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Planning your roof replacement – PART 2: Long-term Measures

Step 1. Evaluate your system.
The first step in your roof replacement process is getting acquainted with your roof and figuring out what stage of its life cycle it is in. Points to consider here are approximate age of your current roof system, how has it progressed and naturally deteriorated over the years, and, perhaps most importantly, is it due to be replaced? I recommend a professional help you with this aspect, because most roof systems seem pretty abstract and are difficult to evaluate correctly for the average individual. For example, conventional flat roof systems are entirely covered in gravel, so how do we evaluate its condition? It is important to note that each system (and there are numerous systems) is different and thus, ages and deteriorates in a different way. There is no real rule of thumb here and there is definitely no substitute for experience, so contact a qualified individual.

Step 2. Give yourself a time-frame.
Roof replacements are large projects, requiring a substantial investment, and therefore, they merit some careful planning and consideration. The good news is, if you do things right this time, you will never need such a large investment of time, money and energy for your roof again. But, you need to give yourself an adequate amount of time, initially, to do the following tasks:

a) Get referrals for local contractors from friends, family and trusted professionals (see our previous blog Making an educated decision: factors to consider before signing a contract)
b) Explore different systems and varying options within each system
c) Choices – pick your contractor, your system, and your options
d) Schedule the work
e) Raise funds, possibly
f) Execute the work

The last thing you want to do is rush into a contract and end up with a product that is less than satisfactory and not as durable or effective. Take your time choosing your contractor, weighing the pros and cons of varying roof systems, and deciding on cosmetic options as well, such as color of flashings. You will end up unhappy and possibly spending more money over time if you move too fast through the early stages. Moreover, roofing technologies have evolved significantly, particularly in the past 10 years, to a point where we now have sustainable roof systems. A sustainable system is one that does not need to be demolished once it is near the end of its life; it generally requires a simple resurfacing. Up until recently, this was not possible and so roofs were always replaced, but sustainable roof systems are an increasingly popular option…and with good reason. This type of work is exponentially more cost-efficient down the line, even if the initial investment is slightly more; therefore, giving yourself a proper time-frame to consider such options seriously, and possibly, to raise the extra funds, is vitally important, as it can provide you with long-term savings and peace of mind.

Step 3. Interim maintenance.
So you have already had your roof evaluated and decided that you want to replace your roof. You have taken the time to find a contractor that you are comfortable with, chosen a system that works well for you, with the cosmetic options you like best, and received an execution date when the work will be done. The next step is to decide what to do in the meantime. In many instances, the answer to this question will simply be…nothing. However, for other individuals, a temporary repair, some small maintenance or a protection plan may be a necessity. You may consider speaking to the contractors bidding on the work for your roof replacement, as they may be able to offer you some short-term help until the complete job is done. For more information on short-term measures, please refer to our blog Planning for your roof replacement – PART 1: Short-term Measures.

Step 4. Execution of work.
This is the best stage. Why? Because you have already done all the hard work. Now it is time for the tradesman to do their jobs and for you to sit back and relax. Of course, at this stage, you may be curious about the process or have some concerns. Do not hesitate! Communicate with your contractor! It should be a pleasure for him to address any of your questions. If you are up to it, get up on the roof along with the tradesmen, to see what’s involved in the process of waterproofing your roof. A good team leader will be glad to walk you through the process. Remember, everything has already been decided and agreed upon at this stage. You are simply there to enjoy the show, and if you have followed these steps, enjoy it, you shall!

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