Ask Before You Buy a Roof: 6 Essential Questions

Ask the right questions

After a long, harsh winter, spring is the time when many homeowners realize it’s finally time to replace their roofs. And because every re-roofing project is different, it’s important to ask your roofing contractor the right questions well in advance to ensure you are making the best decision for your home. According to Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA), these six questions will go a long way towards making sure you’ll buy a roof you’ll love for the long run.

Consider the answers to these important questions before you buy a roof.

1) What kind of roof offers the best protection for my southern New England Home?

As the old saying goes, to get the best, plan for the worst. Hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, snow, hail, ice, driving rain, and winds: consider the challenges in every New England season and make sure your roof is designed to withstand them. To avoid hassles and added expenses, later on, be sure to consider needed accessories such as snow guards, heavy-duty gutters, and waterproof underlayment when planning a re-roofing project. Keep in mind that there are lots of strong roofing material options out there, including slate and clay, but these heavyweights may require additional reinforcement (and expense) of a roof’s underlying structure. Snow and ice loads can add significantly to that weight, so homeowners who want a similar look may want to opt for metal roofing that can mimic those materials. Metal offers superior strength under the most severe conditions, yet is much lighter per square foot, so additional structural reinforcements typically aren’t necessary. 

2) How can I reduce the amount of ongoing maintenance my new roof may need?

Certain materials such as asphalt, shake and clay can be prone to serious maintenance issues including moss, algae and fungus. That’s especially true in wet and humid climates. These issues can be expensive and environmentally harmful to address and if left untreated, they are not only unsightly, they may cause damage and shorten the lifespan of a roof. To reduce ongoing maintenance costs and hassles, opt for low-maintenance, worry-free metal roofing that typically requires a simple, gentle solution of plain soap and water to stay looking great.

3) How can I verify performance and reliability?           

Warranties are very important, including both material and labor. Beyond that, make sure a roof is rated by independent, credible sources for fire and hail resistance, as well as energy efficiency. Roofs that carry a Class A fire rating and are an ENERGY STAR qualified “Cool Roof” add up to great peace of mind when it comes to wildfire protection and maximizing efficiency in both cold and hot weather. Be sure to ask your installer about proper insulation and underlayments designed to meet or exceed regional building codes for ongoing savings and protection.

4) How do I choose a roof that I’ll love long-term?

Choosing the right style and design is a priority when it comes to maximizing curb appeal. Because a new metal roof can last 50+ years, making a good decision is important to get the look you’ll love not just now, but in the future. Metal roofs offer the widest variety of colors and different designs as compared to any other type of material. Metal can mimic the look of shake and slate so well, even pros have trouble spotting the difference.

5) Who is the manufacturer and what is their reputation?

To get a roof that will last and deliver carefree performance and protection for many years, invest in quality. Know that the cheapest bid is often not the best deal. Do your homework and learn more about the material being proposed, where it is sourced and whether the manufacturer has a solid reputation and will stand behind their products. Be sure they use high-quality techniques and materials. For example, high-tech paint and coatings can make a huge difference in the durability, performance, and ongoing maintenance of a roof. Ask for details and verification from your installer regarding the material specs and installation methods being proposed.

6) How can I reduce my environmental impact?

Re-roofing can generate a tremendous amount of waste, and the wrong roof can cost you in terms of higher energy use. Be sure to consider the lifecycle of a roof, from tear off to manufacturing to longevity. Some materials, like metal roofing, can be installed right over an older asphalt roof to avoid tear off and landfill waste. They also can be 100% recycled at the end of their long life and last up to three times longer than other roofing types. In addition, quality metal roofs with high performance coatings offer among the best energy efficiency of any roofing material, saving you—and the planet—year in and year out.

For more information, Classic Metal Roofs’ Ultimate Guide to Roofing is available as a free download.

Get A Free Roofing Consultation

Renee Ramey

About Renee Ramey

Renee Ramey is the Executive Director of The Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA). Renee is responsible for the daily management of the MRA’s ongoing North American marketing program to increase metal roofing’s residential market share. Renee has more than 20 years of marketing and management experience in the metals industry. Connect with Renee on LinkedIn.

View all posts by Renee Ramey