Roof tile installation

Roof Replacement

Updated December 5, 2016 . AmFam Team

The longer you wait to replace a damaged or old roof, the more chances problems will arise. Don’t hold off! Learn the benefits of replacing your roof, how much it might cost to replace your roof and how your homeowners insurance can help you if your roof is damaged from the unexpected.

Your roof is one of the most important features of your home — after all, it helps protect everything underneath it. An old, leaky roof can damage insulation, cause paint to peel and drywall to buckle, leading to collapse. Leaks also present a huge health hazard by allowing mold and mildew to set into walls. The sooner you replace an unsafe roof, the more money and stress you’ll save yourself in the long run.

We’ve highlighted some benefits to replacing your roof, what affects the cost and how your homeowners insurance can help protect your roof from the unexpected. Let’s take a look.

What Are the Benefits of a New Roof?

Safety is usually the first concern and priority for making sure your roof is in top condition. Beyond that, there are a number of other benefits to replacing your roof.

Safety. Don’t hold off on getting your roof fixed or replaced! The longer you wait, the more problems can arise. It’ll pay to take care of the problem right away since old roofs can collapse or cause some of your home to become uninhabitable.

Increased property value. Thanks to a long-lasting upgrade and strong curb appeal, your home will go up in value and that new roof will practically pay for itself.

Lower energy bills. Getting a new roof is a good time to check your insulation. Proper insulation helps keep heat from escaping through your roof. This means your HVAC system won’t have to work overtime to stabilize the temperature of your home, resulting in savings on your energy bills.

A manufacturer’s warranty. If your new roof is installed by a certified contractor, you may be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty.

Health. A new roof helps prevent certain health hazards, like mold and mildew.

Peace of mind. A new roof can help you sleep easier at night knowing you have dependable protection over your head.

How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Roof?

Prices for a new roof vary greatly depending on a number of factors. For instance, the location of your home, the size and pitch of your roof, accessibility, if you have any adornments, such as a chimney or skylights, and of course the material you choose play a big role in determining cost.

Here are some common roof types to choose from, including advantages and disadvantages of each. There is a roof type for every budget, but remember that certain materials last longer than others, so a less expensive option isn’t always better.

Architectural asphalt composition shingles typically have a longer life expectancy than three-tab asphalt composition shingles, but they’re more expensive.

Three-tab asphalt composition shingles are less expensive but have a shorter life expectancy than architectural asphalt composition shingles. Asphalt shingles are the most common residential roofing material used in the United States since they’re economical and easy to install.

Metal panels are attractive, fire resistant, lightweight and have a long life expectancy. They’re expensive compared to asphalt composition shingles and susceptible to denting from hail and other sources.

Wood shakes are also attractive, but expensive compared to asphalt composition shingles. They’re also highly susceptible to hail damage and often prohibited by local fire codes.

Slate is attractive, fire resistant and has a long life expectancy, but is expensive compared to asphalt composition shingles.

Rubber slate or “faux” slate is less expensive than real slate and has a long life expectancy. It’s made with recycled rubber or plastic, is eco-friendly and resistant to scuffs and tears.

Tile is attractive and has a long life expectancy but is only an option in warm-weather climates.

Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Damages to My Roof?

With American Family Insurance, your roof is covered by your homeowners insurance, but how you’re covered depends on specific factors. For starters, your base homeowners policy provides replacement cost coverage for losses other than wind and hail. And, if your roof is eligible based on its age and type (e.g. shingles, tiles, slate, wood shake, etc.), roof replacement cost coverage is available for wind and hail damage as well. This means that in the event your roof is damaged due to acts of "Mother Nature", hail, windstorm, down trees and limbs, down power line or satellite dish, we’ll typically reimburse you for the full amount it would cost to repair (or if the damage is significant enough, replace) your damaged roof, minus your deductible. However, if you choose not to repair or replace your roof, our payment will be limited to the actual cash value of the damage to your roof. 

