the time, when you don’t have a roofer that knows how to work through an insurance claim, you’ll end up with just getting a repair on a roof that’s in a serious need for a roof replacement.

Most insurance companies want you to get a repair because it’s less money out of their pockets. Good for them, but not for you.

Settling for a repair when your roof clearly needs a replacement will do more damage to the entire structure of your home than it helps. It’s like sweeping the problem under the rug until it gets completely out of hand.

So worst-case scenario is, instead of just your roof collapsing, structural parts of your home will too.

 

Question 3: How Long Does A Shingle Roof Really Last In Texas?

In Texas, the most popular warranty on a shingle roof is the 20 years, and also the 30 years which they now call the 50 years or lifetime shingles. These shingles are from reputable brands such as GAF, Owens Corning, and TAMKO. All of which we use.

  • With the 20 years roof shingle, because of the Texas heat we have here, you’re looking to get, at max, about 14 years of it.
  • With the 30 or 50 years roof shingle, you’re most likely going to get 22 years out of it general.

One other factor that determines how long your shingle roof will last in Texas is the hail storms.

In Texas, we get on average about one terrible hail storm every ten years, and after these awful storms have passed is when a vast majority of homes are going to want to get a new roof.

So all in all, the answer to “How long does a shingle roof last in Texas?” is on an average of 10 years.

 

Question 4: What Do They Mean By 20 years, 30 years, and 50 Years Warranty? What Does The Warranty Cover?

The warranty means that the manufacturers will only cover your roof if there is evidence of defects with the shingles.

Most warranty will need you to provide proof that you regularly maintained the roof every year or else the warranty will be voided.

Also, the warranty does not cover if your roof gets hit by natural disasters such as hail, wind, and heat.

The Texas heat does a lot of damage, and that’s something that wears out your shingles a lot quicker. Because of the heat we get, shingles don’t last as long as they should in Texas, unlike other states in the country.

And lastly, heat is a natural cause and is not considered a defect of the shingles. Therefore the warranty won’t cover it.

It’s why homeowners must hire a roofer that was warranty and workmanship warranty and knowledgable in insurance claims to help them cover the cost for a new roof when the time is needed.

 

Question 5: What Can Happen If Homeowners Don’t Replace Their Roof And Decide To Hold It Off For 1 or 2 Years?

What happens is, when a roof starts getting old, it starts letting small amounts of water go through. Little bits of water won’t get into the house, but it will get through the felt (paper) underlayment and onto the plywood decking.

And at that point, the water will start to degrade and rotting the plywood, making it spongy and soft.

This type of damage isn’t safe because it’s hidden and can cause injury to the roofer when they inspect your roof.

Worst is if you’re the homeowner trying to do the inspection yourself when there are soft areas on your roof that can puncture right through from just the sheer force of your weight.

The good thing is most homeowners don’t do their own roofing, and it’s not until they get their roof replaced by a professional who removes the old roof that they’ll discover the rotting of the plywood.

If The Decking Gets Spongy Soft And Soggy, Would That Eventually Cause Your Roof To Collapse?

It won’t necessarily collapse your roof, but it makes certain areas soft, which makes it not unsafe to walk on, especially when doing a roof inspection or roof cleaning.

Other concerns with homeowners should have about the plywood deck rotting the ease of hail and debris from wind storms.

The roof is so spongy and soft that if a tree brand or decent sized hail were to make an impact, it will go right through and put a hole on your roof.

What’s The Maximum Amount Of Time Homeowners Have Before They Need To Get Their Damaged Roof Replaced?

That depends from house to house, and how severe the roof is damaged.

But the main thing for homeowners to do is every 4-5 years, is have a local roofer come out and inspect your roof and get an honest assessment of how everything is.

What this does is it gives you, the homeowners,

  1. Ideas on their current situation and start saving money for when the time comes for a replacement.
  2. Detect early damages and have it repaired for a low cost and prolong the life of your roof.

 

Question 6: On Average What’s The Cost Of A Roof Replacement In Austin Texas?

