RoofViews

Your Home

The Ultimate Homeowners Checklist for Your Next Roofing Project

By Annie Crawford

September 24, 2021

A young couple looking at the outside of their home with a contractor

Upcoming roofing project? Prepare like a pro using this checklist to ensure that every detail is in order before the roofers start work.

Read on to learn more about how to plan for a new roof and what steps to take to make sure the interior and exterior of your home are protected during the project, plus topics to discuss with your contractor before and after to make sure the project goes off without a hitch.

Schedule Tasks in Advance

After you choose a roofing contractor, determine if work permits are required for your roofing project. Then, clarify if you or the contractor will obtain them. Put the permit process in motion right away so that there are no delays in your project timing.

It's also important to schedule the removal and replacement of items such as satellite dishes and solar panels in advance so the service providers can coordinate these tasks around the timing of your roof project.

Prepare Your Home

Roofing is a job best left to the pros. However, minor participation on your part will make the process easier on you, your home, and your contractor. Here's how to prepare:

Connect With Your Contractor

At some point prior to work starting, your roofing contractor will need to know job site details. Be prepared to:

  • Walk the perimeter of the house and point out areas for roofers to protect or avoid.

  • Point out electrical outlets roofers can use for their power tools. If there are no available outdoor outlets, arrange for roofers to access power via an extension cord through an open window or door to your home or garage.

  • Discuss what date the materials and dumpster (if required) will be dropped off and where it is safe to do so.

  • Discuss HOA guidelines (if applicable) on construction start and stop times.

  • Verify how additions to your rooftop—such as satellite dishes and solar panels—need to be managed and time frames for having them removed.
  • Once materials have been delivered, verify that you received the correct shingle color, brand, quality, etc.

Contractor Checklist

The roofers perform prep work to ensure your roofing project goes well. Here are some "checklist items" they should be completing. Speak to your contractor if these don't occur:

  • Confirmation of project start date and time frame

  • A system to funnel debris from roof into dumpster

  • Placement of tarps to protect the driveway and landscaping

  • Protection of exterior AC unit

  • Protection of deck and patio areas

For Your Home's Exterior

Roofing involves a roofing crew, roofing materials, roof debris, and—very often—an onsite dumpster. It's messy work, but the more you cover, clean, and protect, the more seamless the outcome will be. Here are some actionable steps to take as a homeowner:

  • Protect outdoor lighting, water features, yard art, bird houses, etc. from falling roof debris that could damage delicate items.

  • Move patio furniture, barbecue grills, and children's toys away from the roof perimeter.

  • Take down flags, wind chimes, and other exterior home decorations.

  • Mow the lawn. This increases visibility of roofing debris that falls in your yard and makes for a more thorough cleanup from roofers.

  • Mark sprinkler heads with orange tape or flags so that roofers don't trip over them or damage your sprinkler system. Visibility benefits everyone!

  • Take photos of your driveway and exterior in case of damage by roofing work or the dumpster.

  • Cover flower beds and landscaping to keep roofing debris out and move potted plants. Mark especially delicate or expensive landscaping and notify roofers to take extra care around these areas.

  • Move cars, bikes, etc. from inside the garage if the dumpster or roofing materials will block access to items you'll need.

  • Walk the perimeter of your home with your contractor. Make them aware of any exterior areas that may be more delicate than others.

For Your Home's Interior

While your roofers are working hard, walls vibrate and loud noises occur. Preventative measures keep everyone comfortable:

  • Temporarily move and/or cover valuable items stored in the attic.

  • Put a drop cloth on the attic floor for a quick dust clean up. You can expect dust and debris to shake down onto the attic floor.

  • Remove or secure TVs, mirrors, china cabinets, artwork, and other valuables attached to walls.

  • Plan ahead for loud noises:



    • If you work from home, consider alternative arrangements.


    • Prepare to soothe pets and make daycare arrangements if your pet is sensitive to noises.


    • Prepare kids for disruptive and loud noises—it might be a good time for the kids to visit friends or family.


    • If staying offsite, be sure you remain in easy contact with the roofer in case of questions.


