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Everything You Need to Know About Roof Replacement

Published August 31, 2022
Updated: February 28, 2024
Est. Reading: 9 minutes

Replacing your roof is a major home improvement project that can improve your property's overall look and value–especially if your roof is over 20 years old. If you're planning to sell your home in the near future, a new roof can be a selling point for potential buyers. Before you decide to replace your roof, there are a few things you need to know. Here's everything you need to know about roof replacement:

When Is It a Good Idea to Replace My Roof?

If you're like most people, you probably don't give much thought to your roof until there's a problem. However, your roof is one of the most important parts of your home, and it's important to keep it in good condition. Here are a few signs that it might be time to replace your roof:

  • Your roof is more than 20 years old: As roofs age, they become more susceptible to weather and other factors. If your roof is approaching or past the 20-year mark, it's a good idea to have it inspected by a professional to see if it needs to be replaced.
  • You've had multiple leaks: Even a small leak can cause big problems, so the underlying structure is likely damaged if you've had multiple leaks in your roof. This can lead to further leaks and expensive repairs, so it's usually best to replace the entire roof in this case.
  • There is significant wear and tear: If you can see daylight through holes in your roof or there are missing or damaged shingles, it's time for a replacement. Ignoring these problems will only worsen and put your home at risk for further damage.
  • The cost of repairs is more than half the cost of a replacement: In some cases, replacing your roof makes more financial sense than repairing it. This is usually the case if the damage is widespread or if the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan.
  • Your energy bills are increasing: If you've noticed a sudden spike in your energy bills, it could be due to poor insulation in your attic. This is often caused by leaks or damage in the roof, so it's a good idea to have it checked out by a professional (and potentially replace it).
  • You plan to sell your house: If you're planning to sell your house in the future, a new roof can be a selling point for potential buyers. This is especially true if your roof is old or in poor condition.
  • You want to install solar panels: Solar panels are a great way to save money on energy bills, but they can be difficult to install on an old or damaged roof. If you're planning to install solar panels, it's usually best to do it simultaneously with your roof replacement.

If you're not sure whether or not you need a new roof, it's always best to consult with a professional. They can inspect your roof and let you know if it needs to be replaced or if repair is an option.

The Cost of Replacing Your Roof

If you decide that a roof replacement is a good investment, the cost will be one of your most important considerations. The roof replacement cost varies depending on the size and type of your home, the materials you use, and the contractor you hire.

On average, homeowners spend between $5,000 and $10,000 to replace their roofs. However, this number can be much higher or lower depending on the factors mentioned above. For example, a small ranch-style home will typically cost less to replace than a large two-story home. This is because it takes less time and materials to replace the roof on a small home.

Additionally, the type of roof you have will also affect the replacement cost. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of roofing material, and they usually cost between $175 and $300 per square (or 100 square feet). If you have a more complicated roof, such as one with multiple levels or a metal roof, the price will be higher. This is because it takes more time to replace these types of roofs.

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What Kind of Roof Should I Install?

When replacing your roof, you'll have the opportunity to install a different type of roof than the one you currently have. There are many types of roofs to choose from, and the best option for you will depend on your budget, the climate you live in, and the style of your home.

1. Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material for a reason–they're affordable, easy to install, and last 20 to 30 years on average. Asphalt shingles come in various colors and styles, so you can choose the look that best suits your home. They're also relatively easy to maintain–clear away any debris accumulating on your roof, and repair any damaged or loose shingles as necessary. Asphalt shingles are an excellent choice if you're looking for a reliable, low-maintenance roofing option.

2. Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingles, but it's also more durable. Metal roofs can last 40 to 70 years with proper maintenance, and they're also fire-resistant and energy-efficient. While metal roofing is more expensive than asphalt shingles initially, it's important to remember that you'll likely never have to replace it. As a result, metal roofing is actually more cost-effective in the long run.

Metal roofing is the way to go if you're looking for a roof that will protect your home for generations to come.

3. Wood Shingles

Wood shingles are a classic roofing material that adds an elegant touch to any home. Wood shingles are made of cedar, redwood, teak, or cypress, and they are common in regions with moderate climates.

One of the benefits of wood shingles is that they're environmentally friendly–many are made from recycled wood. Wood shingles are also relatively easy to install and repair. They're also durable. You can expect your wood shingle roof to last between 30 and 50 years in neutral climates. If you live in a home that's styled after a classic New England cottage, wood shingles are the perfect roofing material for you.

4. Tile Roofing

Far less common in the cooler temperatures we have here in Alberta and the rest of Canada, tile roofs are common in hot, dry climates (locations many snowbirds have their vacation homes). They're made of either clay or concrete, lasting 50 or more years. Tile roofs are also fire-resistant and energy-efficient. The main downside of tile roofs is that they're expensive–expect to pay between $800 and $2,500 per square. They're also relatively heavy, so your home will need to be reinforced before installation. If you live in a hot, dry climate and have the budget for it, tile roofing is one of the best options, especially if you live in a home with a Mediterranean or Spanish-style design.

