How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?
Read On To Learn How Often Each Different Type Of Roofing System Needs To Be Replaced On Average.
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Don't Let Your Roof Get Too Bad Before Replacement
Unless you live in a storm-prone state, your typical homeowner problems include the occasional faulty appliances, broken furniture, cracked windows, and an ugly lawn. So, your roof is rarely on your mind; that is until your roof breaks apart, and now, it’s on your bed.
Simply put, the roof is the most ignored part of the house. We often only realize something needs to be done when there is a huge problem with the roof – gaping holes, a collapsed section or a noticeable leak. That being said, it is important to inspect your roof at least once a year, twice if you can.
They help you recognize issues that may require simple repairs or even a complete roof replacement before it’s too late. This article will explore everything you need to know about roof replacement, including when and why you should replace your roof.
The Average Lifespan Of A Roof
Most homeowners expect their roofs to last as long as their houses. However, this will depend on the material used in the roofing. Different materials have different lifespans, so you may have to conduct a full replacement based on age alone.
Here is how the lifespan of different roofs compare;
Clay/Concrete Tile Roofing
Clay/concrete roofing tiles are very resistant and heavy. Thus, they need to be installed on top of extremely sturdy roofing reinforcement. This makes tiles one of the most durable roofing options, lasting anywhere between 50 and 100 years, longer than the average person will stay in any particular home.
Asphalt roofing shingles aren’t as sturdy as their tile counterparts, lasting an average of 15-20 years before needing replacement. However, if you pick an architectural asphalt shingle roof over a 3-tab one, you may be able to squeeze an extra ten years from them, giving you a total of around 30 years before your next replacement.
Wood shingles can last up to 50 years, but this will depend on how well you maintain your roofing. They require yearly cleanings and repainting/staining every five years because it’s easily damaged by moss and leaf accumulation. It is also a fire risk for your home, which can quickly become a reality if installed in a particularly hazardous area. As such, the average lifespan of wood shingles is 25 to 30 years.
Wood shakes, on the other hand, should last between 35 and 40 years. This is because they are thicker than shingles, making them more resistant to UV rays and harsh weather conditions. So if you’re particularly diligent with your maintenance, you may squeeze an extra decade, or two from your wood shakes in the long run.
Metal roofing is one of the most resilient options in the market. Depending on the material, your house may not need a replacement for fifty years. For instance, materials like aluminum and steel typically last for 50 years, while some like zinc and copper can last for well over 100 years with proper maintenance.
Lasting for a century or even two, slate is the most durable roofing material you can buy for your home. It’s extremely heavy, weighing around 1000 pounds for every 100 square feet of slate. Thus, slate roofing can comfortably withstand extreme weather conditions and doesn’t require much maintenance to remain in excellent condition.
You’ll probably never have to replace it in your lifetime (assuming you built the house), and the responsibility will fall on your descendant or future buyers of your home.
But what if you are the descendant or bought a house with slate roofing (or other extremely durable options)? Well, to know when the roof has exhausted its useful life, you’ll need the help of repair logs. So make sure to check the home’s repair and building records to know when is the right time to replace your roof or have a qualified roofer come out and inspect the roof to see if there are any signs of wear that need to be addressed.
Other Factors That Affect The Lifespan Of A Roof
Note that the above lifespans only consider the roofing materials in ideal conditions. But since we live in a world with conditions far from ideal, certain factors may accelerate the deterioration of a roof.
For instance, wooden shingles are more likely to mold and crack in consistently wet weather conditions. As such, their lifespans are lower in such conditions.
This is also the case for asphalt shingles in areas with dramatic temperature changes. The sudden fluctuations in temperature will cause the shingles to crack and age quickly. Asphalt shingles are also quite lightweight and, thus, more likely to come loose in areas of high winds.
Strong winds may pose another problem if you live in an area with a lot of foliage; they tend to blow tree branches or even entire trees into the roof, causing extensive damage. If you have good insurance coverage though, you may be able to get insurance to pay for your roof replacement, depending on what damage was done, what caused it and what your policy covers.
On the other hand, clay tile roofs will struggle to last 50 years in colder climates. This is because the constant freezing and thawing damages the tiles, meaning you may have to replace your clay tiles sooner than you expect if you live in a particularly cold area. Fortunately, there is a workaround for this; have a roofing expert seal your tiles to reduce the cold weather impacts.
All in all, regular roof inspections are crucial for your home, regardless of the type of roof you have installed. During an inspection, watch out for the signs of roof damage that point towards roof repair/replacement.
Signs That Your Roof Needs Replacing
Depending on the severity, the following red flags may be an indication that you need to get a new roof for your home;
1. Visible Leaks
Leaks are the most common sign that something is seriously wrong with your roof. They are caused by various reasons, including worn-out materials and damage by wind, falling branches, or a storm. In addition, the gaps and holes allow water to seep in through the roof when it rains, which can turn into very expensive problems if not properly taken care of.
If you notice such, the best thing to do is to contact a roofing contractor to come and check the extent of the damage. Fortunately, small leaks and gaps can be patched or closed quite easily. However, if there are multiple holes that prove too big or too many to repair, you may be forced to replace the roof.
2. Damaged Shingles
Shingle damage is one of the easiest signs to spot from the ground. However, this often means that if it has reached a point that you can notice it without closer inspection, it’s probably time for a replacement. This is especially the case if your shingles are cracked, curled, loose, or missing.
Another sign of damage is the presence of shingle debris in your gutters. The debris indicates that your shingles are approaching the end of their lifespan and, thus, beginning to disintegrate. Also, the presence of moss or algae growth in wooden shingles is a sign that you need a roof replacement.
3. Interior Water Damage
Your roof may not be dripping water during a rainstorm, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a leak. Sometimes, a leaky roof manifests as interior water damage, i.e., stains, streaks, or water spots on the walls, the ceiling, or in the attic of your home. It can even start growing mold in your attic which can then get into your vents and become a danger to you and your family. This is especially the case if it’s showing near the top of the walls or in the attic areas.
In most cases, the damage caused by such a roof will extend beyond the roof itself. You may have to reconstruct the attic or get a new ceiling if the leak is not detected in time. Combine that with the cost of buying and installing a replacement roof, and you have a five-figure bill in your hands. Thus, when conducting your routine roof inspection, it is best to arm yourself with a flashlight and start inside; with your attic.
4. Sagging Roofline
The shape of your roofline should be straight. So, if you notice a dip or curve when observing your roof, it’s best to call a professional for closer inspection. Usually, a sagging roofline is caused by a framing issue or rotted roof decking, and if determined so, the contractor should be able to fix your roof without necessarily installing a new one.
It can also result from a water-saturated roof deck, in which case you’ll need a new roof installation. This is especially true if the sagging roofline is accompanied by visible leaks, shingle damage, or water damage. If left unattended, the situation can result in partial or complete caving in of the roof.
5. Storm Damage
Sometimes, all you need to commission a new roof is a storm forecast that comes true. Heavy rainstorms, hailstorms, ice storms, tornadoes, wind storms, and hurricanes are some of the leading causes of extensive roof damage. They will tear through any roof, regardless of their age and condition, and leave your home in need of repairs.
Realized You Need A New Roof? Call Us Today!
Have you noticed some water damage, gaps, holes, and loose/missing shingles during your recent roof inspection? Well, you probably need a new roof, and we’ll be glad to help you with that. Maxx Roof LLC specializes in quality residential and commercial roof replacements and repairs in Colorado, so don’t hesitate to call for a free roof consultation.