    • Cover and protect valuables (cars, storage, etc.) in the garage. The lack of insulation in most garages increases the amount of dust and debris that falls in the garage during the roofing project.


The Day Before (or Early Morning Of)

Roofers start early, so be ready before they come. Take these final steps the night before if you're a late riser:

  • Move your cars to the street for easy worker access.

  • Keep any and all pets indoors. Or, if necessary, move pets and/or family to a pre-arranged location.

  • Unlock or arrange for access to gates or other obstacles to the home's perimeter.

After the Project

Once the roofing project is complete and contractor cleanup has occurred, make sure you're satisfied with the job and that you have all the necessary paperwork for your warranty. These follow-up steps can help you enjoy your investment for years to come:

Final Inspections

  • Visually inspect your lawn, landscaping, gutters, and patios. Ensure all debris has been removed. If you spot a loose nail or two in the grass, that may mean more are lurking unseen. You can request for roofers to return for another magnetized sweep (to catch fallen nails) and debris removal, if necessary.
  • Inspect your driveway for debris and possible damage from the dumpster or roofing materials.
  • Use binoculars or ask the contractor if they use a drone to take photos to view the roof. Note questions—if any—to ask your contractor.
  • Arrange a walk-through with the contractor to finalize the job. Ask all your questions, point out damage (if applicable), request additional cleanup services if loose nails or debris still linger, and have them walk you around your home while providing a description of work performed.
  • Contact providers about reinstallation of satellite dishes or solar panels, as needed.
  • Pay the roofing company or roofing contractor in a timely fashion.

Warranty Documenting

A little bit of paperwork goes a long way toward protecting your home investment. Obtain copies of these documents so that if roof warranty or insurance claims arise, you're ready:

  • Copy of the building permit for roof work (if applicable)
  • Copy of the work contract with your roofing company, as well as any warranty or coverage provided under the contractor's insurance policy.
  • Copy of manufacturer warranties for roof materials or roof system if applicable. Carefully read warranties right away so you understand terms and don't accidentally void warranties (by doing an unauthorized DIY roof repair, for example).

Ready to get started on your new roofing project? Find a residential roofing contractor certified by GAF* near you.

*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may have agreed that they will use GAF roofing products, and may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program.

About the Author

Annie Crawford is a freelance writer in Oakland, CA, covering travel, style, and home improvement. Find more of her work at annielcrawford.com.

