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A new roof? Haaaaail yes!

Our neighbors are getting a new roof.  In the process of having all the work done, we've gotten to know the roofing crew and the guy in charge.

One day I asked if I could chat roofs with him.  He graciously agreed and before I knew it we were on my roof and he was filling my brain with all things roof.  We talked specifically about adding vents to help with the ice dams our house got not once, or twice, but thrice last winter.  We talked about how much it would cost to replace our roof or change the fascia out for a different color.  It was getting late so there wasn't much light but he thought we still had 10 years or so left on our roof.  That was a relief, especially after hearing the price to replace it.

A few days later, though, he came to talk to us again and this time it was light enough outside for him to see that we had hail damage.  I had no idea a roof could even get hail damage!  It turns out they were actually replacing our neighbor's roof because they had hail damage too.  From my understanding, hail can crack, break, or dent the shingles in a way that the tar part of the shingle is exposed to the sun.  From there the sun heats the tar and the spot keep expanding and shortening the life of the roof.  He asked if he could mark all our hail damage and we agreed.

After a few hours our roof and window wraps were covered in white circles where there was damage.

We were a little weary about whether this was a legitimate problem so we called our insurance company and they decided to send an adjuster out to see if we had damage or not.  A few weeks later we had another person up on our roof checking things out.  They agreed: hail damage.  The entire roof needs replacing and insurance will pay for it, minus our deductible.  Do we want an almost-free roof now or an expensive roof in a few years?  We'll take the almost-free one now!

We're excited but it's happening pretty fast.  We have up to two years to do the work but there's not really a reason to wait, plus we could put vents on before winter and try to fix that ice dam problem.

So now, we're taking daily walks, staring at all our neighbor's roofs and trying to decide what color we want.  We're having a really hard time deciding so we're going to post some options on the blog in the next few days to see if you guys can help us decide!

This is our first time filing an insurance claim, so for those of you who have gone through this before, do you have any advice for us?


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  1. Yay to a new roof! Do you mind if I throw in my 2 cents?

    – the ice/water barrier should be run a minimum of 7′ above the exterior wall (the overhang is covered but not included in this measurement)
    – if your insurance will cover it look at GAF/ELK architectural shingles
    – architectural shingles have better coverage and look better
    – ridge vents are the most efficient way to vent your attic and is easy to change when the roof is redone
    – don’t allow them to re-roof on top of any existing roofing
    – include in the contract that all soft or water damaged plywood should be replaced even if it is an extra cost
    – a medium or lighter color can reduce cooling costs and some say ice damming
    – look at how your fascia is attached and how it will be affected when the new roof is put on

    • Thanks for all the info! We’re with you on most of these. Adding extra ice/water barrier is a good idea, especially with the problems we’ve had with ice dams. Insurance covers 3-tab shingles but we’re going to upgrade to architectural for the better strength/aesthetics.

      I’m not sure ridge vents will work as well because we have a 1.5 story and the attic is finished in some areas. We have open attic in the low parts of the roof and finished attic (with insulation between the rafters) at the peak. My thought was to vent where the open attic meets finished attic to make sure we really get flow in the open area. We’ll also add vents at the peak knowing there’s a chance they won’t do much good because of the batt insulation.

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