It takes anywhere from a day to more than a week to replace a roof. It depends on what material the roof is made of, how large the roof is, and other factors.
Roof replacement takes much longer with some materials than others:
- Asphalt shingles take one day to three days
- Metal takes two to three days
- Slate tiles take six to seven days
- Wood shingles take six to eight days
- Concrete tiles take eight or nine days
Why Do Roofing Jobs Take Multiple Days?
There are a lot of steps involved, especially with more complex materials. First, roofers will have to inspect your roof and decide what needs to be done.
Second, they will have to remove all the old shingles, which can take a fair bit of time if you have a large roof or more than one layer of shingles. They will then inspect the wood under the roof to check for structural damage.
Workers will have to lay down tarps to protect the homeowner’s foliage and bring a dumpster to dispose of garbage. Workers should and usually will take safety seriously even if it slows the job down.
After removing the old roof and inspecting the wood decking, roofers will have to get the roof surface ready. They will install a drip edge, which is a piece of metal placed around the edges of the roof to prevent water damage.
Workers also place underlayment between the wood and the roofing material to prevent leaks. Only after all of these steps are completed can they start adding the roofing material.
It takes much longer with some materials than others because roofers have to be more careful. Slate takes much longer to do than asphalt shingles because it can crack if anyone steps on it. Replacing a slate roof is meticulous work that has to be done slowly and cautiously.
Since there are so many steps, roof replacement can easily be a multi-day job. In hot weather, roofers also have to take breaks for the sake of health and safety. A rainstorm can make the job take an extra day.
Many Factors Affect How Long it Takes
There are many other factors to consider besides what material is used, so these are very rough estimates. Installation is faster in the summer because the days are long and the nights are short.
Getting the work done in a single day in the colder months is much harder. Some materials also shrink in cold weather, making it hard to work with them. Many roofers don’t work in the winter, though you may still be able to find someone who will.
Any kind of bad weather makes roof replacement harder. Rainstorms, snow, and strong wind can delay work. Very hot weather makes it difficult for workers to work long hours. If the temperature is warm but not hot and the days are long, roof replacement is fast.
Work will get done slowly if it is hard to access the roof. If workers cannot place a dumpster near your house, they will have to carry garbage down ladders, taking up time.
If they have to avoid damaging your garden or anything else around your house, this may also slow them down. Workers need a suitable location to place the ladder.
A steep roof will also take longer to replace. The steeper the roof is, the more safety precautions workers need to take. Complex roofs with a lot of peaks and valleys also take longer to work on.
Of course, a bigger roof will take longer to replace than a smaller one, although some companies can get bigger roofs done faster than others.
If you are replacing a roof that is seriously damaged in any way, it might take a long time to replace even if workers are using asphalt tiles. If there is any water damage, that needs to be dealt with first.
If you ignore water damage, you could get a mold infestation, which can cost a fortune to fix and make your house impossible to sell. If any serious repairs have to be done before your roof can be replaced, it may take a long time to do, regardless of what material you choose.
How Long Does it Take on Average?
It usually takes more like one or three days than seven or nine days. Most roofs are not very large, are not very steep, and are made of materials that are easy to work with. Weather usually doesn’t prevent workers from finishing a job on time.
Some Materials are More Complex to Replace Than Others
Concrete tile is the most complex material to work with. It usually requires a crew of seven and takes longer to replace than other materials. Different companies take different amounts of time to replace your roof; some may be able to replace concrete tile in five to seven days instead of eight or nine days.
After concrete tile, steel sheets and natural slate are the most complex. Steel sheets require six workers; natural slate requires seven, counting both experienced and less-skilled workers.
After steel sheets, the next most complex materials are wood shakes and synthetic slate, which are still complex enough to require a crew of six. Flat roofs are relatively simple and take a crew of four. Regular asphalt shingles are the least complex, although they require five workers.
Not every company uses the same sized crew for the same job. One extra worker might be enough to get the job done faster.
If you need your roof replaced in a hurry, you might be able to find a company that can get it done faster than usual. However, even with larger crews, there are limits – it can be flat-out impossible to get a complex roof done in one day.
Steeper Roofs are Harder to Replace
If your roof is on a steep angle, that complicates the process and may add another day or more to the job. A steep roof might be too steep to walk across safely. Tools will stay in place on a less steep roof but will slide off of a steeper one.
Roofs that are flatter than average can also take longer to replace and cost more than normal. A flatter roof slows the runoff of water, which requires the roofers to put special protection in place. Roofs that are of average steepness are the quickest and easiest to work on.
