Reroofing Guide – How to Know When You Need It?

Determining if you need a new roof involves inspecting the current condition of your roof for signs of damage, wear, or aging.

Regardless of its material, your roof bears the brunt of extreme weather, heavy winds, and unrelenting rays from the sun. To ensure your home’s well-being, you should periodically check your roof to ensure all is sound.

Re-roofing is a significant project, and if done right, it will last for years and add value to your home. Plenty of questions go hand in hand with re-roofing, but this guide can help make things clear.

How Do I Know if I Need a New Roof?

There are several signs to tell you that you need a new roof. These include:

  • Sagging – This is a signal that you have a large problem that needs to be taken care of sooner rather than later. If you have a metal roof, sagging is a huge red flag because of the durable nature of metal roofs. There is a strong chance that your roof has structural damage from corrosion, water damage, or rot.
  • Loose Roof Tiles or Panels – Strong storms are often the cause of loose tiles or panels. You will want to have a professional inspect and repair your roof as soon as possible because this is a problem that can lead to electrical issues, mould, structural damage, or leaks.
  • Corrosion – Constant exposure to Australian elements can lead to metal roof corrosion. While this can happen anywhere, it is more likely if your home is in a coastal area and persistently in contact with the salty sea air. Corrosion is often evidence of structural damage and should be addressed right away.
  • Flaking Paint – Often, extreme temperature fluctuations or storm damage lead to the problem of flaking paint. Aside from looking unsightly, flaking paint means your metal roof is exposed to the elements and vulnerable to rust.
  • Moisture Damage – Even a tiny leak can lead to the big problem of moisture damage. You should immediately get your roof inspected if you notice any of these nine signs of moisture damage.
    • Clogged gutters
    • Damp spots
    • Darkened or discoloured ceiling paint
    • Dripping water
    • Mildew or mould on the ceiling
    • Peeling, cracked, or bubbling paint
    • Unexpected areas of moisture in your home
    • Water spots on exterior walls
    • Water spots on the ceiling

What are the Steps in Re-Roofing?

After noticing one or more of the signs you need re-roofing, several steps are necessary to get your new roof.

  1. Your roofer will inspect and measure your roof.
  2. Get an estimate of the cost of re-roofing and materials recommendations.
  3. Workers prepare and clean the area and set up their workspace.
  4. The workers remove existing roof materials and inspect for structural damage.
  5. Replace any damaged roof materials as needed.
  6. Place reflective foil or another insulation, then put down your new roof.
  7. Thoroughly clean up the work area.

It's crucial to note that re-roofing can be a complex task, and it is often advisable to hire a professional roofing contractor with experience in the specific type of roofing material being installed.

How Do I Prepare for Re-Roofing?

Like many home repair or renovation projects, there are several steps you should take before the roofers arrive.

  • Take down artwork, mirrors, hanging décor and wall-mounted light fixtures to protect them. Additionally, if you have valuables in your attic, remove or cover them before the work begins.
  • Make a plan to keep your children and pets safe. Explain to children that areas will be off-limits while the roofers are working. In some cases, the easiest thing to do is take the kids and pets to friends or family.
  • Move vehicles, patio furniture, yard décor and grills out of the way so the roofers will not need to spend time working around them.
  • Trim overhanging branches from trees or bushes and mow your lawn the day before the roofers arrive.
  • Ensure the roofers have clear access to all areas needed to complete the job.
  • Tell your neighbours about your plans so they will not be unpleasantly surprised by the noise.

What Should I Do if I Have an Asbestos Roof?

Even though asbestos has been banned in Australia since 2003, it was an extremely popular product used in roofing and numerous other construction projects from the 1950s through the 1990s. This means that if your home is over 30 years old, there is a strong likelihood you may encounter asbestos if you are having your house re-roofed.

Asbestos is easily disturbed, which leads to the fibres becoming airborne. Once in the air, asbestos fibres can be swallowed because of their minute size they are unnoticeable.

The potential for finding and disturbing asbestos makes a strong case for avoiding DIY re-roofing. Because of the dangers asbestos poses, professionals must handle it with the proper equipment and training to remove it safely.

What are the Dangers of Inhaling Asbestos?

Several serious illnesses may appear over time if you breathe in asbestos fibres. These include:

  • Asbestosis, a disease that causes permanent lung damage
  • Lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer that affects the chest and stomach lining
  • Cancer of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney, and throat
  • Scarring in the lining of the lungs
  • Pleural effusions, the collecting of water around the lungs

Can I Have My Home Re-Roofed if I Have Solar Panels?

Solar panels are prevalent across Australia for good reasons. The sun-soaked landscape is quite suitable for using solar power. Additionally, solar panels do not harm the environment, and those who rely on the sun’s power have lower utility bills than those who use traditional means of energy. Because of this popularity, those in the roofing industry created a way to re-roof that has a manageable price tag.

Re-roofing a house with solar panels involves careful planning and coordination to ensure that the solar installation is integrated seamlessly with the new roofing materials.

Re-roofing with Solar Panels

The process requires the panels to be removed to prevent damage. Be sure to check with the re-roofing company about their experience removing and reinstalling solar panels. Without a doubt, the panels should be handled by those with experience, so there is a chance you may need to call a solar panel installation company.

What to Expect

  • You will need to coordinate the timing of your solar panel removal with that of your re-roofing unless your contractor also installs and removes solar panels.
  • Find out if the original brackets and mounting hardware are compatible with the new roofing material. Some homeowners skip this step and are unpleasantly surprised by additional costs for buying hardware and brackets that work on the new roof.
  • Plan on having no power for a short bit of time after your panels come down.
  • For the duration of the re-roofing, you will need to connect to a non-solar power source, like the grid. You should prepare for higher utility bills that month because of your time without solar power.
  • The team re-roofing your home will do the necessary tasks, and you will have the new roof you need.
  • The final steps include installing the solar panels and reconnecting to your power supply.

When you see signs that your roof is no longer as sturdy as it once was, be sure to address the problem right away. Putting it off will eventually compound your situation, leading to more extensive and costly repairs.

If you would like information regarding our roofing or other construction services, please get in touch with DT Construction WA. Our team of experienced and certified professionals are happy to answer your questions or set an appointment to meet with you.

Lauchlan Allen

With a project management background from two large construction companies, I want to build Penmaes and DTC into a successful, detail-oriented and safe construction company. I enjoy camping and travelling when I can manage some time away and have recently gotten married. I grew up with an architect father who runs a very successful firm out of Subiaco. My 3 brothers and I were brought up with constant new builds, projects and outdoor sports which now doesn’t surprise me that all of us are in the construction industry. With already nearly a decade of construction experience, I continue to learn new techniques and management styles that are imperative for the growth of a construction company. We have recently just completed an incredibly remote mine camp, this was something I had never done before but am incredibly grateful for the chance. I learnt a huge amount about the necessity to properly plan each move to maximise cost and efficiency. DTC and Penmaes have great futures that I am incredibly proud of already.