Based on our experience, if we had to ballpark it, a new roof for homeowners in Austin, TX would cost around $8,000 to $11,000.

But to answer that question, you need to factor in a lot of essential parts of the house such as:

  • The side of the house
  • Number of garages and the sizes
  • The pitch of the roof. Is it steep or flat?
  • Is it a one-story, two-story, or three-story house?
  • The cost of new material they’re wanting to replace the roof with.
  • What additional features need to be replaced?
  • Are there additional damages underneath the old roof?
  • Labor cost
  • and more…

What About Vents, Pipes, And Chimney Do Those Get Replaced Too?

Not a lot of companies do replace vents and pipes, and that’s a big mistake.

Here at Hometown Roofing ATX, when we replace your roof, we also replace all pipes, vents, chimneys, flashing, and whatever else you can name, we’ll replace.

These are all parts of a proper working roofing system. Everything that needs to be replaced gets replaced.

Ignoring these add-ons would be terrible for homeowners.

Here’s a list of all the things we include in our replacement:

  • Drip-edge: We start by replacing a new drip-edge around the edge. It’s a factory colored drip-edge that matches the shingles. It’s not just any drip-edge; it has to look good because we also consider the home’s curb appeal.
  • Synthetic Underlayment: Back in the day, we used 50lbs felt paper, but now we use a synthetic underlayment, and it’s much better,
    • Much lighter weight
    • Gives better protection overall
    • Better wind resistance
  • Starter Shingle: We use the correct starter shingles, whereas most companies will take a 3-tab shingle, turn it upside down, and use that as a starter. We don’t do that. We make a specific starter shingle for the roof.
  • Homeowner’s Preferred Shingle: After we place the starter shingle, we install whatever color or style shingles that the homeowner wants. These are the 20-year and 50-year shingles. With the 50-years shingles, however, there are specialized ridge shingles that go with the 50-years-shingles. This is where other companies cut corners and use a 3-tab shingle in place to the special ridge shingle. We are strongly against this because using the right ridge shingle with the right shingle, that way, the entire roof has the same warranty.
  • Pipes & Flashing: We replace all the pipes and flashing. We don’t use plastic. We use metal ones that are more durable and lasts much longer.
  • Everything Must Match: We paint areas that need to be painted so that it’ll match the house. Curb appeal matters, and we take that seriously.
  • Heater Cap & Hot Water Cap: We replace heater caps and hot water caps if the homeowners have heat and gas in their house.
  • Ventilation: We replace the ventilation and make sure they get enough ventilation.

 

Question 7: Not All Companies Replace Everything, And Why Is That A Big Issue?

We can understand why many don’t. It’s because most want to save money and are doing it for cheap.

But the problem with that is it interferes with the insurance on that roof replacement.

Because the insurance is paying for that roof, they will give the homeowner a list and outline the scope of work. The insurance company is expecting to see the homeowner and roofer replace what’s on that list.

You, the homeowner, will have to pass on that outline to your roofer. That way, your roofer and insurance company are going to be on the same page.

You want to get everything done that the insurance company is paying to get done.

It’s against the law to not follow the scope of work outlined by the insurance company.

If your insurance company sees that you didn’t get certain parts of your roof replaced that they paid for, they can withhold your depreciation check.

That check is most likely 50% cost of your roof.

So if your new roof costs $11,000, you will owe $5,500 out of your pocket.

So if you roofer or you decide to both get something replaced, it can be bad for all parties.

This is why homeowners need to know who they’re choosing to work with as their roofer.

If you’re a local in Austin and in need of a roofing company, Hometown Roofing ATX is will do it right and help you get a long-term solution for your roof. Give us a call for a free inspection + free written estimate at (512) 707-9182.

 

Conclusion

Thank you for listening and reading this week’s Q&A. We hope you got something out of this and help you make much more confident decisions when it comes to your roof.

Let us know if you need any help, contact us here.

 

Hometown Roofing ATX
12443 Tech Ridge Blvd #234, Austin, TX 78753
(512) 707-9182