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Naturally, there are a few factors that can lengthen or shorten the life of your roof, but in general, an asphalt roof can be expected to last about 20 years, while a metal roof will last a conservative 50 years. That said, things like climate, extreme weather, and maintenance can affect the lifespan of your roof. If you live in an area that regularly gets heavy snowfall or high winds, your roof might take a bit more wear and tear than is standard. Alternatively, roofs that are regularly inspected, maintained, and washed can be expected to last a bit longer.
This is a tough one to answer because everyone’s home is different. The best way to get a solid estimate is to simply call your local trusted roofing professional. Most reputable roofers will offer a quote at no cost, and with no obligation. Know that every aspect of your home, like shape, size, and location, will affect the price of your new roof, as will the material you choose.
It’s good to know that in most cases, your roof is protected from major unexpected damage, like vandalism or fire, by your homeowner’s insurance policy. In terms of minor issues, like cracking or curling shingles, most roofs come with a warranty. Typically, a roofer’s warranty for the labor on your roof is at least 10 years.
Every roofer provides different warranties, and different roofing materials come with different manufacturer warranties protecting from damage. It’s a good idea to take a few bids from multiple roofers and materials to see what warranties they’re offering, and which is best for you.
One or two leaks are not a major disaster. So long as you call a roofing professional and get the leaks fixed as soon as you notice the problem, your roof will probably be fine. If you have more than one or two leaks, however, you may be looking at some more extensive repairs.
Additionally, if you wait to get leaks fixed, water can seep under shingles and begin to rot away at the roof deck. When this happens, there’s typically no other solution than to get your roof replaced. It’s important to make sure you call a professional at the first sign of a leak if you’re looking to avoid a total roof replacement.
If your roof is older or has seen a bit of damage, it’s good to know that you do have options when it comes to re-roofing. So long as your home has only ever had one roof, you have the option to simply install another roof over the existing one. This saves you a lot of money and time, but it can only be done if your older roof was in decent shape.
When you install a new roof over an existing roof, you can opt for another asphalt shingle roof, of you can go with a lighter metal roof. Both have their benefits, but a metal roof will put less weight on the structure of your home and is likely to last longer. When you’re considering re-roofing, it’s a good idea to chat with an experienced roofing professional to see what the best option is for your home, and your budget.
When you’re trying to determine how healthy your roof is, the first thing to note is its age. An asphalt roof that’s older than 20 years is overdue for replacement. This is the easiest way to get ahead of the damages that go along with an aging roof, but younger roofs can develop problems too, which is why it’s good to inspect your roof at least one time a year. Inspection is easy since you can do it from the ground with a good pair of binoculars. Look for shingles that are curling, areas where they’ve cracked or maybe gone missing, or shingles that are missing the granules on top.
Additionally, you might consider heading to the attic on a sunny day to check for holes where light peeks through in the underside of your roof. Problem spots tend to be near the chimney and stack vents. If your roof is beginning to fail, you’ll see pinholes of sunlight peeking through, indicating that your roof could use a bit of maintenance. While you’re up there, be sure to check for wet spots in the ceiling. If you see anything suspicious, call a roofer immediately––water damage that has seeped all the way to the attic can be a serious problem.
There are a lot of roofing blogs out there that tell homeowners to check their flashing for damage regularly, but not a lot of them explain what exactly flashing is: it’s the material that’s used over joints in roof construction. It functions as an added layer of protection that keeps water from seeping into vulnerable areas like the valleys in your roof, the area around pipes and your chimney, and around any skylights. Most flashing is made out of aluminum or galvanized steel. From time to time it can come loose or deteriorate at a faster rate, allowing leaks to form in those vulnerable areas.
Luckily, flashing problems are an easy fix, so long as you catch them quickly. Typically you can just add new flashing, or resecure the old flashing back down with a roofing adhesive. This is something handy homeowners might be able to do on their own, but if you’re unsure about working on the roof, it’s best to save yourself the stress and just call a professional. Flashing fixes are quick and inexpensive.
Again, this one is dependent on the shape of your home, and what type of new roof you’re having installed. A new roof can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. If you’re having an asphalt roof installed on top of an old one, expect the job to take less time, because the roofers won’t have to strip the previous roof. Timing will also depend on the size of your roofers’ crew, and the weather.
Roofing can be dangerous work, and roofers have to ensure that their workers will be safe while up on the roof, so inclement weather could put your roof installation on a longer timeline. For a more concrete answer on how long it will take to install your new roof, be sure to get estimates from multiple trusted roofers in your area. Most of them will offer a comprehensive timeline, and some contracts even include a penalty in the event that the roof is not completed on deadline.
If you’ve had a major roofing catastrophe––say a tree fell on your home, or you discovered a great deal of water damage––you might need a new roof ASAP. Many homeowners are afraid that roofers won’t work in the winter, because of the dangerous weather. While it is more difficult to install roofs in the winter, most roofers can make it happen so long as they’re careful. Installing a roof in the winter may take a bit more time, since roofers have to take great care, store materials appropriately, and wait for clear days, but it’s done all the time. If you need a roof ASAP, don’t worry that the weather will put your family out.
In humid and wet climates, it’s totally normal for your roof to develop black and green stains over time. These stains are actually plant growth: moss, algae, or lichens, which latch onto your roof and begin to spread. While it’s not uncommon to see these stains, it is important to wash them off regularly.
As these little plants begin to spread, they’ll eat away at the asphalt granules and shingles that work to keep your home safe and dry. If left to their own devices, they can eat all the way into the roof deck, causing leaks, rot, mold, and even major water damage. So, when you start to see odd discolorations on your roof, know that it’s probably time for a roof cleaning. A quick and easy way to get rid of those unwanted growths, regular cleaning keeps your roof looking spotless, and can extend its lifespan significantly.