If your home’s roof looks like it could use a little TLC, you may be wondering if you can repair problem areas, or if it’s time to replace it completely.
The answer depends on the extent of the damage, as well as what type of roofing material you have.
Average Lifespan of Common Roofing Materials
The majority of residential homes have asphalt shingles, and it’s easy to see why. Asphalt is lightweight, extremely durable, aesthetically appealing and low-maintenance. The latest roof designs also offer a wide variety of colors and looks for homeowners who wish to use asphalt shingles. However, it’s not the only game in town when it comes to home roofing materials. Other options include wood shakes, metal and slate. Each roofing material has its pros and cons, and each has a different average lifespan.
- Asphalt – Generally, asphalt shingles will last about 30 years, however, today’s premium asphalt shingles can last up to 50 years.
- Metal – Metal roofing can last anywhere between 40 to 60 years. The Metal Roofing Alliance gives a lifespan of 40 to 80 years.
- Wood – Wood shingles are just about as durable as asphalt, but they can cost up to six times more than an asphalt roof.
- Slate or clay tiles – Slate and clay are among the most durable — and most expensive — roofing materials. It’s not uncommon for a slate or tile roof to last well over a century with proper care and maintenance.
Because asphalt combines durability with affordability and a great look, it’s the top choice of roofing materials for homeowners. Furthermore, today’s asphalt roofing options are nothing like the asphalt choices of 20 or 30 years ago.
If it’s been awhile since you browsed home roofing options, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the latest roof designs and options. Modern asphalt shingles come in a variety of colors and styles that can mimic the look of wood and even slate.
How Big (or Bad) Is the Problem?
Many homeowners first become aware of a roofing issue when they spot discolorations on their ceiling or notice dripping water inside the home. In some cases, a leak can be remedied with a repair. In other cases, however, a full roof remodeling is necessary to ensure the home is protected. There are several points to consider when deciding which way to go.
- Roof’s Age – Looks can be deceiving. In the case of your roof, don’t assume all is well just because your roof still looks good from the ground. The executive director of The National Association of Home Inspections told Good Housekeeping that a roof approaching its third decade may need replacing even if it doesn’t appear to have issues. If other homeowners in your neighborhood are replacing their roofs, this could also be a sign that yours is due for an upgrade.
- Condition of the Shingles – Curling shingles are a sign that a roof is weathering, which is a precursor to leaks. Other signs of potential trouble are missing and cracked shingles or shingles that are deteriorating or missing along your roof’s valleys.
- Loose Granules – It’s normal to see some loose granules, especially if your roof is relatively new. However, a heavy accumulation of granules in your gutters is a sign that your shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan.
- Condition of the Decking – Sometimes, it’s what you can’t see that’s the most problematic. A sagging roof or a roof that feels “springy” when you walk on it can be signs that the roof is failing and should be replaced.
New Home Roofing: Tear Off or Install Over the Existing Roof?
According to Bob Vila, the decision to reroof depends on a variety of factors, including the age and wear of your shingles, the climate where you live and how susceptible your home is to future damage.
Although you might be tempted to save money by installing new shingles over your existing roof, this should be avoided. Not only will multiple layers of shingles add unnecessary weight, but covering over an aging roof doesn’t address underlying deterioration and damage. Simply layering new shingles over old won’t stop leaks from occurring, as water will always find a way into your home if a point of entry is available. Furthermore, you’ll end up paying a lot more in labor when you’re forced to tear off not one but two layers of old roofing.
Contact Nu Look Home Design to Discuss Your New Roof
The decision to replace a roof is a big one. At Nu Look Home Design, we’re here to answer your questions about repairing or replacing your home’s roof. Call today to discuss your options.