A new roof is a major home investment, one that protects your home from the elements and often makes up about 40% of your home’s “curb appeal”, but it’s important to schedule your roof replacement wisely and understand your options for your new roof. We’ve put together a short guide to help you determine when it’s time for a new roof, what your new roof options are, and what to expect in terms of cost.
The lifespan of your roof is primarily determined by the material used in the construction of your roof. Traditional asphalt shingle roofs, which are the most common in the United States, typically last 20-25 years. Wood shingle roofs typically last 20-30 years. Metal roofs can last 40 to 50 years. Slate, copper, and tile roofs, which are common in both California and Florida, can last up to 100 years or even longer.
If your roof is nearing the end of its useful life, you need to start thinking about replacement as soon as possible. You can estimate when your roof will need to be replaced based on the average life of the material used on your roof and when it was originally installed. However, keep in mind that bad weather and unexpected damage can significantly shorten the life of a roof, especially if problem areas are not repaired in time.
If you don’t know when your roof was installed, or if there’s a chance that bad weather and damage have shortened the life of your roof, keep an eye out for signs of age, wear and tear. Signs to look out for include:
Has a roof leak recently appeared inside your home? If so, there could be a leak somewhere in your roof. Leaks often occur in roof valleys (directing rainwater into gutters) and in areas where flashing has developed cracks and breaks. A simple roof leak repair or roof patch can help if you only have one or two leaks; but multiple leaks could indicate it is time to replace the roof. Roof leak detection can be a dangerous DIY job, so it’s best to hire a roofing specialist if you need to inspect your roof for leaks.
Take a look inside your attic during the day. Do you notice any sunlight coming through the ceiling boards? This is a sure sign that you have a leaky roof that needs to be replaced.
Did you do a quick inspection of your gutters? Do you see many black specks? These are asphalt granules from your shingles. Some granule loss is normal during the life of an asphalt roof, but asphalt shingles tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle. Constantly high pellet loss is a sure sign that your roof needs to be replaced.
Shingles can curl or bend over time due to strong exposure to sunlight. Take a look at the slope of your roof that receives direct sunlight. Do the shingles there create a flat, even surface, or are there areas where parts of the shingles stick up? If you notice curved or bent shingles, your shingles are likely reaching the end of their life.
The roofs are built to withstand high winds and storms. If you notice shingles missing from your roof after a storm, that could be a sign that your roof is failing.
When it’s time to replace your roof, be sure to consider your options. The most common roofing materials in sunny and temperate areas like Florida and California include asphalt shingles, wood shingles or wood shakes, metal roofing, clay or concrete tiles, and slate.
Many homeowners opt for asphalt shingles because they come in a wide range of styles and are the most affordable roofing options. Wood shake shingles come in a variety of wood types and can be treated with fire retardants for better fire resistance. The metal roof is lightweight, fire resistant and highly durable. Slate is the most expensive roofing option and is known for its extraordinary longevity. Clay and concrete tiles offer comparable benefits to slate, but with a greater variety at a lower cost.
As you select a roofing material for your home, consider “future proofing” your roof. You may want to consider upgrading to an energy efficient cool roof. Cool roofs use an additional layer of premium shingles that reflect sunlight more effectively and reduce heat transfer into the home. This can keep your home cooler in the hot summer months and also reduce your energy use.
Another way to “future-proof” your roof is to install a solar or electric heating system on your roof. Solar power is a great way to harness the power of clean, renewable solar energy to power your own home. Solar power is an especially smart investment in sunny, temperate climates.
Replacing your roof before it develops leaks and extensive damage can help you avoid major repairs down the road. A minor repair here and there will cost anywhere from $150 to $400, but major roof repairs can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 or more. If roof repair costs start to reach this end of the spectrum, roof replacement may be a smarter option.
The cost of a new roof largely depends on the roofing material you choose:
Asphalt shingle roofs tend to be the most affordable, ranging from $5,000 to $12,000. However, this cost can be higher if you upgrade to a cool roof, which uses high-quality shingles to reflect sunlight more effectively. Cool roof tiles tend to cost 20-40% more than their standard counterparts.
Wood ceilings are more expensive, ranging from $15,000 to $22,000.
The average cost of a metal roof is $18,000 to $25,000.
The average cost of a clay tile roof is $22,000 to $32,000.
Slate roofs tend to be the most expensive, averaging $32,000 or more.
A number of additional factors including roof size, slope, and complexity also play a role in how much your new roof will cost. A roofing specialist can give you the most accurate roof estimate for your home.
My name is Debra Cargill, I live in my home in Springfield, Massachusetts and have been looking for new direction in my life. I started blogging recently and I've discovered a new passion in life. This blog is all about health, wellness, life issues and about lifestyle in general where I cover a broad range of topics on the subjects....Click to read on