How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?

How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?

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James
February 8, 2022
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Your roof might still be in good condition, but it has a certain lifespan after which it will start to deteriorate.

This is why it’s important to pay attention to how long your roof material is meant to last, and make provisions for any repairs you can undertake yourself to increase your roof’s lifespan. 

When should you replace your entire roof?

If there’s extensive damage to your roof, it won’t be sufficient to do smaller repairs. You’ll have to replace the roof.

Read on to learn about how to tell when your roof has to be replaced. We’ll start by looking at how long a roof generally lasts. 

How Often Should You Replace Your Roof? 

How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?

The lifespan of a roof will vary depending on the materials out of which it’s made.

Composition shingles tend to last between 12 and 20 years, asphalt shingles last between 15 to 30 years, wood shingles last for 20 to 25 years, rubber roofs have a lifespan of between 30 and 50 years, and metal roofs have the longest lifespan – when installed correctly, they can last for between 50 and 75 years. 

How Regularly Should You Inspect Your Roof? 

In order to ensure your roof is still in good condition, you should inspect it every year. Don’t wait for something to happen, such as a leak, before you check it for any signs of damage.

Besides annual checks, you should inspect your roof after a natural disaster or storm has occurred, when there’s too much vegetation in the gutters, and when your roof is more than 10 years old you should inspect it more regularly for any early signs of damage so you can nip them in the bud. 

What Roof Repairs Can You Do Yourself? 

How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?

There are some roof repairs you can do yourself, such as cleaning your gutters and roof in general. But before you do anything more serious, you need to ensure that you check the roof warranty as any repairs you do could void it.

If your home was built before 1990, it could contain asbestos in the roofing materials, like the shingles. If these fibers are damaged during DIY work, they can be released into the air and inhaled, which can lead to serious health conditions such as lung disease. 

When it comes to replacing your roof yourself, you should only do it if you know what you’re doing. Unless you’re a professional roofer, you should only repair parts of the roof instead of the whole roof, such as by removing and replacing old or damaged shingles.

Replacing your roof requires lots of time and you might not have the right skills or tools you need to safely and properly replace your roof. 

Is It Time To Replace Your Roof? 

How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?

You can do some roofing repairs to keep your roof in excellent condition and prevent leaks, but how do you know when the wiser choice is to have your entire roof replaced?

Here are some important things to look out for that show you your roof has reached the end of its lifespan.

  • Your roof has been severely damaged by strong winds. Wind that strikes a roof can cause exposed spots to appear from raised shingles. The lifted shingles could have also had their sealant and nails loosened, which means you will have to replace the roof.
  • Your roof’s nails are exposed. If you have many nails on the roof that have been exposed, these can rust and cause leaks to occur.
  • Your shingles are curling. If you can see that your shingles are starting to curl, this is a warning sign that your roof will need to be replaced soon. Shingles usually curl because of various reasons, such as that they’re old, they weren’t installed properly to begin with, or you have a layered roof. 

Types Of Roof Replacements 

There are two main ways in which your roof could be replaced. These are overlay and tear-off methods.

Overlay 

This is when two layers of asphalt shingles are put on the roof. Whether or not you can have this roof installed depends on building codes, but most do allow it. How overlay works is that new shingles are simply nailed over existing shingles.

It’s a cost-effective way to improve the condition of your roof, but it does mean that you won’t be able to inspect the roof sheathing for water damage. A roof overlay is worth it if your roof is in good condition except for some damage on one side, like if it’s lost some shingles but the rest are intact. 

Tear off 

Tear off roof replacement involves removing the entire roof. It requires more materials and labor, which makes it more expensive than overlay. The benefits of doing it, however, is that you can inspect the sheathing for any damage and also install the roof shingles so that they lie flatter. 

Whatever method of replacing your roof you choose, the cost will depend on the roof’s shape and size. If it has a steep pitch or more than one level, it will require more labour so your costs will be higher.

The materials used for the roof will also impact its cost. Most homes contain asphalt shingles, which cost less than many other types of roofing materials

Roof Maintenance Tips To Extend The Lifespan Of Your Roof

How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?

Replacing your roof is a big and time-consuming job, so to avoid it for as long as possible you should ensure you follow some smart roof maintenance tips. These include the following:

  • Clean your roof regularly. If you notice any damaged shingles, replace them quickly. You should also clean your shingles regularly to prevent fungi and algae from taking hold and damaging them.
  • Replace sealant that’s damaged. Check your roof for any cracked sealant. Remove the existing sealant before applying new sealant. 
  • Check for any rust. If your roof has metal parts, you should check that they’re not becoming rusty. If there’s rust on the roof, remove it with a wire brush before adding primer and paint to the metal to keep it protected.
  • Clean your gutters. When gutters become clogged with leaves or other debris, this can damage your roof. The accumulation of water can cause it to leak underneath your roof.
  • Don’t forget about your chimney. When inspecting your roof for any damage, be sure to check the condition of your chimney. If it has any cracked mortar, this should be replaced to ensure that the chimney bricks remain secure. If a brick becomes loose and falls, this could damage your roof.
  • Avoid ice dams. These are when ice accumulates at the roof’s edge, and this prevents melting snow from flowing off the roof. By keeping your home and roof well insulated, your roof will stay at the same temperature as the external environment. This is important to ensure that you prevent snow from melting at the roof edge so it won’t freeze up on colder areas of the roof and cause damage. 
  • Trim tree branches. If your property has trees with overhanging branches that scrape your roof, this can damage it over time. In addition, the leaves that fall from the tree branches can clog your gutters. 

What’s the average cost to repair your roof?

Minor roof repairs can range from $200 to $300 for asphalt roofs. If your roof is made of metals such as wood, metal, or slate, this can cost more.

How much does a roofer charge?

Per hour, a roofer will generally charge you an average rate of between $50 and $80, but this also depends on how complicated and time-consuming the job is. 

Will your insurance cover roof damage? 

Many homeowner insurance policies will cover roof damage that’s caused by reasons that were unpreventable, such as fire or natural disasters. However, coverage depends on where you live, how old your roof is, and other factors. 

Conclusion 

If you have a damaged or very old roof, you might feel that it’s time to stop wasting money on repairs and invest in a new roof. But should you replace your roof yourself?

It’s clear after reading this article that you should tread carefully when it comes to DIY roofing.

While smaller roof repairs can be handled well if you have some DIY skills and experience, you should leave larger issues such as replacing an entire roof to the professionals.

Reference articles:

James

James Weldon is a professional roofing contractor with many years of experience on the job. He does not only handle large projects and provide excellent services for his company’s many clients; James Weldon also dedicates his spare time to teaching others useful tricks of the trade. Using BuildCampus as an avenue to reach many roofers and aspiring roofing contractors, James Weldon continues to provide high-quality educational posts and buying recommendations for anyone who visits the website.