Depending on the type of roof you have, you can expect it to last between 20 and 50 years before requiring a full replacement. Even if you keep up with regular maintenance and don’t get hit by roof-damaging storms, you’ll still need a new roof eventually.
At Freeman Exteriors, we like to be as transparent as possible with our clients. We got a ton of frequently asked questions, and today we’re doing a deep dive into an important one.
How long does it take to replace a roof? While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer to this question, there are factors that can help you estimate a rough timeline.
Ready to learn more? Read on to find out what to expect from a new roof installation and how long it might take.
How Long Does It Take to Replace a Roof on Average?
As we mentioned earlier, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long roof replacement takes. For smaller jobs, it can take as little as one day. However, there are roof replacement projects that can take up to a few weeks from start to finish.
As you plan your roof replacement, don’t hesitate to ask questions about the timeline and process. Early stages, like inspection, won’t be that disruptive to your daily routine. However, when it comes time to remove old materials and install new materials, you can expect some noise and disruption.
Since the process is on the loud side, we always recommend giving surrounding neighbors a heads-up once you know when the replacement will take place. You may also want to find accommodation for kids or pets, as they need to remain inside or off the property while your contractors work on your roof. If you work from home, you may want to refrain from scheduling calls or meetings on those days as well.
What Factors Impact Roof Installation Times?
Why is the roof replacement timeline so varied? Factors ranging from the size and condition of your roof to the weather can lead to delays or increased workloads that take longer to complete. Let’s take a closer look at the conditions that might affect your roof replacement schedule.
The Size of the Roof
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to understand that roof size does make a difference. If you have a large roof, it’s going to take longer to remove the existing materials and replace them.
In some cases, we may be able to send a larger crew to cover more surface area at once. However, we’re often in high demand, and a smaller crew will need more time to replace a large roof.
Pitch and Complexity
The pitch and complexity of your roof will impact the steps needed to replace it. A low-pitch roof that is mostly uninterrupted by features like a chimney or dormer won’t require any extra time, materials, or considerations.
However, if your roof has a steep pitch and lots of walls, penetrations, valleys, and hips to work around, your contractor will need more time to execute roof replacement. These additional features will also require the installation of flashing and other materials to ensure a tight seal against water and other elements.
Roofing Materials and Shingle Options
Asphalt shingles are by far the most common choice for residential properties around the country. Asphalt is a reliable and economical material that takes about one to two days to install.
Other popular or premium shingles may take longer to install. Other choices include:
- metal: three to five days
- tile: five to seven days
- slate or synthetic slate: seven to ten days
- wood shake or wood shingles: seven to ten days
- concrete: five to ten days
Why do some materials take longer to install than others? Slate, for example, is a delicate material that requires extra care. By taking extra time to install delicate materials, your contractors prevent unnecessary damage that would lead to higher costs and longer installation times.
Weather and Time of Year
It’s no secret that we’ve got four seasons in Illinois and Indiana. While summer offers plenty of sunlight, the winter season is dark and temperatures dip drastically. In fact, we only get between 17 and 21 clear days in the winter months.
While a little cloud cover won’t bring your roof installation to a halt, inclement weather will. Conditions like heavy rain, snow, sleet, and ice will lead to delays in your roof replacement. Plus, fewer hours of daylight means that professional roofers have fewer hours to get work done each day.
The Condition of Your Roof
When we talk about installing a new roof, we’re actually talking about a varied process. For some homes, this can mean removing old shingles and replacing them while leaving other materials intact. For others, roof replacement may require all new roof decking.
If your roof is far past its replacement due date or has incurred water damage, expect the process to take longer. While this can be frustrating, it simply means that you’re left with a brand-new roof that will last for decades.
What Happens During the Roof Replacement Process?
Now that you know why the roof replacement timeline is so varied from one property to another, it’s time to get a sense of what actually happens during that time. What can you expect after you contact the best roofer near you? Let’s take a look.
It’s important that you know your options and feel confident in your contractor before making a decision. We always offer a free consultation during which we’ll discuss the state of your roof, answer any questions you have, and provide projected estimates.
If you’re relying on homeowner insurance to cover all or part of your roof replacement, getting an estimate will help you to file an accurate claim. Keep in mind that your insurance company will still want to send out an adjuster before offering coverage, which may extend your timeline.
