Many people assume that a roof will last for as long as they own their home. However, this is not the case. The life expectancy of a roof is determined by various key factors including:
- The material it is made from
- The quality of the original construction
- The weather it is exposed to
- Level of maintenance
If you don’t get your roof replaced when necessary, then it can result in your home no longer getting the protection from the elements it requires. The damage can be extensive. For instance, a damaged roof could lead to structural issues caused by high levels of moisture or mold and mildew. You may also notice your energy bill climbing because your home no longer has the right level of insulation.
Issues with the age and condition of your roof could even impact your insurance over time. If you do not replace your roof after significant damage, this could result in a future insurance claim being rejected or your home insurance being deemed invalid. This is why it’s important to get your roof replaced at the right time. Below, we’ll explore how often a roof should be replaced and whether or not some types of roofs need to be replaced earlier than others.
How Often Should A Roof Be Replaced?
A roof may need a replacement as often as every ten years. Again, this will depend on the materials used. Some materials will last far longer overall and may even last for as long as you own the home. It also depends on the location of your property. If you live in an area with severe winters, then you may need to think about replacing your roof before the ten-year point. When you install a new roof, your roof contractor should always provide information on when your roof will need to be replaced or upgraded
Generally speaking, you can live with a roof until it is twenty or twenty-five years old. At this point, it will need a full replacement.
Signs You Need To Replace Your Roof
Regardless of what material your roof is made from, you should always be aware of the signs that your roof needs to be replaced. This is also why you should check your roof after a period of bad weather or a severe storm.
1. Check The Shingles
Every couple of years, you should check your roof shingles. Shingles need to lie flat against the roof. If they are cracked, buckled, or damaged, then it’s a clear sign that your roof is near the end of its life. You need to think about getting it repaired or replaced.
2. Check The Flashing
Your roof may have flashing around the vents, chimneys, or a skylight. There should be no cracks or breaks here. This can lead to breaks and if you are noticing leaks, then it could be time to think about replacing this part of your roof.
3. Sagging Roof
If you notice your roof is sagging in areas, then this could suggest there’s an issue with trapped moisture, boards that are rotting or damp spots. Low points in the roof are where an issue like this is most likely to occur.
4. Neighbors Are Changing Their Roof
You might notice your neighbors are arranging for their roofs to be replaced. If their home has a similar or identical build to yours, then it is worth thinking about doing the same. Likely, all roofs in the neighborhood that were created by the same construction company are nearing the end of their life.
Do Some Roofs Need To Be Replaced Earlier Than Others?
While weather conditions and potential damage are factors that you should consider, the key determining factor will always be the material your roof is made from. Certain materials will need to be replaced sooner than others.
Composite Shingle Roof
A composite shingle roof is the most popular choice for homes. Approximately 80% of homes across the U.S. have an asphalt shingle roof. These have a fiberglass or organic base that is then saturated using asphalt. They have a low cost and an easy installation.
Generally speaking, these roofs should last at least fifteen years. It’s also worth noting that roofing contractors will often provide different options for composite shingle roofs. These will come with longer warranties and longer life expectancies for a higher cost. On average, you will only need to replace a roof like this one because most homeowners will not remain in the same home for more than twenty years.
Wood Shingle Roof
Wood shingle is made from natural wood such as yellow pine or cedar. These are attractive, however, they can be a fire hazard in certain regions. Luckily, this is not a significant issue in areas like Long Island, New York. In general, a roof like this will last between 20 and 30 years. Longer lifespans can be achieved in areas where the roof is unlikely to be impacted by issues with debris. To extend the lifetime, split or cracked shingles should be replaced as quickly as possible. This will help keep the roof free from issues with moss.
Wood Shake Shingle
Wood shake shingle roofs are more expensive to install. However, since they are thicker, they are less likely to be impacted by issues with different weather conditions or UV rays. They require high levels of maintenance and any debris must be removed as soon as it is noticed. If there are issues with shingles that are curled, cupped, or split, then they need to be replaced without delay. If you do this, then you can expect the roof to last for at least forty years.
