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Is that roofer telling you the truth? 

A roofer says you need a new roof. You get a second opinion from another roofer. He says you don’t.

Who do you trust? You might be inclined to take the word of the roofing company who says you don’t need to spend any money.

“The contractor who says you don’t need a new roof is more than likely being honest, because what other reason would he have to say that?”. “I can’t believe a roofer with any kind of experience, who wants to work, would be willing to throw away a job.”

Even an honest contractor might be wrong, so you need to consider the company's experience and track record when making a decision, get another opinion, and check the roofer’s references, Neff says.

Roof damage

Don’t take a roofers word for it when he says you need a new roof. Ask questions, and look at the proof, says Louie Leger, general manager of Bone Dry Roofing and Masonry in Louisville, Kentucky.

A contractor can show you pictures of the damage, or even walk you through your attic to point out spots where your roof leaks, Leger says.

RELATED: The real cost of a new roof

After seeing the damage or degradation, ask questions so you understand the scope of the problem, says Marcy Zammer, vice president of highly rated Castelli Roofing & General Construction in Philadelphia. Ask: How many years will you get out of your existing roof? Could you get the roof serviced and coated? Is trying to save the roof worth it?

Castelli Roofing gives two options for roofs at the end of their lifespan: A service coating and 2-year warranty if workers believe the roof will last that long, and a new roof installation, Zammer says.

You want your roofer to justify why you need a new roof and why a replacement won’t do, especially when it comes to storm damage, Neff says. “Say ‘why do I need a roof? Why can’t I repair it? I want to see why you say that.’ Because that’s what the insurance company will do.”

Know when you need a new roof

Make sure to understand what types of damage might require a new roof, Zammer says. Are you missing shingles? Does the roof leak in several places every time it rains? Are your shingles curling, buckling or shedding granules? Is the roof old? If so, you may need a new one.

But if a roofer spots a few scratches or dents on your shingles and your roof is new, you probably don’t need a new roof.

Each instance is different, and there’s no magic answer for when you need a new roof and when you don’t, so make sure you consider the roofer’s background and experience before deciding whether to follow his advice.

Typically, avoid companies that try to “hard-sell” you into buying a new roof, Zammer says. “If a company is honest and successful, they will not oversell the recommendation.”


7 Signs you need a new roof >

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