How Long Does a Roof Replacement Take? (Homeowner's Guide)

April 8, 2021

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If your home needs a new roof, you might wonder, how long does a roof replacement take? No homeowner wants to think that their home and property will be disrupted for several weeks just to have a new roof installed, or that they’ll need to live with the noise and inconvenience of reroofing any longer than necessary!

The average roof replacement takes between three and five days, with some smaller jobs needing only one day to complete while larger homes might require up to 7 days or more for reroofing. Weather and other such unforeseen occurrences can also interrupt a roof replacement job, so that it might take a few days longer than expected.

Knowing a bit more about the roof replacement process can help a homeowner better understand why their home’s reroofing might require more time than usual, and help you plan your schedule while roofers are on your property. During roof replacement, it’s vital that you keep children and pets out from underfoot, and the noise of roof work can be very upsetting to everyone but pets and younger children especially.

As always, discuss any questions you might have about repairs or reroofing with a roof replacement company near you, as they can offer personalized recommendations and suggestions for your home in particular. You can then know how to manage any needed roofing work for your home!

How Long Does It Take to Tear Off and Replace a Roof?

roofing contractors putting a red roof

In some cases, a roofer can tear off and replace a shingle roof for a small home in as little as one day! However, most homes will require at least a few days of work for a full roof replacement. Note some factors that affect how long it takes to tear off and replace a home’s roof and how these might affect your home’s roofing needs in particular.

  • Certain roofing materials are more difficult to remove than others. Shingles are relatively easy to remove, while metal, rubber roof membranes, and wood shakes are moderately difficult to remove. Clay and slate tile are typically the most difficult to remove and might add several days to your reroofing project.
  • Obviously the larger the roof, the more time it will take to tear off its current materials and install new materials.
  • Lots of obstructions such as dormers and skylights can also make the job more difficult and time-consuming.
  • A roof’s architecture can also make re-roofing more complex. Added surfaces such as dormers and hips make it more difficult to get around the roof safely, so your roofer will then need more time for a roof tear-off and replacement.
  • It’s vital that roof decking and other layers stay dry, so a roofer will usually need to stop work if it should start to rain or snow; he or she will usually cover the roof and wait until the weather dries out before beginning work again.
  • Damaged roofing materials including joists and rafters typically need replacing or repairs before the outer roofing layers can be added, and this also adds time to your reroofing project.
  • The size of your roofing crew also affects how long it takes to complete a project! The more roofers working on your home’s roof, the less time they’ll need to complete your home’s roof replacement.

The BEST Time to Replace a Roof

roof requiring replacing

There is no “right or wrong” time or season for roof replacement, as this will depend on the weather in your area. For example, snowy winters are not a good time to replace a roof; however, in tropical areas without snowfall, a cool and mild winter can be an excellent time for roof replacement!

Mild summers without heavy rains can allow for longer daylight hours that allow a roofer to get the job done quickly, while hot and humid summers in the tropics or desert area can be unsafe for roofers. In some areas, springtime means heavy rains while in other places, mild spring weather provides an excellent opportunity for roof tear-off and replacement projects.

A homeowner might also ask their roofer if they have an off-season when their business is slow, during which time they might offer a discount on your needed reroofing! A roofer might also warn against scheduling roofing work during certain times of the year in your area, due to inclement weather or other such factors. To determine the best time of year for reroofing in your area, talk to a local roofing contractor.

Can You Stay In Your House While the Roof Is Being Replaced?

A homeowner should never walk around the outside of their home during roof repairs and replacement, and should always keep children and pets away from those areas as well. Roofers try diligently to contain the mess during a tear-off but scrap materials, nails, and dropped tools can still cause injury to anyone below. Barking dogs upset at those strangers and all that commotion can also become very bothersome to roofers and your neighbors!

Roofing work is also very noisy, as contractors might need to use scrapers to remove shingles, underlayment, and other materials, and are constantly hammering to install new shingles or tiles. In addition to all that noise, a roofing crew yelling instructions to each other can also become very distracting and bothersome!

While there is typically no concern for your safety if you stay inside a home during reroofing, the noise and vibration from this work can be more bothersome than you might realize. If you’re typically home during the day, it’s often recommended that you arrange for you, your children and your pets to stay elsewhere during a reroofing project, at least as much as possible.

Do Roofers Need to Come Inside?

Roofers rarely need to come inside your home during a roof inspection or reroofing project, unless there is a leak in the home or damage to roofing materials they cannot reach from the home’s exterior. If a roof inspection spots damage only accessible through the home’s interior, your roofer should note this before any roof repairs begin, so you know if the crew will be coming into your home and what areas they’ll need to access.