Standing-Seam Metal Roof
These roofs are popular in areas where wild-fires are common. They are made from large steel panels that are installed on the deck of the roof. Seams overlap across the roof slope. They are usually made from either aluminum or steel and require no maintenance. However, you may have an issue with denting. These roofs will last about 50 years. Although, if they are installed correctly then this can stretch to at least seventy-five years.
Clay Or Cement Tile Roof
Roofs like this are particularly popular in the Southwest of the country. However, they can be installed on any property, providing a high level of durability and strength. Made from terracotta clay, they need a sturdy roof frame that is strong enough to hold a high level of weight without issue. A roof like this can last one hundred years. You just need to make sure that you avoid walking across the roof. This can result in cracking which will lead to an expensive repair or replacement far sooner.
A slate or stone roof is covered in stone that is mined from quarries which can easily be split into flat slabs. A high level of expertise is required to install a roof like this and it is by far the most expensive roofing material. However, it also provides the highest level of durability. A roof like this will last at least one hundred years and may even last longer than this. Homes with roofs like this are available on the market that have remained durable for hundreds of years. You just need to make sure that you are investing in the right level of maintenance. If you notice that the copper flashing turns black, then it’s time for a replacement.
Things To Consider Before Replacing A Roof
Understand The Paperwork
Certain documents are required for a legal and compliant roof replacement project. This includes:
- Building permit
- Roof warranty
- Written contract
Most areas will require you to have a building permit before work can be completed on your property. This also helps guarantee that any roof replacement building work adheres to the correct code.
You should also make sure that you have a roof warranty. As mentioned, the length of the warranty will always depend on the type of roof replacement that you are installing. However, generally speaking, you should opt for a longer warranty. This will give you the peace of mind you need that your roof is not going to fail.
Finally, a contract provides all the key details of the work being completed including:
- Costs of the project
- Details of the work carried out including the materials used
- Time-scale for competition
The contract may also include a letter from an insurance carrier, confirming that the work is valid.
Get Rid Of The Old Roof
It is recommended that you invest in a comprehensive roof replacement service. This means that your roofing contractor will remove the old room and install a new one. You can have two layers of asphalt shingles. However, building a new roof on top of an existing roof can impact the integrity and structure of the building. It can cause issues with durability and mean that you are more likely to have issues with the roof further down the line. Removing the older roof may seem expensive but it could save you money and provide more value in the long term.
The cost will depend on the original material used for your roof. For instance, you may have wood shingles. If that’s the case, a roofing contractor could recommend installing fresh plywood decking. This can add as much as $5,000 to the costs of your roof.
Consider The Material
Remember, getting the right new roof for your home can add more value to your property. It can also provide significant benefits including improved insulation and a lower risk of required repairs in the future. This is one of the reasons why you may want to consider choosing a roof that provides the longest warranty and is made from the best material. Again, this will cost you a little more in the short term. However, it does mean that your home is likely to grow in value and provide the long-term benefits that you want from a project like this.
Find The Right Contractor
Finally, you need to make sure that you are selecting the right roofing contractor. A replacement roof is not a service that you will need more than once every decade. As such, you may find that a roofer isn’t worried too much about repeat business. Instead, they could cut corners where possible and think less about ensuring a high standard of service. That’s why you should search the market carefully. You need to find a roofing service team that has a great history of delivering high-quality roof replacements to their clients. Look at reviews and consider getting referrals or recommendations from family members.
When you contact a roofing services company, ask them about the solution they provide. Check what materials they are using and the equipment they have available. For instance, when an old roof is removed, you could end up with at least 10,000 nails on the ground around your property. The best roofing contractors have a piece of equipment they can use to easily remove these for you.
Cost is a concern but it is far from the only consideration. If a roofing contractor can quote a far lower cost compared with competitors, they could be using low-skilled labor or they might be offering a quality service.
Knowing when your roof will require a replacement can save you from more extensive, serious, and expensive issues with your home. This can include changes to the structural integrity of your property or problems with damp. If you are unsure which roofing material is right for your new roof installation, make sure that you consult with an expert roofing contractor.
At Ready Roof, our team has experience on a wide range of roofing projects, completing installations around Long Island, New York, using all the common roofing materials. If you are interested in learning more about the service we provide, get in touch today. We can offer expert advice and a free no-obligation consultation on any work required.