If the roofers need special safety equipment to work on a roof too steep to walk on, that can make the job cost more and take longer.
You can measure the steepness of a roof as rise/run. If a roof rises 3 feet when you walk 12 feet, it has a rise/run of 3/12. 0/12 is completely flat, 3/12 is low-slope, 6/12 is steeper but still easy to walk on.
You can also measure steepness as an angle or as a grade. A 6/12 roof has a grade of 50% (6 divided by 12 is 0.5, or 50%) and an angle of about 26 degrees.
If the angle of your roof is 6/12 or less, roofers can get the job done fast. Only the usual safety precautions are necessary. A 6/12 roof is walkable.
A 7/12 roof (an angle of 30 degrees) is somewhat more dangerous and requires special caution, which may slow down the job. 8/12 to 10/12 is much more dangerous, and roofers will usually avoid working on it without proper safety equipment.
If the roof is 11/12 (a 42-degree angle) or steeper, roofers will never walk on it. They will use special ladders, scaffolding, or roof jacks to work on steep roofs.
It won’t cost a fortune to replace a steep roof, but it will usually take longer and cost somewhat more.
Structural Damage Makes It Take Longer to Fix Your Roof
If you only need to have shingles replaced, replacing your roof can be fast. However, there might be damage to the roof under the shingles. Sometimes, a roof replacement can take up to two weeks, depending on the extent of the damage.
Multiple roof Layers of Tiles
A roof replacement doesn’t usually involve adding another layer of shingles on top of existing and damaged ones.
Instead, workers will remove the old worn-out or damaged tiles first. If your shingles are curling or otherwise in bad shape, they will have to be removed.
If they have to remove a few layers of tiles, the job can take longer than if there is only a single layer. Talk to your contractor about whether or not tiles have to be removed. You might void your warranty if you add a layer of tiles over an existing one instead of removing it.
Is Your Home Historically Significant ?
If your home is a historical landmark, you might not be able to replace your roof with whatever materials you want.
You might be legally required to maintain the appearance of the home. Workers will have to consider the historical appearance of the home, which will slow the job down.
Better Materials Last Longer
Just because regular asphalt shingles are quick to replace doesn’t mean they are the best choice. Metal roofs last longer than shingle roofs do.
A metal roof may last for 30, 50, or 75 years, with more than 50 years being common if you maintain it properly. Copper or aluminum roofs last even longer than asphalt roofs do.
Slate roofing is made of a type of stone that repels water. It lasts for particularly long, from 75 to as much as 200 years. Asphalt shingles only last for 12 to 30 years.
You should go with a longer-lasting roofing material if you have the time and money. Even if it takes a week to install a slate roof, that is worth it if the roof will outlive you.
Price also matters. Sometimes, replacing a large or damaged roof costs thousands of dollars. Many people still choose regular shingles because it is cheaper to install them.
Don’t Leave Your Repairs Too Long
If you need to get your roof repaired or replaced, you should do it, even if you aren’t sure whether or not you can afford it right now.
If you don’t spend thousands of dollars to fix your roof, this will lead to a mold problem that will take tens of thousands of dollars to fix.
Even a slow water leak can do a huge amount of damage to your roof. One drop at a time will add up and do severe structural damage. A leaky roof is an urgent problem that needs to be dealt with and not something you can ignore for a while.
Water will slowly move from your attic all the way down to your foundation. Sometimes, a leaky roof causes an electrical fire and burns a home down.
Mold can cause health problems, and there is no easy or cheap way to get rid of it. Even without a serious mold problem, water damage can be severe and expensive to repair.
Your Insurance Company Won’t Like it if You Don’t Repair Your Roof
A lot of the time, your insurance won’t cover the cost of the repairs. If you know about a leak and don’t take actions to fix it, your insurance company may reject your claim. Insurance policies often specifically state that they cover water damage only if you respond as soon as you notice that there is a problem.
An insurance policy might state that water damage must be “sudden and accidental” for the policy to cover it. Saying that you didn’t notice the leak isn’t always an excuse. Failing to detect a roof leak, according to some policies, is negligence.
To prevent any of this from happening, make sure you repair your roof if it needs to be repaired and replace your roof if it needs to be replaced.
The longer you wait to fix problems with your roof, the more expensive it will be. Even if you don’t have a lot of money, it can be more affordable to pay for somewhat expensive repairs now than very expensive repairs later.