How to Choose a Contractor for Roof Replacement

Roof replacement is one of many renovation tasks that a pro should handle. Not only is it a complex and dangerous job, but your roof is one of the most important parts of your home. To find the right contractor, start by asking for recommendations from friends, family, and neighbors. You can also check online review sites. Once you have a few options, be sure to get at least three quotes before making a decision.

When you're meeting with potential contractors, be sure to ask about their experience installing the type of roof you want. It's also important to make sure they're licensed, insured, and have a good reputation. Once you've found the right contractor, get everything in writing before work begins. This will help protect you in case of any problems down the road.

What to Expect During the Roof Replacement Process

Replacing your roof is a big job, but it doesn't have to be stressful. With a little knowledge of what to expect, you can rest assured that your home is in good hands. The first step in any roof replacement is a thorough inspection. This will allow the contractor to assess your existing roof's condition and ensure there are no hidden problems.

Once the inspection is complete, the contractor will provide you with a proposal outlining the scope of work and the estimated cost. After you've accepted the proposal, work can begin. The first thing that will happen is your old roof will be removed. This process usually takes a day or two, depending on the size and complexity of your roof.

Once the old roof is gone, the workers will install new sheathing and flashing around the edges of your home. Next, they'll install the new shingles or tiles. This should take another day or two depending on the size of your roof and whether or not there are any special features.

You can expect the whole process to take about a week, from start to finish. And once it's done, you'll have a brand-new roof that will protect your home for years

Finally, they'll clean up any debris and perform a final inspection to ensure everything looks good. This is a critical step because it's your last chance to catch any problems before the job is considered complete. The whole process usually takes about a week from start to finish, but this can vary depending on the size and complexity of your roof.

How to Care for Your New Roof

A new roof is a significant investment, and it’s important to take care of it in order to keep it in good condition. Here are eight tips for how to care for your new roof:

  1. Inspect your roof regularly: It’s important to check for any signs of damage, including missing or damaged shingles. If you notice any damage, it’s important to have it repaired as soon as possible to prevent further damage. You can hire a roof inspector to evaluate the condition of your roofing system if you’re in doubt.  
  2. Keep your gutters clean: Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and pool on your roof, which can lead to leaks and other problems. Be sure to clean your gutters regularly to prevent this from happening. Ensure that you clean your gutters regularly following an expert’s advice. If you are uncomfortable or unable to clean them yourself, hire an experienced gutter cleaning service to manage the job with the proper techniques, tools, and safety measures.
  3. Trim trees and branches near your home: Overhanging branches can scratch or dent your roof, and falling leaves can clog your gutters. By trimming trees and branches near your home, you can help protect your roof from these hazards. If you’re busy or don’t have the necessary tools, you can hire a tree service with proper licensing, insurance, and positive customer reviews. 
  4. Be careful when walking on your roof: It’s important to avoid walking on your roof whenever possible. If you need to walk on your roof, be sure to use caution and take care not to damage the shingles. The weight and pressure from walking can crack shingles, especially if they're old. It can damage the tiles, flashing, or sealants, leading to water infiltration and structural issues over time. Moreover, slips, falls, or roof collapses can occur.
  5. Wash your roof with a garden hose: You should wash your roof at least once a year to remove any dirt, debris, and leaves that may have accumulated. Use a gentle setting on your hose to avoid damaging the shingles. Avoid pressure washing your roof as it damages shingles, causes leaks, strips protective granules, and poses safety risks, potentially voiding warranties.
  6. Give your roof as-needed care based on climate: In areas with extreme weather conditions, it’s important to take extra care of your roof. For example, in areas with high winds, you may need to have your roof inspected more frequently. And in areas with heavy snowfall, you may need to have your roof shoveled to prevent damage and the formation of ice dams. Hiring a shoveling service for snow removal provides convenience. It saves time, prevents injuries, and ensures efficient clearing. Moreover, hiring an experienced shoveling offers reliability during winter weather conditions, making it a practical choice for many homeowners.
  7. Make sure that your home is well-ventilated: Proper ventilation helps to prevent moisture buildup, which can lead to mold and mildew growth. Be sure to open windows and doors regularly to allow fresh air into your home. Also, ensure exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens are vented properly and have adequate power to help avoid moisture build up.
  8. Inspect your home for bugs regularly: Termites and other pests can cause serious damage to your roof if left unchecked. Be sure to inspect your home regularly for any signs of infestation, and contact a pest control professional if you find any evidence of pests.

Following these tips can help keep your new roof in good condition for years to come.


A new roof is a big investment, and it's important to take care of it so that it will last. When replacing your roof, it's important to consider the type of roof you want, the climate in your area, and how to care for your new roof. By following these tips, you can be sure that your new roof will be a lasting investment.

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