Roofing Guide for Kansas City Homeowners

Answers to the Most Common Roofing Questions Kansas City Homeowners Ask

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As a Kansas City-area homeowner, you want to keep your home’s exterior looking its best. But when your roof is showing signs of wear or deterioration, it can be frustrating and overwhelming. You know you want a reliable roof that won’t leak or compromise your home’s structural integrity or your family’s safety, but beyond that, you might have no idea where to start!

If you have questions about roof repairs when it’s time to replace your roof, or what type of material is best for the local climate, this guide is for you!

Read on for answers to your important questions about residential roofing replacement in Kansas City.

What Are the Common Signs of Roof Damage?

Roof with damaged and missing shingles

When it comes to residential roofing, one of the most crucial things to know is how to spot signs of damage. Here are some clues that your roof has a problem and what may be the culprit:

Splotchy black marks or slimy black, brown, or green blotches:

  • Black algae that often grows on the north- and west-facing roof shingles
  • Mold

Missing shingles, fallen shards or flashing, torn-off tiles, or lack of uniformity:

  • Wind damage
  • Poor installation
  • Improper maintenance
  •  Heavy rain

Buckling, curling, or pooling water:

  • Water damage
  • Improper maintenance
  • Faulty or clogged gutters


  • Pests, such as birds, bats, raccoons, and rats

Interior leaks:

Here in Kansas City, spring and summer hailstorms are a fact of life. It is estimated that hailstorms do $15 billion in damage to homes, cars, and crops in the United States each year.

Kansas had 303 major hail events in 2021.

Hail forms when warm surface temperatures combine with an upper atmosphere that is cool enough to form ice. An unfortunate consequence of this severe weather event can be roof damage.

Here’s what you should do immediately after a hailstorm:

  • Check for damage
  • Inspect your gutters
  • Document the damage with photos
  • Check for leaks
  • If needed, file an insurance claim

Signs that your roof may have been damaged include:

  • Cracked shingles
  • A dented or blocked gutter
  • Roofing damage on other homes in your neighborhood

How Do I Deal With a Leaking Roof?

Woman holding a bucket under a leaking roof

One of the most obvious signs of a damaged roof is leaking in the interior of your home. Your roof may become vulnerable to leaks from wintry weather, missing or damaged shingles, clogged gutters, damaged flashing, or even plain old wear and tear! So how do you know if your roof is leaking?

Some signs may include:

  • Water stains or mold on your walls or ceilings
  • Dripping water in your attic or elsewhere in your home
  • Wet or rusty pipes
  • A saggy ceiling

A leaky roof might seem like a small headache, but if you don’t address it immediately, you could wind up with much larger problems down the road. Here are the perils of waiting to repair or replace a leaking roof:

  • It will become susceptible to collapse
  • Moisture damage to your home 
  • It could compromise your family’s health
  • Your home will be more vulnerable to pests or other intruders

What Are the Most Popular Types of Roofing for Kansas City Homes?

Close up of a synthetic roof

As a Kansas City-area resident, you know about extreme weather! Hot, humid, and stormy summers, frigid, snowy winters, and tornadoes can seriously compromise your home’s exterior – especially the roof! These conditions mean you need strong, durable roofing materials to stand up to what Mother Nature dishes out. Here are some of the most popular types of roofing for Kansas City homes and the benefits of each material:  

Asphalt Shingles:

  • Cost-effective 
  • Environmentally friendly and recyclable
  • UV and storm resistant 
  • A variety of textures and styles to choose from
  • SBS, a type of synthetic rubber material that can be incorporated into asphalt shingles, has exceptional impact resistance and flexibility 

Polymer Roofing:

  • Cost-effective
  • Can mimic the appearance of slate, cedar, clay, or concrete 
  • Climate-resistant  

Steel Roofing:

  • Unparalleled beauty
  • Exceptional strength 
  • Environmentally friendly 
  • Cost-effective
  • Lightweight and durable 

Tile Roofing:

  • Custom designs and color blends 
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Durable 
  • Climate-resistant
  • Cost-effective 

While regular asphalt shingles are about 10 to 25 percent less expensive than Class 4 impact-resistant shingles, at Smart Exteriors, we urge Kansas City-area homeowners to spend the extra money for increased peace of mind (and to save more money in the long run). Impact-resistant shingles are a sound investment because of how much they can save you in maintenance and repairs!  

Impact-resistant shingles are often made of a combination of strong, lightweight materials, such as plastic, resin, copper, or aluminum. They go through rigorous impact-resistance testing before receiving that label, including having heavy steel balls dropped on them from different heights to mimic the effects of hail.

How Do I Prepare For My New Roof Installation?

Graphic of a home with a checklist next to it

Once you’ve determined it’s time for a total roof replacement, you’ll need to prepare. That includes readying your home and arranging your financing. Here is what to do: 

Move your vehicle

Debris can fall from the top of your home while the work is taking place. To protect your vehicle, park it on the street away from your home or under cover in your garage. 

