If you asked most car owners if they would ever let their vehicle go without maintenance work and oil changes, the answer would almost inevitably be no. But if you asked most homeowners how often they performed routine maintenance checks on their roof, you might get quite a different answer. The truth is, most people don’t pay attention to their roof until it springs a leak, or until they start to notice the shingle falling off. Why this is, we’re not really sure, but the truth is, you should be inspecting your roof on a regular basis to identify problems before they occur. So today, we will teach you how to look for “when to replace a roof” signs so that you can prevent small problems before they become big ones.
How often do you need to replace a roof?
The answer to this question really depends on numerous factors including:
Where you live and the climate around you can play a drastic role in the lifespan of your roof. Let us just say that humidity is your roofs worst enemy. Beyond that, high precipitation levels, including snow, sleet, rain, and hail, can also all decrease the expected lifespan of your roof. During winter when weather is fluctuating in temperatures, freeze thaw cycles can lead to a host of roof concerns.
In order to protect your roof from the cold of the winter and the heat of the summer, proper ventilation is required. Good ventilation can help to keep air circulating, preventing your roof from getting too hot or too cold, and can thereby extend the lifespan of your roof.
Just like anything else that you own, the better you upkeep it, the longer it will last. If you are willing to put in regular maintenance work and keep up with small repairs, your roof will last longer. If you aren’t, lifespan can be shortened.
Dirt, debris, and rodents
Over time, your roof can attract a lot of dirt and debris. It’s important that you regularly clean your roof to prevent buildup, which can impact your roof’s lifespan. Rodents can also cause a lot of damage to roofs, so it’s in your best interest to keep them away.
Having said all of that, most roofs last an average of between 25-30 years. Depending on the type of materials used to build your roof, this statistic may be higher or lower. So let’s talk a little about roof shingles to give you a better estimate:
When to replace roof shingles
The type of shingle material you use can drastically impact the lifeline of your roof. As we just mentioned, the average lifespan of a roof is between 25-30 years, but if you go with a less robust shingle like composition shingles, this statistic can decrease to an average of 12-20 years.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, choosing a strong and sturdy material like metal roofing can drastically increase the lifespan of your roof between 50-75 years.
Other roofing materials that fall somewhere in the middle include Asphalt shingles (with an average lifespan of between 15-30 years), and wood shingles (expected to last between 20-25 years).
Signs that it’s time to replace your roof
So we now know what can impact the lifespan of our roofs, and we have a good estimate of when to replace a shingle roof, but how do you know it’s really time?
Roof damage happens for several reasons. It can due to normal wear and tear, extremes in weather condition, and corrosion. If you suspect a roofing problem, you need to seek roof inspection services.
As a homeowner or business owner, how do you know that your roof needs to be replaced? Being able to spot problems that warrant a roof replacement helps you avoid costly repairs inside your home or commercial property. Here are some key signs that will tell you it’s time for a new roof:
Moss growth on your roof.
While moss in your garden looks pretty normal, it can serve as a warning sign if you see it on your roof shingles. Moss (or lichens and algae) indicates that there is moisture on your roof surface. These growths happen as a result of damp, cool weather and can hold more moisture. When left unattended, these can speed up wear on your roof.
Sunlight entering your attic.
Check your attic. Does sunlight get in? If yes, this means that your roof is suffering from an active leak. To confirm the presence of a leak, look for water stains. Small leaks, if still new, can be remedied by a roofing contractor. However, larger leaks require replacement especially if your roof is old.
Bad odors inside your property.
A roof damage such as a serious leak leads to algae growth, causing a strong musty smell inside your home or commercial building. Never ignore stinky odors! Better yet, have the best commercial roofing contractors inspect your roof. These smells can affect the quality of your indoor air, putting the health of your employees at risk.
Visible metal deterioration.
If it has been a while since you’ve had your commercial roof checked by roof inspection services, one of the roof damage signs to expect is rust or metal deterioration. Rust or metal deterioration result from regular exposure to the changing weather. Rust formation on a roof happens more quickly when roofs are frequently subjected to rain and moisture.
A visible sagging roof signifies a serious damage. Remember that roof lines must be straight. A major cause of sagging roof is moisture. Water damage causes materials in your roof to sink. Another reason for sagging is a faulty or poor quality roofing material. Regardless of the cause, do not hesistate to call the attention of a roofing professional. A prompt roof replacement can save you from interior problems!
When to replace roof decking
Roof decking is the section of your roof by which everything else is placed. It includes things like the trusses and joints, the insulation and coating, the layers, the wood, steel, or concrete, and so on and so forth. Decking materials hold several different purposes including supporting the shingles, preventing fires, providing protection from the elements, and preventing leaks..
Like the shingles themselves, roof decking is subject to damage and will eventually need to be replaced. Signs of decking damage can be very similar to signs that tell you it’s time to replace your shingles. They include:
- The curling or buckling of shingles/missing shingles
- Granular wear of shingles
- Mold or mildew buildup in the attic
- A bouncy feeling when walking on the roof
- Holes in the roof
- Damage found around pipes, chimneys, or other areas
So if you have a roof that is past its due date, or that is showing signs of wear, it may be time for a replacement. But before you replace, call the professionals to take a look – they can tell you whether you need a full roof replacement, or simply just need some maintenance work.
Tired of Shingles? Try These Materials Instead.
If it’s time to replace your roof and you’re considering a new material other than the standard shingle installation, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the variety of choices. Each type of roofing material offers its own benefits, and every kind costs different amounts.
Discovering which benefits and styles are important to you will help you choose which type of roofing material will be most suitable for your home.
Clay and Concrete Tile
For strength, beauty, and longevity all in one package, tile is the material of choice. This roofing solution can provide substantial protection from rain, wind, hail, and UV rays, and can last more than 50 years. Unfortunately, tile can be expensive to maintain and requires specifically trained servicemen to prevent further damage.
Metal roofing is quickly growing in popularity because of its incredible efficiency and ability to imitate most roofing materials. Metal roofing can now resemble tile, slate, or even wood, and can last decades with only minimal maintenance. These roofs are great for standing up to UV rays and rain, as well as hail, debris, and high winds.
As roofing materials go, this is the grandaddy. Slate roofing lasts forever and very rarely needs any sort of maintenance. This material is sleek and elegant, and once installed can resist any sort of damage, from extreme weather to debris collision. However, this roofing system costs substantially more than any other option.
If you want a free quote of whether your roof needs replacing or just repaired, take a look at our list of top roofing contractors in Austin that will come out for FREE and give you an estimate.