Chances are you don’t often think about the roof over your head, at least as long as it’s doing its job effectively. Your roof is a silent guardian, weathering the rain, sleet, snow, and ultraviolet radiation of the sun all day, every day. Indeed, chances are, your roof has been doing this job for years, or even decades, depending on the age of your home. No roof, however, can resist the continual onslaught of the elements forever, and eventually, you will have to ask yourself does your old roof need to be replaced?
Does My Old Roof Need To Be Replaced?
The Lifetime of a Roof
A well-built roof can last for decades, provided it’s well-cared-for and regularly maintained by a professional roofer. How long, exactly, a roof can last will depend on a number of factors, including the materials the roof was originally constructed from and the climate in your area. Asphalt roofs, such as those commonly used for commercial buildings, usually have a life span of about 20 years. The materials used in housing can usually last longer; a traditional wood shake roof can last over 30 years if it is well cared for. Tile, slate, and copper roofs are perhaps the most durable of all, lasting up to about 50 years.
When you’re considering whether you need to have your roof replaced, you should give some thought to how long it’s been there in the first place. Especially if it’s over 20 years old, you should have an inspection performed to see if you need the roof replaced. If you aren’t sure how old your roof is, you can do a little detective work. Ask your neighbors how old their roofs are and when they were last replaced. Chances are that your roof was put around the same time as theirs.
When you’re having a new roof installed, you should take the life span of the materials into consideration, since a roof is an investment. That investment can really pay off over time, as you won’t need to replace the roof again for many, many years. In addition, a top-quality roof will increase the value of your home, giving you further return on your investment.
A Roof’s Enemies
Your roof is your only line of defense against the ceaseless assault of water, ice, and UV radiation. It helps keep you cool during the harsh summers and warm during the freezing winters. Everything that would be destructive to your property, however, can also weaken your roof.
Water going where it shouldn’t is one of the most costly problems homeowners can face. A leaky roof can cause thousands of dollars in property damage as rain and melted snow get into the components of your home and promote the growth of mold and bacteria. Your roof is protected from the water by the shingles and the gutter. However, if shingles become damaged (or get blown off by the wind) or the gutter becomes clogged, the water can begin to slip into more vulnerable areas.
Wind, especially very heavy wind such as that from hurricanes or other storms, can rip shingles, as well as blow all sorts of debris into the nooks and crannies of your roof. Over time, this dirt and debris can create openings that water can seep through, where it will ultimately find its way into your home.
Ice and Snow
Snow, of course, is frozen water. Any of the problems caused by rain can also be caused by snow as it melts and begins to seep into any weakened areas of the roof. Besides this, snow has weight to it. A heavy layer of snow on your roof will weaken its structural integrity. While a strong roof can certainly handle this, an old roof that has been worn out over years of icy winters can be at risk of failure from the added weight of snow.
Harsh weather isn’t the only thing that will wear out your roof. Even pleasant, sunny days put stress on the materials. The UV radiation of the sun’s rays will gradually degrade even the strongest roofing materials. Eventually, these materials will weaken and need to be replaced.
Fungus and Moss
Encouraged by damp conditions and poor airflow, algae, moss, and fungus can begin to grow on and underneath the shingles of your roof. Eventually, these can compromise the integrity of the roofing materials. Too much moss growth can even lead to the collapse of the roof.
Maintaining the Roof
As you can see, your roof is constantly withstanding a barrage of attacks from every direction. The sunlight from above it and the humid air beneath it, as well as heat, cold, moisture, dryness, and everything in-between, will eventually wear your roof out. You can, however, delay the need to replace your old roof by having regular inspections performed by a roofing professional from Interstate Roofing.
Regular maintenance will catch minor problems before they balloon into catastrophic ones. For example, if the wind has torn a few shingles off over the course of a breezy winter, your roofer will simply replace these, restoring your roof’s ability to keep the elements out. Your roofer can clean out the gutters to ensure there’s no buildup of damaging rainwater. They can also replace damaged flashing and other materials.
Replacing the Roof
Regular care and maintenance can extend the lifetime of your roof for many years. However, if your roofer recommends you replace your old roof, it will be in your best interest to do so quickly. While it can be quite expensive to replace a roof, if you don’t do so in time, the roof may fail, leading to catastrophic damage and much greater expense. If the shingles on your roof appear to be curling upwards, it could be a sign that they’ve worn out and that you need to get entirely new ones.
The extensive algae growth can also facilitate the need to replace the roof; look for the telltale signs of algae growth, such as big, dark streaks appearing across the shingles. Cracks, moss growth, and bald spots where shingles are missing can also be signs you need to invest in the replacement of your roof.
Final Thoughts on Does Your Roof Need To Be Replaced…
Even with regular care and maintenance of your rood, eventually, it will need to be replaced. By following the advice above and taking everything mentioned here into consideration, you will be able to make the best decision on having a new roof installed.