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What to Expect When Installing a Roof

Having a roof replaced is an experience that many homeowners go through at least once. While it can sound like a real headache, if you are aware of what to expect in advance, and plan ahead, you can enjoy a hassle-free re-roof or repair process.

Inside and Outside - What to Expect from Your Roof Install

A great deal of debris ��namely, your old roof��will literally be thrown down from the top of your house into your yard during this project. To minimize damage, the yard should be cleared of everything that can be removed��law ornaments, hose, potted plants, etc. Valued landscaping/plant life should be marked with red tape and covered with tarp; any in-ground sprinkler system should be visibly marked as well. Discuss this process with your contractor so you can be sure to leave adequate space for the workers to do their job. It's better to choose a small area of lawn as a designated 'sacrifice' than to deny them access to anything, which usually means debris will be thrown everywhere.

One advance precaution that most people forget until it's too late is to warn the neighbors of the impending temporary increase in noise and traffic. You yourself may want to make plans to be out of the house during working hours to avoid the loud sounds. If you need any neighbors to move their vehicles to allow for a clearer path for the roofing trucks, make sure to give them plenty of notice, and offer to do the same for them should they ever need it.

Many homeowners don't consider that having work done on the roof outside can affect what's going on inside. Persistent hammering and multiple people walking above can cause your home's structure to shake. If you live in an earthquake-prone area, your home is likely already in pretty good shape to handle this added activity. If you don't, you may want to perform a more thorough walk-through before any roofing activity commences.

Start by looking up. Anything mounted to the ceiling, whether it's hanging plants or chandeliers, is in danger of breaking and/or causing cracks to form in the surrounding ceiling. Grab a ladder and a screwdriver, and take down whatever you can. (This can be a great reason for finally cleaning off that dusty ceiling fan.) In a multi-story home, items hung from your first floor ceilings may or may not need to come down; ask your contractor for specifics.

After the ceilings have been cleared, turn to the walls and take down any photographs, art, or other hanging objects. You will also want to be on the lookout for furniture and decorations vulnerable to heavy tremors, like a glass display case or a vase resting on an unsteady table. You'll want to remove these items to safer locations until your new roof is complete. The company you hire may even provide an extra pair of hands or two to take these items down and/or put them back up, if you need them.

Now that you know what to expect take a look at some important roofing considerations to think through before the project begins.


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