Prepare valuables within your home

Vibrations can cause your walls to shake, potentially knocking off decorations or pictures. Before the work begins, remove all mirrors and pictures to prevent damage.

Protect pets and children

It can get loud when a crew is hammering on your roof. If you have pets or young children you think might be disturbed by the noise, consider relocating them to a friend or relative’s home for the day.

Safeguard your yard belongings

To avoid damage, move patio furniture, play equipment, grills, potted plants, and lawn ornaments into your garage or to the back of your property.

Remove loose branches and trim those hanging over your roof

This allows the workers to work without dangerous obstructions.

Cover attic belongings

Dust and other debris may settle in your attic during the work.

If you have a satellite dish, contact the provider

They can remove it and then reinstall it when the project is complete.

Consider your power sources

If you don’t have any exterior power sources, the crew may need to run extension cords. Mark them clearly to avoid dangerous trips and falls.

Notify your neighbors

A roof replacement will cause extra noise for your and your neighbors. To be considerate, let them know ahead of time!

A roof replacement is well worth the money, but it is a major investment. The final cost will depend on a variety of factors including the material, roof pitch, your location, local building codes, and extra features such as skylights can affect the cost as well. A professional roofing company will be able to give you an estimate of what your particular roof will cost.

With an investment of this magnitude, you’ll want to get your so-called ducks in a row before the work begins. Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to financing including:

  • Cash – If you have the money available, this is the easiest option. 
  • Credit – Consider a traditional credit card or a home equity loan. 
  • Insurance – If your roof was damaged from weather, pests, or any other pitfalls, your insurance company may cover part or all of the expense.
  • Company financing – Many contractors offer in-house financing through local banks.

How Is a Roof Installed?

Closeup of asphalt shingles being installed on a roof

Once you’ve committed to hiring a contractor to install a new roof on your home, you may have questions about how long it will take and the process involved. Here’s what you can expect!  

It only takes about one to two days on average for a skilled roofer to replace your roof. However, the definitive time will depend on several factors including:  

  • The type of roofing material
  • The size of your home 
  • Your home’s architectural features
  • Weather 
  • Material availability 

Pitfalls can occur if your roofing contractor rushes or doesn’t follow a safe, thorough process or complete the appropriation preparations. However, if you’ve done your homework and hired an experienced Kansas City roofing company, you can anticipate a smooth operation.

Here are the steps that go into a normal roof replacement: 

  • Removal of the old roof
  • Framing
  • Attach the sheathing
  • Drip edge installation
  • Adhere or nail down the underlayment 
  • Cover the roof with felt paper 
  • Waterproof the valleys 
  • Apply starter shingles and roof replacement shingles 
  • Install the flashing and ridge vent
  • Seal it up 

And that’s it! You have a brand-new roof, enhancing your home’s curb appeal and improving your peace of mind.

How Do I Maintain My Roof?

Homeowner cleaning algae and moss off of a roof

Your roof is a crucial part of your home! It provides structural support to keep it safe and sound. A new roof can better protect your home from the elements, safeguard your family, and provide a high ROI. Proper roof maintenance is the ideal way to preserve your investment so it will last decades to come. Here’s how:

Conduct Regular Inspections

Check for leaks, cracks, rust, and loose shingles, and note if your flashing is secure. Even better, hire a professional to inspect it!

Clear Clogged Gutters

Debris in your gutters can cause water to build up, trapping it under the roof coating, and causing moisture damage to the edge.

Repair Damaged Gutters

Broken gutters often result in water damage to your roof and home’s interior.

Trim Branches

Allowing branches to hang over your roof provides critters with easy access and may leave behind loose leaves, resulting in mold, deterioration, or leaks.

Prevent Ice Dams

Break up ice chunks so ice dams don’t damage your gutters or downspout.

How Do I Choose the Right Kansas City Roofing Company?

While many home renovations are suitable for DIY, a roof replacement is not one of them! You may think that doing your work will save you money, but that’s not necessarily true. If you make mistakes along the way, it could cost you much more in the long run. The foolproof way to ensure your new roof is installed correctly is to partner with a knowledgeable roofing contractor like Kansas City’s Smart Exteriors who is insured and uses the proper techniques and materials. A professional contractor will also save you time and create a plan to suit your budget. 

Here is how to choose the right roofing contractor: 

  • Get at least three quotes 
  • Check references 
  • Meet them in person 
  • Ask about licensure and insurance 
  • Ask them about their cleanup process

Smart Exteriors – Kansas City’s Premiere Roofing Contractor

At Smart Exteriors, we understand that a new roof is a major investment, and you are entitled to expect exceptional customer service and expert craftsmanship. With more than 20 years of industry experience in the local Kansas City area, we are 100 percent committed to completing your project on time, on budget, and with industry-leading materials that will stand the test of time. Want to learn more? Check out some of our recent projects 

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