Check out our roof replacement coverage page for a closer look at how your homeowners insurance covers damages to your roof.

The benefits of a new roof typically outweigh the costs — in fact, it’s one of the highest returns on investment of all home improvements. And many roofing companies offer free consultations to help you determine what your roof may need, so you gain confidence before making any big decisions. When it comes to hiring a contractor, make sure you do your due diligence before signing any contractors. Here are some tips on avoiding contractor fraud and how to choose a contractor.

Not to mention, American Family offers a reduced rating on impact-resistant roofs. A quick conversation with your American Family agent (Opens in a new tab) could help you get the new roof you’re looking for at a better price!

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    Your home is more than a roof over your head. It’s where your dreams grow, your family thrives and memories are made. But the possessions you keep inside are important, too.

    Whether you’re renting an apartment or own your home, you’ve most likely got an insurance policy designed to protect your dwelling and the things inside. Should the unthinkable happen and you have to use that insurance policy, it’s important to have a plan in place. And a home inventory list is a great way to get started!

    We’ll walk you through how to create a home inventory so — in the event of the unexpected — you’ll be more prepared and have a streamlined recovery.

    What Is a Home Inventory?

    Quite simply, a home inventory is a complete list of all the items, especially valuables, in and around your home. The best home inventories include photos, descriptions and dollar values of each of your belongings. The more detail, the better! It’ll help you provide a comprehensive list to your agent of items lost in the event your home is damaged or destroyed, allowing you to get the most out of your coverage.

    When your describing the items in your list, remember that the more information, the better. Here’s a quick reference list of the type of information you should include in your home inventory list:

    • An in-depth description of the items. For example, rather than writing down “diamond ring,” be more descriptive, such as: “an emerald cut diamond ring, with white gold shank, accent stones and initials inscribed below the bridge.”
    • Make, model, and/or serial number of the items.
    • Date of purchase, receipts and photos.
    • Estimated replacement cost if you bought it today. Do note that the value of the items might be different today than it was when you first bought them. This is especially true with jewelry, and other valuables.
    • Appraisals at time of purchase. Especially if your items were appraised for insurance purposes.

    Why Do I Need a Home Inventory?

    Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, everyone can benefit from a home inventory!

    If you ever have to make a claim, a home inventory is a great asset to have, especially after stressful events like theft, storm damage or a fire (take a look at how one renter used their home inventory after facing an apartment fire).

    When you make a claim, you typically submit information on everything that was lost — which can be difficult to do off the top of your head for all your possessions. Remembering to replace your TV or computer are no-brainers, but when it comes to remembering each piece of jewelry in your jewelry box, things tend to get overlooked. Having a personal property inventory will help, along with knowing how to properly insure your jewelry.

    When you have your home inventory checklist, you know exactly what needs to be replaced, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your entire household is protected.

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    You’re admiring the rain from the comfort of your home when you notice a sound — the unmistakable drip of water dropping onto your floor. The first and hardest step is figuring out why your roof is leaking. And with these tips, you’ll find the culprit in no time!

    Here’s Why Your Roof Is Leaking

    The list of reasons why your roof is leaking may seem long, but don’t worry — when it comes to finding the leak and fixing it, the finding is the hardest part. And the good thing about these problems? They can all be fixed. Check out the list and see what’s troubling your roof:

    Your roof is old

    Roofs don’t last forever. Protecting your home and everything inside it from the elements comes with a cost. And with all that rain, snow, ice, wind and even sunlight wearing down your roof, it becomes more susceptible to leaks. Every roof will eventually need to be replaced, so learn more about how long your roof should last based on what it’s made of.

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    There’s no good time to find out your roof needs repair — but you may be able to mitigate that pain by routinely checking your roof for damage after severe weather. Waiting for a leak or damage to present itself gives the problem time to grow and worsen.

    And sometimes, you’ll be faced with expensive roof and interior damage repairs if you’re not diligent. By being proactive and checking your roof for damage after severe weather hits can help your roof — and your savings — stay healthy.