Also, note that roofers will typically arrange for portable toilets to be delivered to your property or ensure their crew uses public restrooms elsewhere. Roofers should never need to use your facilities or even ask for water during their work.

Should Gutters Be Removed When Replacing a Roof?

reroofing project with gutter removal

It’s not always necessary to remove gutters when replacing a roof but it’s often recommended, so that a roofer can inspect their seals and roof edge seals properly. The edges of roof decking might also show signs of damage and wear, indicating that it needs replacing or repairs.

Removing gutters during reroofing also allows a roofer to note if the gutters need replacing or readjusting. Older gutters might develop cracks and other damage that allow rainwater and melting snow to seep through their sides rather than to nearby downspouts. Heavy water and other debris can also affect gutter angles, which can result in clogs or which can pull gutters away from the home itself.

Roofers might also drop nails or scrape shingle granules off the existing roof while working, and this debris can end up in gutters if they’re not removed, risking clogs. To avoid these risks and ensure a roofing job that lasts, ask your roofer if he or she plans on removing the gutters before getting started!

What If It Rains While Replacing a Roof?

rain water falling off roof and into the gutters

Roofers cannot work in the rain, as roof decking and other materials need to stay dry to avoid wood rot, mold, and other damage. Wet roofs are also very slippery and unsafe!

If it rains while replacing a roof, a roofing crew will typically cover the roof, including any open areas, with thick tarps, securing them in place as needed. They will also ensure roofing materials are covered or otherwise secured so they can stay dry. Once the weather lets up and the roof surface is safe again, they will then resume work.

What Is the Best Roofing Material?

metal roofing tiles

A roof replacement is an excellent opportunity to upgrade to more durable or visually appealing roofing material. While choosing an upgraded material might be more expensive, it can also mean the last roof replacement you’ll ever need for your home! A more attractive material can also mean added curb appeal and, in some cases, improved property values.

Asphalt shingles

Asphalt shingles are probably the most commonly used roofing material today, as they’re very affordable and easy to install. Shingles also work well with a wide variety of home styles, and can ensure your home blends in well with others in the neighborhood.

The downside to shingles is that they might last only 20 to 25 years before needing replacing and they don’t offer the same insulation as other materials. Note, too, that shingle quality will also vary from one manufacturer to the next, so it’s vital that you invest in a name-brand shingle with a long warranty for your home.

Clay tiles

Scalloped clay tiles offer a stunning Mediterranean look that provides a perfect complement to homes in tropical areas. Clay is also dense and durable, offers lots of insulation for interior spaces, and can last some 40 to 50 years. They are also noncombustible so your home will suffer less damage during a fire if you should invest in a clay tile roof!

One downside to clay tiles is their overall weight. A home might need added framing to support clay tiles, and this can add to your roof replacement costs. Clay is also on the high end of roof replacement costs!

Metal tiles or panels

Metal is quickly becoming a favorite roof replacement choice, as the material is durable and recyclable, and light enough that it can be installed over the current roof where local building codes allow. Metal can also be painted or powder-coated any variety of colors, so you’re sure to find a metal choice that fits your home’s exterior color and style.

Metal roofing also lasts for 40 to 50 years if not longer, so a metal roof can be the last roof you ever need for your home. It’s also noncombustible, adding to your safety in case of a house fire. Metal panels also offer excellent insulating properties for interior spaces.

While metal is an excellent investment for any home, it’s also one of the more expensive options for your property. Not every roofer knows how to install metal, so you might also need to consider if there are local roofers available in case you need future repairs for your new metal roof.

Slate roofing

Natural slate offers lots of visual appeal, and slate is very durable, lasting up to 50 years and even longer. Slate is also easy to recycle, making it a very eco-friendly choice for homeowners.

If you do decide on slate roofing, note that it’s very heavy and your home will probably need added framing. This adds to the cost and time it takes for your roof replacement project.

Wood shake

The primary benefit of wood shake roofing is its rustic appearance, making it an excellent choice for traditional or Cape Cod style homes, as well as for cottages or lakeside properties. Wood shakes are also hand cut, as opposed to machine-cut shingles, which give them even more visual appeal.

Wood is also easily recycled while offering lots of added insulation for your home. However, wood is not the most fire-resistant choice of residential roofing, and fire codes in some areas might even disallow wood-shake roofing!

When deciding between these new roofing options, remember to consider any special installation or maintenance issues you might face, and how your roofing option might affect your home’s value. It’s also good to consider how easy it is to clean certain roofing materials, and if it will complement your home’s overall style as well.

Professional Roofing Staten Island is proud to offer this information to our readers and we hope it answered the question of how long does a roof replacement take. If you need new roofing or roof repair in Staten Island, give us a call! We offer a full line of roofing materials and ensure quality work that lasts! To find out more or to get started with your FREE consultation, give us a call today!


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