Planning for the Successful Roofing Project

November 13, 2014 Updated: April 23, 2016

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It is true, no matter how excellent the initial roof quality and no matter what the guarantee is, or even how pretty it may look, eventually a building is going to need a new roof, or at least, some roofing repairs and updates.

 The axiom applies to all home maintenance and roofs are no exception to this.

 Understanding the basic aspects of the roofing project can be daunting and it is not a recommendation to just climb up on the roof and perform a do-it-yourself repair or roof replacement.  While it may be entertaining in Hollywood movies, it can be quite dangerous and ineffective for an individual who does not have experience in the roofing industry.

 Not All Roofing Material Is Made the Same

 In children’s storybooks, roofs may be drawn as little triangles on top of a square that represents the house structure, but in reality, there are many differences between roofs, including the material that is used.

 The most common roofing material, in the Western world, includes shingles made out of asphalt (very common), wood, tile, slate, as well as metal roofs.  Each type of roofing material has its own set of advantages and disadvantage as well as appeal and non-appeal.  Wood shingles, for example, may be very pretty and give a cottage-feel to the place, but it may also succumb to things like wood rot (if not treated) and fire hazard. 

 According to Bob Villa, the cost of the roofing material plays into the overall decision, as well.  He goes into detail about the pros and cons of the different styles of roofing material and why one may be a better choice than another, for the specific roofing project.

 Roofing material is not limited to the common.  According to Mashable, even soda bottles can be recycled into a thatched roof.

 Not All Roofers Are Made the Same

 There are two key things that come to mind when thinking of the term, “roofer.”  One is quality and know-how and the other is safety.

 There are many horror stories that are told about roofers who do not necessarily have the skill level to perform the task of roof repair or roof replacement.  Those are the stories where the roof is worse off after the repair or replacement, than it was before.  This is a common theme in the television sitcoms and movies, but it also happens in real life, as in the story of a house in a well-to-do neighborhood that had a roof that turned out to be made out of compost and full of slugs!

 The aspect of safety of the job is also important, and tends to be one of the main deterrent factors to the idea of the do-it-yourself approach.   In addition to one’s concern over their own safety, the homeowner also doesn’t want to be included in the law suit that relates to the safety issue, even if it is the roofer him/herself that was negligent.

 A Google search for the term “roofing accidents” demonstrates just how lucrative that aspect is, for attorneys, with most of the search results pointing to law firms.  This also demonstrates the level of safety concern that exists for roofing projects, especially when the word “fatal” also appears in that listing.

 According to CNN, roofing is considered one of the most hazardous career choices, showing up as number six in a list of the top ten most dangerous jobs.

 Just because a person advertises that they are a roofer does not mean that they necessarily meet the criteria of both quality and safety. 

 Roof and Roofing Accidents

 Sometimes, roof accidents (as opposed to roofing accidents) can have global effects, like the roof that collapsed in Sao Paulo and was cleared earlier this year, to accommodate the World Cup event.  In cases like this, having a well-maintained roof may be the difference between an event happening and an event not happening, and more importantly, the prevention of unnecessary loss of human life. 

 Not all accidents can be prevented but the more educated the homeowner is, in their approach to roof maintenance (i.e. when to call the roofer) and the roofing project itself, the better it is for the homeowner and the community that may be affected by accidents that occur due to lack of proper maintenance.

 How To Ensure Roofing Success

 After all of the discoveries about the differences in roofing material and what can (and may) go wrong in a roofing project, what can be done to obtain roofing project success?  Assuming the decision is not the do-it-yourself approach, the best place to start is to consult a roofing guide that will present all of the aspects that need to be considered and describe the best approach to how to make the right decisions when it comes to the roofing project.

 By doing the homework and being prepared and educated, as well as implementing the suggestions of experts (with verifiable examples), the roofing project has a good chance of being a success and everyone safe and healthy on the other end.