Related Articles

One of the new GAF manufacturing plants set to open in 2024
In Your Community

GAF Expands Manufacturing Footprint, Positively Impacts Communities

GAF is expanding its footprint with new manufacturing facilities, increasing its plant network to over 30 locations nationwide.Summer 2024 is kicking off with the construction of a 275,000-square-foot residential shingle plant in Newton, Kansas—the first GAF location in the state. In Peru, Illinois, the new polyiso plant recently sent out its first shipment of GAF EnergyGuard™ Polyiso Insulation, the new TPO plant in Valdosta, Georgia, is gearing up to begin production this year, and in Avon Lake, Ohio GAF partnered with a third-party plant to support the research, development, and production of silicone products.New state-of-the-art facilities such as these allow GAF to continue innovating and "meet growing customer demand for our market-leading roofing product," says GAF CEO John Altmeyer. These developments also offer benefits to the surrounding areas. For instance, regional plants can help shorten product haul times (benefiting customers and the environment) as well as bolster local economies and support the communities where GAF employees live and work.Expansion to Help Meet Increasing Customer DemandThe Newton, Peru, and Valdosta plants will help meet ever-growing residential and commercial market demand, enhance best-in-class GAF service to customers, and help strengthen the overall construction industry by increasing manufacturing capacity.Currently, one in four US homes is protected by a GAF roof. To better meet residential demand, the GAF shingle plant in Newton will produce Timberline HDZ®—America's best-selling roof shingle—and Timberline® AS II shingles. Timberline HDZ® offers homeowners a high-definition look with patented GAF features like the StrikeZone™ nailing area, GAF Time-Release algae protection, and LayerLock™ Technology. For hail-prone markets, the Timberline® AS II is a UL2218, Class 4 impact resistant shingle that can also help protect roofs from wind, and algae discoloration.To better meet commercial and residential demand, the GAF plant in Valdosta, Georgia will manufacture TPO, one the most popular products for low-slope roofs. Nearly 2 billion square feet of TPO are installed annually, making up over 50% of single-ply roofs installed today.Meanwhile, the plant in Peru is helping to better serve commercial customers by manufacturing a full line of EnergyGuard™ Polyiso Insulation and EnergyGuard™ NH Polyiso Insulation. Additionally, the plant will soon offer new composite polyiso insulation boards. Polyiso Insulation is used on more than 70% new and retrofit commercial buildings, and is the highest R value per inch of any board stock insulationThe Opportunity for Economic and Social BenefitsGAF expansions can generate local, good-paying jobs and empower surrounding areas through meaningful community involvement. These benefits have been seen in the locations where GAF currently manages its workforce of 4,800, and the organization hopes to continue its progress. GAF actively invests in community resilience through its Community Matters initiatives. Community grants, in-kind donations, and hands-on support through employee volunteer efforts allow GAF Community Matters to build meaningful area relationships and help address the area's unique needs.Another benefit of adding manufacturing plants closer to end markets is the potential to reduce operational carbon emissions. Shipping products shorter distances and with fewer packing materials could positively impact energy efficiency and further support GAF sustainability commitments.Here's a look at how GAF is having a positive impact on its newer communities with the expansions.Newton, KansasIn the city of Newton, Mayor Rod Kreie notes the greater region is "excited about the significant economic and community impact this GAF expansion will bring." In addition to the jobs created through the investment GAF is making in Newton, the plant is anticipated to stimulate broader growth."We believe that this [plant] could possibly spur more development," says Erin McDaniel, director of communications for the city of Newton. "GAF is going to be a high-quality corporate partner for Harvey County and make a big positive difference in our community."The Newton plant is expected to have far-reaching impacts across the state. "The career opportunities this [plant] will provide for Kansans right now—and for future generations—will help us continue our unprecedented economic growth by keeping more of our young talent right here at home," notes Kansas State Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland.With construction work underway, shingle production is anticipated to begin in 2027 and reach full capacity by mid-2029.Valdosta, GeorgiaGAF commercial roofing operations continue to grow alongside the residential roofing business. In Valdosta, GAF has committed to purchasing 130 acres for a future GAF thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) roofing manufacturing plant. The plant will bring 135 jobs to Lowndes County over the next six years—adding to its Georgia operations in Savannah, Statesboro, and Cumming that collectively employ 225 residents."We are dedicated to creating a more innovative future for Georgians," says Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson. "GAF is a great partner and addition to our community, creating new opportunities for residents and the region for years to come. We deeply appreciate the collaboration from Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority and Georgia Power on bringing GAF to Valdosta.""GAF strives to become an integral part of the communities in which we operate, and supporting the city and its residents is a top priority for GAF," explains Daniel Duston, plant manager at the Valdosta facility. For example, during the 2023 Thanksgiving for Thousands, 22 GAF employees volunteered with Second Harvest Food Bank to help distribute pantry boxes to over 865 cars and direct traffic to help keep everyone safe. Many local residents were greatly impacted by Hurricane Idalia in 2023, and participating in the food bank distribution alongside other community volunteers helped local folks who were still "displaced from their homes or recovering from the damage," Duston says.Peru, IllinoisGAF bought over 100 acres of land for the facility site in Peru and ensured over 70 advanced manufacturing and engineering jobs new to Bureau County, Illinois. Today, the 450,000-square-foot polyiso plant in Peru manufactures EnergyGuard™ polyiso products. These polyiso products have all received GREENGUARD Gold certification, verifying they have low emissions of volatile organic compounds."As a leader in modern manufacturing, we know GAF will be a great asset to this community bringing high-quality jobs and a true commitment to innovation that will benefit the city for years to come," Peru Mayor Ken Kolowski notes."GAF is dedicated to becoming a proud member and employer within the community and is excited to support the positive work happening in Peru," says Gary Ashley, plant manager at the Peru facility. One way GAF has demonstrated its commitment is through a donation to Maitri Path to Wellness in October 2023. Wellness and Recovery with Maitri is a local nonprofit organization dedicated to providing individualized, quality care for individuals struggling with addiction and mental health issues. GAF donated all the roofing materials needed for the installation of new roofs for the facility and its addition."GAF's involvement is catalyzing profound change in the lives of those on their recovery journey," explains Kelly Jones, LCSW CADC at Maitri Path to Wellness. The new roofs will help protect the facilities where the organization "offers individuals the chance to access support, cultivate relationships with peers, secure employment, pursue education, and flourish within their own community," says Jones.GAF team members in Peru have also hosted meet-and-greet community events with local nonprofit organizations within the community and continues to explore future partnership opportunities.Silicone Production in Avon Lake, OhioGAF recently partnered with a third-party plant in Avon Lake to support the research, development, and production of silicone products, expanding GAF roof coatings manufacturing capabilities. In addition, GAF is creating a CARE Training room at the site to help equip participants with hands-on skills, product knowledge, and business expertise.As North America's largest roofing and waterproofing manufacturer, we are committed to our brand promise to protect what matters most in the communities where we live and work. "Bringing world-class manufacturing plants online strengthens our ability to deliver best-in-class service and innovative solutions across the country," said John Altmeyer, CEO of GAF.Learn more about the products we manufacture, the culture of our people, and the communities we call home with this interactive map.

