As a homeowner, you are responsible for all maintenance costs. One big aspect of your home that may eventually need to be replaced is the roof. This can be a costly endeavor, so it is important to know how to determine if you actually need to invest in a new roof or if some minor repairs will do the job. Different roofing materials have different lifespans, so the first step in determining how long your roof is likely to last is knowing what materials are used. The following information will shed some light on how to figure out if the roof of your home needs to be replaced.
Roof Replacement: What to Look For
One of the biggest signs that you need to replace a roof is water damage or spots that are clearly leaking. It is also important to keep an eye on your roof as if it begins to sag, that may be a sign that it needs to be replaced. Outside light shining through the roof into the home is also a sign that a roof may need to be replaced. It is suggested that a roof inspection be performed at least twice a year as the inspection can help to identify problem areas that need to be fixed and may help you avoid completely replacing the roof of your residence.
Performing a Roof Inspection
A couple of times a year, you should pull out a ladder and perform a visual inspection of the exterior of your home’s roof. Things to look for include torn, cracked or missing tiles as well as loose materials around vents or chimneys. You should also look for signs of wear on your shingles. In addition to looking for signs of wear, perform a visual inspection to look for signs of mold, rot or moisture as well as examining your drainage system to ensure that gutters are allowing water to properly exit the roof. Gutters should be cleaned at least once a year in order to prevent water from backing up, which can lead to homeowners having to replace roofs before their lifespan is up.
Materials Make a Difference
There are various materials that can be used in roofing and each has a different lifespan. It is important to know the materials used for your roof so that you have an idea of how long those materials normally last.
- Asphalt shingles: Asphalt shingles are a popular option due to their low costs, resiliency, and easy installation. More than 75 percent of U.S. homes use asphalt shingles on the roof. While they can be cheap, they tend to have a shorter lifespan (15-30 years) than many other roofing materials available today.
- Wood shingles: Wood shingles come in cedar, pine and other woods. Cedar is the most costly when it comes to wood shingles. While more costly upfront, wood shingles have a lifespan of approximately 30-50 years. However, they tend to have poor fire ratings and can be subject to mold and rot.
- Clay or concrete tiles: In order to install clay tiles, a home will need to have additional roof framing as they are very heavy. Clay and concrete tiles are fire resistant and come in a variety of colors, some of which have the ability to reflect the sun, resulting in lower energy costs. Clay and concrete tiles have a lifespan of 50 years or more.
- Slate tiles: Similar to clay or concrete tiles, slate tiles are incredibly heavy and require additional roof framing. They are easy to repair and can last hundreds of years, however, they are not recommended for hot climates due to their dark color.
- Metal roofs: Metal shingles are becoming a popular option for homeowners as they often utilize a high percentage of recycled materials and are very durable. They are also much lighter than many other roofing materials and are resistant to inclement weather. Metal shingles have a lifespan of 50 years or more.
If You Do Need to Replace the Roof
After performing an inspection, if you do need to completely replace your home’s roof, there are some costs and factors to keep in mind. You will need to determine if you want to replace the roof with the same materials already in use or if you would like to try a new material. You also need to determine if your house’s framing can withstand heavier materials such as slate or clay tiles. Keep weather in the area in mind and know that some materials do not hold up as well in snowy, cold climates.
More From Life Cheat Sheet:
- 5 Things to Know Before Fixing Your Roof
- Roofing Tips: Gutter Maintenance
- How Much Does it Cost to Replace a Roof?