You might not give much thought to your roof from day-to-day. Many homeowners take their roofs for granted, enjoying the comfort and shelter until they notice the signs of a leak or start to feel a draft. We don’t often think about replacing a roof unless it’s badly damaged after a storm of some kind. But roofs are not able to last forever, even high quality roofs. At some point, you might need to replace your roof regardless of storms.
So how do you know when it’s time to replace your roof?
Fortunately, there are signs that you can watch out for to guide your decision so you don’t waste money replacing your roof too early or lose money from failing to do so soon enough. Here are some ways that you can tell your roof needs replacing:
Life Expectancy of A Roof
The first question to ask is how old your roof is. Have you had it for twenty years? Thirty years? Is it the original roof that came with a house that’s now nearing historic? Roofs are not meant to last forever, but their lifespans vary depending on the climate and the type of roof that you have. The typical life expectancy for various types of roofs are:
- Asphalt shingles – 20 years
- Wood shakes – 30 years
- Slate or tile roofs – 50 years
- Metal roofs – 100+ years
The life expectancy also depends on your climate. The climate in the Boston area experiences all four seasons, sometimes in extremes, so your roof can expect sunny weather in the spring and summer as well as heavy storms of rain and snow in the autumn, winter, and early spring. Wind resistance and water impermeability is most important when it comes to central Massachusetts roofs, which is why wood shakes tend to live shorter lives here than they might elsewhere.
There’s also a general industry rule when trying to determine whether your roof needs to be replaced: is it more than 20 years old? If so, it may be that it needs to be replaced.
To Repair Or To Replace
If you’re having roofing issues, one of the first questions to ask is whether to repair the roof or replace it. It’s far cheaper to repair the roof than it is to replace it, so many homeowners would prefer to do the former. However, in some instances, repairing the roof won’t do the job. It’s important to be able to tell the difference. If your roof was damaged by a storm, much of it may be able to be repaired. If it’s a newer roof, repairing is probably your best bet. However, if you find yourself constantly repairing your roof, then it may speak to a larger issue, and it might be more cost effective in the long run to replace the roof.
Look To the Shingles
The most common residential roofing material by far is asphalt shingles. These are easy to install, affordable, and they vary in color and texture. If you’re considering whether or not your roof needs to be replaced, chances are you’re considering an asphalt shingle roof. One way to tell whether the roof needs to be replaced is to look at the shingles. Even from the ground, you should be able to spot damaged shingles such as:
- Missing shingles
- Chipped or broken shingles
- Curling shingles
- Shingles with missing granules
You can also check your roof gutters for signs of roof granules that have fallen off and flooded into the gutters. While chipped or broken shingles can be the result of a storm, if you see several, it could spell a problem for your roof. Similarly, curled shingles typically show that there is some kind of water damage underneath, and that could reach to the roof decking, beyond the moisture barrier. This is also a good time to look at your roof and see if you spot any discoloration and sagging, all of which could be indicative of water damage or rot. A closer look at your shingles with the help of a ladder can also tell you if there are issues with algae.
Check Your Attic, Too
Not all of the work is done outside. You should also take a look inside by climbing up to your attic. Try to go in the middle of a sunny day and look up. If you notice light breaking through the ceiling, that means that there are holes in your roof that turn into leaks during a storm. You can also inspect for discolored spots of water damage or signs of mold and mildew. If your attic is particularly stuffy or chilly (depending on the time of year), that means that your roof isn’t being as properly ventilated as perhaps it should be.
Take a Look At the Warranty
Your roof’s warranty offers you security, knowing that if you have to replace your roof within a certain amount of time after the installation is completed, you can do so without much trouble. It also gives you an idea of how long the manufacturer expects the roof to last. If you’re unsure whether or not it’s time to replace your roof, take a look at your warranty.
GAF roofs installed by GAF Master Elite roofers come with the GAF Golden Pledge warranty, which is the best roof warranty available for asphalt shingles in the country. They offer a limited lifetime warranty for manufacturing defect, 15 years on wind damage, and up to 25 years for damage due to algae. Even the workmanship comes with a 25 year warranty.
Take a close look at your roof. Does it need to be replaced or can it simply be repaired and continue to serve your home for decades to come? Contact Solid State Construction today to learn more about our replacement roofs or to get a free estimate. Need a roof replacement on a budget? We have you covered with financing plans and current special offers.