By Authors Annie Crawford

July 15, 2024

A house with a damaged roof.
Your Home

Hurricane Roofing: How to Prepare Your Roof for Hurricanes

While you can't control the weather, you can minimize its impact on your home. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you can take steps before and after a storm to protect your property from damage. For instance, choosing quality hurricane roofing materials and completing proper roof maintenance can help reduce roof damage.Here's everything you need to know to prepare your roof for hurricane season.Types of Hurricane Roofing MaterialsThe Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale classifies hurricane categories based on their highest approximate wind speeds:Category 1: 74 to 95 mph windsCategory 2: 96 to 110 mph windsCategory 3: 111 to 129 mph windsCategory 4: 130 to 156 mph windsCategory 5: 157 mph or higher windsWith this in mind, specific roofing materials are designed to resist high winds and protect against damage from debris.Impact-Resistant ShinglesImpact-resistant shingles meet the UL 2218 impact test standards, defending your roof—and home—against the natural elements. They can cost more than typical asphalt shingles but can be worth the expense if you live in a hurricane-prone region.Metal RoofingMetal roofing can resist heavy impacts and withstand high winds, making it one of the best roofing systems for hurricanes. Some metal roofs can withstand wind speeds up to 150 mph, covering you even during Category 4 hurricanes.Synthetic RoofingSynthetic roofing materials resist wind, water, and fire damage, making them beneficial during hurricanes. Since they use man-made materials, they don't rely on a natural build. Instead, they're built with damage-resistant features in mind while mimicking the appearance of natural materials. These composite roofing shingles are typically made from recycled plastic, asphalt, and other products.GAF Hurricane Roofing SolutionsYour choice of roofing materials can limit roof damage. Some products are manufactured specially to withstand the harshest weather conditions and keep everyone in your home safe. Here are a few GAF products developed with harsh weather in mind.GAF Timberline® AS II ShinglesTimberline® AS II Shingles are created with proprietary SBS-modified asphalt that's flexible to bolster impact resistance. Impact resistant shingles can be stronger than other non-impact resistant asphalt shingles, and since they pass the UL 2218 impact-resistance test, you could potentially qualify for insurance discounts. Timberline® AS II shingles come with a 25-year StainGuard Plus™ Algae Protection Limited Warranty that protects against algae discoloration. Plus, when installed with four qualifying GAF accessories, they're eligible for the WindProven™ Limited Wind Warranty, which provides infinite wind speed protection.GAF Grand Sequoia® AS ShinglesGrand Sequoia® AS Shingles also pass the UL 2218 Class 4 test, as they're built with the same SBS-modified asphalt formula. The DuraGrip™ Adhesive seals shingles tightly to prevent wind blow-off, and the shingles are warrantied against winds up to 130 mph, covering Category 4 hurricane winds.GAF TimberSteelTM Premium Metal Roofing SystemThe GAF TimberSteel™ Premium Metal Roofing System gives your home the hurricane-resistant capabilities of metal roofing at an affordable price. The system can help keep your home safe against high winds and rain through its multiple layers of protection. It's designed to provide a beautiful look with GALVALUME® steel that features top and bottom interlocking to keep everything tight and leakproof.Hurricane-Resistant Roof DesignsMore goes into building a hurricane-resistant roof than just the material. The roof shape and slope can provide additional resistance.Hip roofs can best resist hurricane weather. Although they're typically costlier to build than gable roofs, a hip roof's four slopes provide better wind uplift resistance than a gable roof's two slopes. As the wind flows around the roof causing pressure differences, the additional slopes are better equipped to handle the wind flow.A 30-degree roof slope also provides the best protection against high winds, preventing wind from easily lifting the roof.Installation Quality Plays an Important RoleRoofing contractors must follow proper techniques when preparing or installing a roof for hurricane season. This often