Before heading up to the roof, your contractors will take any necessary steps to protect sensitive or vulnerable areas on your property. This may involve laying tarps over porches and even flower beds or nearby landscaping. The goal is to prevent damage while materials are removed and added to your roof.
Remember that hiring an insured roofing company is a must. While professional roofers do their best to prevent damage altogether, accidents can happen. If you hire a contractor that doesn’t have proper insurance, any property damage (or worker injuries) will become your liability, rather than the company’s.
The next step will involve removing all materials that require replacement. Your roofing contractors will need to install a dumpster on your property (preferably in the driveway) to hold and haul waste. They may remove all materials down to the decking and stop there or they may remove damaged decking as needed.
This is the beginning of the installation process that requires the utmost caution. As we mentioned earlier, it’s imperative that you keep pets and children out of the yard to avoid potential safety hazards.
In some cases, removal and installation will happen on the same day. In others, your contractors may need to return the following day (or for several days in a row) to complete installation.
Depending on the state of your old roof, the following may be installed in this order:
- drip edge
- ice and water shield
- starter shingles
- main shingles
Once again, this is a noisy process. Depending on the time of year, your contractors may want to get started as early as 6 AM to make the most of daylight hours. It is important to prepare accordingly for a smooth install.
Once the installation is complete, your contractors will clean up the area. This includes removing any tarps or protective materials that were laid during preparation. It will also include hauling away the dumpster that was used to contain waste.
Our professional roofers always try to remove any roofing materials from your yard before leaving. However, we do recommend doing a sweep to look for sharp objects your contractors may have missed before releasing pets and kids into the yard or using your lawn mower.
How to Speed Up Your Roof Replacement
As a homeowner, you want the highest-quality work possible—but you also don’t want it to take weeks from start to finish. While some things can’t be avoided, like the time it takes to install premium materials, there are a few steps that you can take to try to speed up your roof replacement. Let’s take a look at what those steps are so that you can have speedier service.
Get Ahead of the Curve
As we mentioned earlier, the condition of your roof does have an impact. If your roofers need to repair serious damage before they can get to installation, it’s likely going to add an extra day or two to your timeline.
It may seem reasonable to let your roof go until it’s time for a full replacement. However, staying on top of maintenance can spare you the headache of a weeks-long installation process. Invest in roof repairs as needed and consider replacing your roof before it’s falling to pieces.
Schedule for Summer Replacement
While you can schedule roof replacement services all year round, some seasons are better than others. Winter is the worst season to schedule a roof replacement in the mid-west because we get frequent winter storms and freezes. This can lead to unexpected delays on top of shorter workdays.
On the flip side, late spring and summer are great times to schedule your roof replacement. Because spring may bring heavy rainfall, we consider the summer season the optimal time to get your roof serviced.
Keep Roof Access Clear
One thing that will slow down your roof installation is a blocked path to the roof. This can increase preparation time and add obstructions that your roofers have to work around, which will slow them down.
If you have trees with branches that hang low over your roof, trim back those branches before your roof replacement date. We also recommend moving any outdoor furniture, toys, or potted plants that are in the immediate vicinity of your house, particularly if they’re in the way of easy access points to the roof or power outlets your roofers may need to use.
If you have a driveway, consider parking on the street or in the garage. That way, your roofers can park their vehicle and the dumpster close to your home, making it easy to get to any tools or materials they need.
Make Yourself Available
While a thorough consultation should clear up most questions, situations can arise that will require your input. Your roofing contractors may not want to proceed with a certain step or procedure until they know what you want them to do.
To avoid unnecessary delays, make yourself available while your contractors are at work on your roof. We prefer that at least one household decision-maker is at home for all or most of the installation process. That way, we can clear up any questions or alert you to unexpected conditions right away.
Call Freeman Exteriors for IN and IL Roof Replacement
If you’re a homeowner, it’s inevitable that you’ll someday ask, “How long does it take to replace a roof?” We hope that this comprehensive guide has given you all of the information you need to make informed decisions moving forward.
Are you looking for professional roofers in Illinois or Indiana? Freeman Exteriors may be the right choice for you. Contact us to let us know about the roofing and siding services you need and we’ll be in touch right away.