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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Jantzi

Roof renovation: advice and questions to ask yourself before starting the work

In a renovation project, the roof of a house is often a priority. A roof in poor condition would indeed cause major problems with regard to energy loss or water infiltration which in the long term would deteriorate the frame of the house.

While roof renovation work is often entrusted to a professional roofer, more and more self-renovators are considering taking on this task in order to lower costs.

Whether you hire a professional or are thinking of renovating your roof yourself, it is important to ask yourself the right questions and collect the best advice before you start.

Re-roofing at the right time

Very often, the owners plan to renovate the roof of their house because of a damage following a storm for example. Air or water infiltration can also motivate homeowners to act.

If this configuration indeed requires undertaking renovation work without delay, it is also wise to consider renovating its roof upstream. As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure.

Our advice: check your roof regularly (at least once a year and after every bad weather) and have your roof maintained by a professional roofer.

The age of your roof is also a factor to take into account: the less recent the construction of the roof, the more it will need to be checked.

During your checks, pay particular attention to certain elements that may raise the need to undertake renovation work, such as:

  • The absence of one or more tiles or slates;

  • The appearance of moss and lichen;

  • The presence of water infiltration;

  • The appearance of oxidation or ripples on your roof.

  • Finally, the renovation of a roof can also be integrated into a project aimed at improving the insulation of the house.

Make sure your roof is properly insulated

Renovating the roof of your house is also an opportunity to take stock of the insulation of the latter. Since insulation is important both for living comfort and the environment, but also for saving money on your energy bills, it may be important to consider external insulation when renovating your roof.

Indeed, if the insulation by the roof represents a certain budget to be added to that of the renovation, it will allow you to make valuable energy savings in the long term.

In addition, you will be able to receive aid in the context of environmental renovation.

If you already have roof insulation, the renovation is an opportunity to inspect its condition and the possible presence of traces of humidity in particular.

Renovate your roof entirely or partially?

During a roof renovation project, you will surely ask yourself this question: is it necessary to renovate the entire roof? The answer to this question will indeed have an impact on the cost of the work.

It is important to know if your roof requires a partial renovation or a total renovation:

In the event that your roof has suffered damage: generally, it suffices to carry out a partial renovation (replacement or addition of tiles) to renovate your roof.

However, damage to your roof can also be a sign of poor general condition requiring complete renovation.

If your roof has moss: the presence of moss on your roof is a sign of porosity on the entire roof requiring complete renovation.

During the maintenance of your roof in the presence of a professional, it will then be important to determine whether the renovation of your roof should be partial or total.

Materials to renovate your roof

As part of a partial renovation, you will need to find tiles similar to the original tiles, which is no small feat. It is possible that the model of your tiles is no longer produced. However, you can choose a similar model (if the visual difference is not obvious) or buy your tiles from a material recovery company.

It is sometimes easier to redo your roof completely to benefit from a uniformity of the tiles even if it means reselling your original tiles which are still in good condition.

If you opt for a total renovation of your roof, you will then have to choose between several materials for your roof (tile or slate). It is generally advisable to follow local customs adapted to the climatic conditions of your region.

Permits needed to re-roof

As many works related to the modification of the exterior appearance of your house require at least an authorization issued by the town hall of your municipality, you may be wondering if it is necessary to have an authorization to carry out the renovation of its roof.

If you do not change the appearance or color of your roof, no authorization will be necessary to start the renovation work. However, it is preferable to contact your town hall to obtain authorizations for the parking of a dumpster or the reservation of a parking space.

If you want to change your type of cover, you will have to file a prior declaration of work with your town hall. Finally, be aware that the PLU (Local Urbanism Plan) of your municipality may impose a type or color of roof.

Do the renovation yourself or hire a professional roofer

More and more homeowners want to do their home renovations themselves in order to have greater freedom and above all to lower costs. As part of the renovation of roofs, it is now easily possible to rent scaffolding and equipment to carry out the work.

If you feel capable of carrying out the renovation work yourself, we advise you to think carefully about the tools that will ensure your safety (gloves, harnesses, knee pads, etc.).

You will need to find out everything you need to know before starting the work. You can also follow some video tutorials available on the internet.

If in doubt, it will still be preferable to call on a professional roofer to ensure the quality of the renovation.

The stages of renovating a roof

If you choose to renovate your roof yourself, then you will have to follow a specific order during the work.

The first step will be to first remove the moss and lichen using a brush. You can also apply a fungicide product to delay the appearance of new moss.

Then check for any water leaks by checking the roof window seals and the gutter. Check the condition of the tiles and if some are broken, replace them.

If you want to carry out insulation work on the roof of your house, you must first check the condition of the frame.

Our advice: do not discover your entire roof at the same time during the renovation work period, but carry out the renovation zone by zone.

Even if the weather is fine, remember to cover your roof so as not to take any risks.

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