means using nails instead of staples to install shingles since nails better attach the shingle to the roof and create fewer holes for water to get in. Likewise, properly installed flashing—without gaps in the intersection—helps keep heavy rainfall from entering the home.Additionally, a contractor can install hurricane clips to ready a roof for harsh weather. These steel plates secure and connect roof trusses to the home's wall structure, keeping the roof attached during high winds. In states like Florida, new homes are required to have hurricane clips installed.Preparing Your Roof for Hurricane SeasonThe Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and lasts until November 30, reaching its peak in September.Months before hurricane season approaches, schedule a professional roof inspection from a trusted contractor to ensure your roof is up-to-date and isn't damaged. This gives you sufficient time to complete any maintenance and repairs before the season arrives, as contractors might be busy once it starts.Reinforce Weakened AreasA weak spot in your roofing system can lead to further damage and compromise the rest of the roof's integrity. Even a small opening in a shingle can cause serious water damage during a rainstorm. Your roofing contractor can fix or replace loose or torn shingles, repair broken flashing or fascia, clean debris from your roof, and clear out your gutters.Mitigate Potential Tree DamageSharp winds and storms can sometimes cause tree branches to break and fall on top of the roof, damaging shingles or other materials. So, trim nearby trees as part of your roof maintenance. Also, remove fallen leaves before and after storms. Leaves can clog gutters, preventing water from flowing off the roof during heavy rain.Schedule Post-Storm InspectionsRoofing maintenance after a storm is just as important as before a storm. If a hurricane damages your roof, find a company that handles storm damage roof repair. While you can try assessing any roof damage from the ground, a roofing contractor can accurately identify the damage extent and fix it. They can also help you with any insurance claims if your policy covers you for these circumstances.Protecting Your Roof from Hurricane DamageYou can take several proactive measures to minimize the impact of harsh weather on your roof. Choosing the right materials—and ensuring they're installed correctly—is paramount. Hire a GAF-certified roofing contractor*and enjoy peace of mind as the next storm approaches.FAQCan a roof be hurricane-proof?Due to the nature of hurricanes, no roof is 100% hurricane-proof. But wind- and moisture-resistant roofs perform the best during hurricanes. This is why it's important to choose quality products that will protect your home in the worst possible weather conditions.What is the best roof for a hurricane?The best roof for a hurricane is made with impact-resistant shingles or metal. These materials can handle impacts from heavy objects that may blow onto your roof during a hurricane. Metal roofing can generally handle higher hurricane winds better than typical singles.What type of roof would most likely be torn off in a hurricane?The worst-performing roofs during hurricanes are ones that have wood shingles or shakes. Wood isn't very moisture-resistant without additional coatings. Wood shingles and shakes are also lightweight, so sharp winds can easily lift them. Furthermore, wood isn't as strong as other materials, so it can become brittle when heavy objects land on it.What is the best roof for high-wind areas?Metal roofing is one of the best roofing systems for high-wind areas, as it's built to withstand wind speeds up to 130 to 150 mph. But the installation quality is just as important as the material—even the most robust materials may not stand well against high winds if they aren't correctly installed. Additionally, When installed with the required combination of GAF Accessories, Timberline® Shingles with LayerLock™ Technology are eligible for an industry first: a wind warranty with no maximum wind speed limitation.To ensure your roof is in good shape to protect your home this hurricane season, reach out to a contractor certified by GAF* in your area to schedule a roof inspection.*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products. Your dealings with a Contractor, and any services they provide to you, are subject to the GAF Contractor Terms of Use.

