Is your roof starting to show its age or showing signs of damage? If so, you might be wondering whether you need to replace it.
How often does a roof need to be replaced, anyway? That depends on several factors, such as the materials used, the condition of the roof, and the age of the roof. In this guide, we’ll cover all that and more and also go over key signs you may need repairs or a replacement.
If you’re considering roof replacement, read on to discover the top signs you need to call a contractor.
How Often Does a Roof Need to Be Replaced?
How long your roof lasts depends largely on the materials used. Roofs can be made from asphalt, fiberglass, wood, steel, stone, and more. Depending on where you live and what your climate is like, one type might be better suited for your home than another.
Let’s cover the most common types of roofing materials and how long each one lasts, on average.
Asphalt roof shingles are the most common type in America. They hold up well in a variety of climates and in harsh weather conditions.
Depending on the quality, asphalt shingles can last anywhere between 20 to 30 years.
Wood shingles can give your home character, but they also require regular maintenance. Cedar is the most common material used for wood shingles (also called shakes). Cedar is rot-resistant and keeps insects away.
With proper care, wood shingles can last up to 30 years, on average.
Metal roofs are either made from stainless steel or copper. Steel roofs are more common. The thicker the material, the longer it lasts, and the more durable it is.
Metal roofs tend to be very durable and can last up to 50 to 70 years or so.
Stone roof tiles can be made from clay, terracotta, slate, or concrete. These roof tiles resist fading, making them ideal in sunny areas, but they’re also heavy and expensive to install.
In general, clay tiles can last anywhere from 40 to 60 years. Slate and concrete can last 50 years or longer. In fact, slate can sometimes last up to 100 years.
Some stone roof styles have lifetime warranties.
Five Signs of Damage to Check
Now that you know more about the general lifespan of a roof, you’re probably wondering about roof damage. Wind, rain, hail, and major storms can do a number on your roof, which may require you to replace it sooner.
Regular roof inspections are important, especially if you live in a storm-prone area, suspect major roof damage, or see any leaking.
Here are five signs of damage you need to look for on your roof. Make sure you grab a ladder and proper safety equipment first, though. If you don’t feel comfortable getting on the roof, you can always call for a roof inspection.
- Damaged or Missing Shingles
Take a look at your roof shingles. Do any appear to be missing or damaged?
Roof shingles should lie flat on your roof. There shouldn’t be any cracking, peeling, or buckling.
Look for granules in the gutters or for bald spots on your shingles. This can indicate that your shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan and that it’s time for a roof replacement.
Many things can cause damage and bald spots. Age is one reason, and hail damage is another. When hailstones hit your roof, they can knock the granules loose and create soft spots or bald patches.
- Cracked Flashing
While you’re on your roof, you also need to inspect your chimney flashing. Flashing also goes around skylights and vents. The purpose of flashing is to keep water from entering your home and causing leaks and moisture damage.
Now that you understand how important flashing is, you can understand why cracked or damaged flashing could be a problem. Flashing can be either cement, tar, or metal. You should consider upgrading to metal if you live in an older home.
Does your roof look like it’s sagging? If so, that’s a major red flag you need a replacement.
A sagging roof can lead to moisture damage inside the home. Try to look for any signs of trapped moisture, including spots that droop or sag and boards that look rotted. You may notice these signs more at the lowest points on the roof.
- Moisture Issues
Ignoring moisture issues can cause major problems down the line. Other than sagging, other signs of moisture trapped in your roof include seeing moss, mold, or fungi growing on the surface.
Seeing any of these is a sign you need to call for a roof replacement, and soon. Leaks and moisture issues can compromise the stability of your roof structure and even cause damage to the rest of your home.
- Old Roofs
Sometimes, the best indicator your roof needs replacement is simply its age. If you’re not sure how old your roof is, there are a few ways you can find out.
Contact the previous owners to ask when they last had the roof installed or replaced. If you can’t reach the previous owners for any reason, you can also contact your county government and request a copy of the building permit. A home inspector can also likely give you an estimate, but this number may not be exact.
If your roof is approaching the end of its lifespan, you should call a roof replacement contractor sooner rather than later.
Keep Your Roof in Top Shape
How often does a roof need to be replaced? Well, now that you know more about the average lifespan of a roof and the signs of damage to look for, you can answer this yourself.
But in general, roofs can last anywhere from 20-100 years, depending on the materials used and whether your roof sustains any serious damage.
Use our tips in this guide to inform yourself, and make sure you know when to call a contractor for a replacement.
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