During the recession many homeowners put off replacing older roofs. Now that people have a few extra dollars to put toward repairs and upgrades, those neglected roofs are starting to get much needed make overs. Have you been asking, "Should I replace my roof?"
Roofing Contractor Magazine reported a “steady, measured increase” in roof replacement for 2014, and the 2015 State of the Industry survey projects even more growth this year. How can you be sure you need to replace your roof? Here are a few tips to help you decide whether it’s time to call a qualified contractor for an assessment or breath easy for another year.
The Roofing Industry has seen an uptick in new roof requests over the fast few years.
The best way to evaluate the potential for a major roof failure is to check out the attic. Tom Silva from This Old House recommends doing your inspection on a sunny day. Check for any light coming in from the underside of the chimney and the stack vent. If you’re seeing a light show reminiscent of a Sara McLachlan video from the 00s it’s time for a new roof.
He also suggests checking the roof sheathing for signs of water leakage, moist spots or rot. If you assess these areas routinely you’ll be able to catch any issues quickly and decide when it’s time to bring in a professional.
Age Before Beauty
Do you know the age of your roof? Age is one of the best indicators of roof replacement. The average lifespan differs for each material used.
Metal roofing has a long life expectancy, usually between 20 and 40 years. Many of our painted panels come with a limited life time warranty. Metal also provides superior protection against hail and windstorms, which makes it last longer than traditional shingles in areas prone to wild weather.
Traditional shingles may only last between 10 and 15 years under moderate weather and climates. Wooden shakes can last 25-30 years but require a large amount of maintenance to make it that far. If your roof is nearing the end of its life expectancy, it might be time to have it inspected by a licensed contractor who can give you a good idea of future functionality.
Don't wait until your roof shingles look this bad to replace. You risk expensive damage to the interior of your house.
The Eye of the Beholder:
If you’re still unsure about your roof’s integrity you can scan for a few tell tale signs. Silva suggests using binoculars to get a closer look rather than risking a fall from a ladder or causing more damage by walking on your roof.
Metal: Check for areas of chipped paint or rust on painted products. If you have a bare metal roof that is intended to rust like TRUTEN™A606 you may need to hire a professional to assess the integrity of an older roof. On panels with exposed fasteners check to see if there are any loose fastners or loose or degraded washers.
Shingles: Curled edges and bald or bare spots are telltale signs it may be time to re-roof. You can also check gutters for granules from the shingles that may have been scraped off by ice or hail. Shingles that are cracked or missing are also red flags for homeowners.
Shakes: Shakes are traditionally made from red or white cedar trees. They tend to crack in dry climates like the West or grow moss in more humid climates of the East. Scan your roof for broken or missing shakes where water could penetrate. Be on the lookout for mold and bugs that can damage shakes quickly. Individual shakes can be replaced but you’ll need a qualified professional for the install.
This new metal roof will protect the homeowners for decades to come.
If you’re unsure of your roof’s integrity don’t hesitate to call a licensed contractor familiar with the specific material for an inspection. A failing roof can lead to a whole host of problems throughout your house.
If you or your contractor think it’s time to plan for a new roof, make sure you do your research and invest in the right product for your climate, roof slope, and lifestyle. We’re happy to provide you with more information about metal roofing; just send us an email or give us a call.
Your roof is the keystone of your house. Take the proper precautions to make sure it’s strong and functional to take care of you and your family for years to come.
2015 State of the Industry Survey. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2015, from http://www.roofingcontractor.com/articles/90784-state-of-the-industry-survey
Economical Benefits of Metal Construction - Cost Savings with Metal Construction Products. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2015, from http://www.metalconstruction.org/index.php/benefits/economical
Silva, T. (n.d.). How to Spot a Failing Roof. Retrieved October 16, 2015, from http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/asktoh/question/0,,1096222,00.html