Your home's roof has served you well for many years. Whether you have a wood, rubber, asphalt, or metal roof, it has protected your family from wind, rain, sleet, and snow. Your roof also enhances your home's appearance and aesthetic value-it's one of the first things you notice from the street, and you've always enjoyed the way your roof's color complements your home's exterior.
However, if you've lived under the same roof for many years, you might start to notice some problems. Your roof might leak in adverse weather, or maybe the initially vibrant colors have faded with time.
If you've never replaced a roof before, you may not know whether to replace or repair-but don't worry. In our blog below, we'll cover everything you need to know.
Should I Replace My Roof, or Repair It?
Replacing your roof is a costly, but occasionally necessary, venture. However, depending on your roof's condition and age, sometimes a thorough repair job will suffice. If you think your roof might need replacing, ask yourself the following questions:
How Old Is My Roof?
Even the best roofs will often wear down after 20-25 years. If you notice any of the warning signs listed below and have an older roof, chances are you'll do better with a complete replacement instead of a repair. On the other hand, if your roof is 15 years old or younger, you can benefit from a repair in most cases.
How Do My Shingles Look?
If a few shingles blow off your roof in a storm, you don't need to fret about a total replacement-in general, you can simply replace the shingles to restore your roof's function. However, if you see curled, buckling, or cracked shingles, they could have reached the end of their life expectancy.
Can I See Water Stains or Mold?
A leak doesn't necessarily mean you need a replacement. Depending on your roof's age and the leak's severity, you might be able to contain the damage. However, if you see moss or mold growing on your roof or inside the attic, call in the experts for an evaluation.
How High Are My Energy Bills?
If you've noticed your energy bills creeping higher and higher over the last few years, poor ventilation in your attic could have caused the problem. Replacing your roof will certainly cost more upfront, but a more energy-efficient system will help you retain lost energy. This strategy can lower your energy bills and reduce your environmental impact.
What Material Should I Choose for a New Roof?
Once you decide to get a new roof, you need to choose a material to work with. Thanks to advancing technology, you have several options, each with its own pros and cons. Most materials can work for most homes. Talk to your contractor about which material meets your budget and style. Make sure you choose something that will still last for several decades.
The vast majority of today's homeowners choose asphalt shingles for their roofs, primarily because asphalt is both inexpensive and versatile. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of styles and can match any house.
However, asphalt isn't as eco-friendly as some other roofing options. And with this solution's 20-year lifespan, it don't last quite as long either.
Metal roofs last for several decades-even as long as your house itself. They also require minimal maintenance since they resist mold, fire, wind, and pests. However, metal roofs tend to cost more than some types of roofs, especially asphalt roofs.
Like metal roofs, rubber roofs can last an exceptionally long time. They're also fairly lightweight and simple to install, which lowers their cost, though the material itself still has a higher price than asphalt.
Many homeowners choose wood shingles or shakes because of their distinctive, unique style. No two wood roofs look the same, and wood gives any home a classical, beautiful look.
Wood roofs general need more maintenance than other roofs because of their propensity to rot and mold, especially in more humid climates. However, with the right maintenance and repairs, wood roofs can still last between 20 and 25 years.
How Should I Prepare for a New Roof?
Once you've decided on a new roof, prepare your household for the change. Follow these steps to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible:
Clear the area around your house's perimeter. You don't want falling shingles or other materials to damage your plants, decorations, cars, furniture, or other items.
Constant hammering can make your walls shake. Take down any fragile items like mirrors or pictures that could rattle off the walls.
If possible, park your car in the garage or on the street to give your contractors better access to your roof.
Bear in mind that during the installation, you'll endure constant hammering and loud noises for a day or two. If you feel sensitive to noise, you might want to spend the mornings and afternoons away from the house.
At the end of the process, you should have a beautiful new roof that will last for years to come.
If you have further questions about a new roof installation, talk to your local home improvement company. They'll give you advice specific to your home, situation, and budget.