By Authors Mark Soto

June 26, 2024

A house's roof edge trim, or soffits and fascia.
Your Home

Roof Edge Trim (Soffits and Fascia) Rotting? Here's What to Do

Your home's eaves, soffits, and fascia are susceptible to rot. While each of these is slightly different, they all work together to protect your home against the natural elements and boost its curb appeal. However, their purpose can sometimes leave them exposed to too much water, causing them to rot. If you notice your roof edge trim, also known as the soffits and fascia, rotting, you'll want to take quick action to prevent further issues.Eaves, Soffits, and Fascia DifferencesWhile similar, the eaves, soffits, and fascia make up different parts of the roof. Eaves are the parts of the roof that extend beyond the walls of your home siding. They guide rainwater away from your home, protecting the siding and foundation from water damage and providing shade to the sides of the home. Roof eaves also play a big part in your home's aesthetic.The roof edge trim is made up of soffits and fascia. Soffits are boards that sit below the eaves and cover their insides; they connect the roof's exterior with the sides of the house. By covering the inside of the eaves and thus protecting the rafters, they help reduce the risk of water damage and keep pests from nesting there. Vents are typically installed on the soffits to help improve the airflow from the attic and roof.Fascia boards are located at your roof's edge along the eaves, connecting with the soffits underneath them. Similarly to soffits, they protect the roof edges against the elements by acting as a barrier. They also contribute to curb appeal. Gutters are commonly attached to the fascia boards, so this can help you differentiate each part when you're looking at the structure.Why These Roof Materials RotYour roof works by directing rainwater to fall off the eaves and flow through the gutters into downspouts. However, that's not always the case. Sometimes, water makes its way beneath the eaves into your soffits and fascia. This is particularly likely if you have clogged gutters or downspouts.When these features can't do their jobs correctly, excess water soaks the fascia and soffit, causing rot and discoloration. Homes usually have a roof drip edge installed on the eaves and rakes to prevent this from happening. If you already have a drip edge installed and your soffits, eaves, or fascia are still rotting, it might mean your drip edge is damaged and needs to be replaced.What to Do When Your Soffits or Fascia RotAs soon as you notice any rotting on your soffits or fascia, you'll want to replace them immediately. The rot can worsen over time as it encounters more moisture, potentially leading to mold and mildew growth. Untreated rot can also lead to structural damage if the water spreads to the rafters below the eaves. In the worst situations, excessive moisture can even reach the drywall and insulation inside your home.You'll likely need to decide whether to replace the roof trim or the entire roof. Your decision depends on whether the rot has only damaged the roof edge trim or has affected other roofing materials too, such as the shingles.If your roof has already reached its expected lifespan, it may be more cost-efficient to replace everything at one time. This will also allow you to create a cohesive and consistent roof aesthetic.Instead of trying to determine the extent of the damage on your own, leave it up to a professional who knows exactly what to look for. Call a GAF-certified roofing contractor* to inspect your roof. They can assess your roof's condition and determine what needs to be replaced.*Contractors enrolled in GAF certification programs are not employees or agents of GAF, and GAF does not control or otherwise supervise these independent businesses. Contractors may receive benefits, such as loyalty rewards points and discounts on marketing tools from GAF for participating in the program and offering GAF enhanced warranties, which require the use of a minimum amount of GAF products. Your dealings with a Contractor, and any services they provide to you, are subject to the GAF Contractor Terms of Use.

By Authors Mark Soto

June 25, 2024

Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!

Subscribe now