Do You Really Need a New Roof?

by James Florence
new roof

If you’ve been told you need a new roof, get a second (and third) opinion. Photo: Ben’s Roofing, Inc. (2017)

With Joe Moore, owner of Joe Moore Painting & Roofing, a Diamond Certified company.

If you think you need a new roof on your home, you may be mistaken. According to Joe Moore, owner of Joe Moore Painting & Roofing in Windsor, there’s a good chance you don’t need one—not yet, at least. “The majority of customers who call us for a new roof don’t actually need one; they just need maintenance or repairs,” he explains. “I’d say 65 to 70 percent of the time, we’re able to give a homeowner three to five more years on their current roof with a simple repair.”

Mr. Moore gives an example of one such situation: “A few years ago, I went to look at a job for a family in Windsor that was having problems with their tile roof. They had already made an appointment with another roofer to have it replaced, but I offered to go up and take a look anyway. Once I got up there, it didn’t take me long to find what was causing the problem: some debris had accumulated in one of the roof’s valleys and was causing a leak. I told the family they didn’t need a new roof—they just needed to clean out that valley, which is an easy fix. They were ecstatic to find out they didn’t need a new roof after all, and they cancelled their prior appointment.”

As this story illustrates, even if you don’t really need a new roof, not all roofers will tell you that. While in some cases this is due to dishonesty, Mr. Moore says it’s often a mere lack of diligence that’s to blame. “A lot of times roofers are just doing what they’re asked to do. Take the roofer from the story about the family in Windsor—when confronted about scheduling a roof replacement that wasn’t really needed, he simply replied, ‘They called and asked me to give them a price for a new roof, so that’s what I did.’ To some degree, I understand that—after all, I get that call every day. But I also know the importance of taking extra steps to find out what’s going on and what’s really needed. A lot of roofers simply aren’t doing the investigative work they should be doing, which is why it’s crucial for consumers to find a contractor that does.”

Mr. Moore offers the following tips for finding the right roofer:
  • Get multiple estimates (at least three). This will enable you to compare apples to apples and make sure you’re getting a good value.
  • Make sure the contractor actually gets up on your roof and inspects it before giving you an estimate.
  • A roofer’s reputation is a big indicator of the quality of their work and service, so check local reviews to see what other customers are saying. Also, check the company’s state license board number to make sure they don’t have a lot of complaints on file.
  • Consider your initial interaction with the company. Did they answer all of your questions? Did they provide you with options, including estimates for both repairs and replacement? Did you feel comfortable with your interaction? If the answer is no, you may want to look elsewhere.

To find a Diamond Certified roofing contractor in your area, visit