How Often Should You Replace Your Roof
Most often, the most ignored part of the house is the roof. We tend to overlook the signs of damage till they aggravate and take a turn for the worse. Roof replacement is a hectic and costly affair, and people generally try to push it off till it’s too late. Generally speaking, roofs last for 20 to 25 years before they need complete replacement. But not all roofs have such a long lifespan. If you are wondering how often you must replace the roof and what the average lifespan is, you must know that it depends on several factors:
- The roofing materials
- Maintenance of the roof
- General climate
Here, in this short but comprehensive guide, we shall let you know how often you must replace your roof and the signs to identify the right time to get them fixed or replaced.
Things About how often should you replace your roof
Know Your Roof’s Material And Lifespan
Different materials have different lifespans, which decide how long your roof should last on average. Robust construction using sturdy and durable material is crucial to preserve the life of the roof. In general, the average lifespans of these materials are:
- Cement or Clay Tile Roofs
Clay and cement are the most resilient options for homes. They provide reinforced protection for the building and are extremely durable. They usually last for 50 to 75 years if well maintained.
- Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingle roofs usually last 15-30 years. Architectural asphalt shingles are more durable than 3-tab shingle roofs.
- Wood Shingles
Wood shingles last for 20-25 years if they are well maintained. If you keep the roof away from leaves, moss growth and prevent moisture from making the wood decay, you can expect a good amount of lifespan. The only problem is that wood shingles are prone to damage and fire accidents.
- Wood Shakes
Wood shakes are more durable options compared to wood shingles. They are thicker, more weather-resistant, and last for 30 to 40 years with proper maintenance. If you maintain the roof properly, you can expect the said lifespan before you need a replacement.
- Metal Roofs
Metal roofs go strong for as long as 50 years before you need to replace them. Steel, aluminum, zinc, and copper are popular metal roofing options to give you the most resilient roofs ever.
- Slate Roofs
Slate roofs are another extremely durable option as they last as long as 75 to 100 years with proper maintenance.
Yearly Inspection and Maintenance
Even though we have let you know the average lifespans of all kinds of roofing materials, the longevity hugely depends on the climate and maintenance. The more the roofs are exposed to harsh climate conditions, severe storms, strong winds, rain, and snow, the more they need repair and maintenance to avoid replacement. Such extreme weather elements make sturdy materials wear out too soon then they should. Frequent rains cause moss formation in wood shingles and may erode metal roofs too. Heavy, stormy winds can dislocate asphalt shingles and make wood shingles crack.
The average lifespans mentioned hold up only when you go for professional inspections once or twice a year. Keep the roofs clean and repair any damage, even if they seem too slight. A small crack can widen up sooner than you imagine due to exposure to elements, temperature fluctuations, and damage to the roofing material. If your house is in an area experiencing heavy rain, storm, or snow, check the roof for damage every time.
Signs That You Must Not Ignore To Extend Your Roof’s Life
To make your roof lasts as long as it should, you must never ignore the first signs of damage. Ignoring them will make them take a turn for the worse, reducing the longevity of your roof. Humidity and precipitation can severely damage roofs. In colder climates, the freeze-thaw cycles during winter can leave the roofs damaged. When you inspect the roof, look for the following signs of damage and get them repaired at the earliest.
When you notice sunlight entering through holes in the ceiling or attic, it’s a sign of an advanced stage of damage. You may have already missed smaller holes and cracks, which have aggravated over time, making them big enough for light to enter. Go for an immediate repair to stop these holes from causing deeper cracks. Holes and cracks can turn worse faster than you can imagine. Also, look for leaky holes in the rainy season to get them repaired.
- Broken Shingles
When the shingles look cracked, broken, or show any sign of damage, they need immediate repair. Missing shingles need replacement as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to the roof. Missing shingles on one side of the house point to damage by storms or heavy winds. Sometimes, the shingles may suffer curling, where the edges may turn upwards like a cup, or the middle rises and bends. It’s a sign of weathering, causing damage to the shingles. Your roof may start leaking and need elaborate repair if you leave the shingles cracked, curled, or broken.
- Water Stains
Do not wait till your roof is already leaking to get it replaced. Check the early signs of damage caused by moisture and dampness to avoid an expensive roof replacement within 10 years of building it. Water stains, blisters, and discoloration are vital signs of moisture damage to the roof. If you notice the signs on the walls as well, it may be a sign of water seepage through the roof. You may also find puddles forming in the attic. Notice if your ceiling shows any yellowish or brownish circular patches. Get the roof fixed as soon as you notice these signs.
- Mold and Rot
A worse stage after water stains due to seepage is mold formation and rotting. When you find green or black wet spots on the ceiling, it’s a clear sign of mold formation. Do not delay getting the spots fixed as early as possible because it’s a sign that you have already caused much delay. Your roof has started to decay and may need a replacement soon if you wait further. Professional inspections can detect mold formation and rot in places you wouldn’t otherwise notice yourself. These could lead to internal leaks and structural damage if you leave them unattended.
- Granules In The Gutter
Asphalt shingles are reinforced with granules of different sizes from minerals. These granules protect the shingles from sun damage. If you notice loose granules in the gutter, it’s a sign that the shingles are shedding them with age. Without the granules, the asphalt shingles are exposed to sun damage and will wear out very soon.
The best way to preserve the longevity of your roof is to ensure proper maintenance throughout the year. A bi-annual inspection of your roof is highly recommended. Try to get your roof inspected at least once a year by professional roofers to identify the early signs of damage and get them repaired before it is pretty late. When you ignore these signs of damage, they reduce the roof’s lifespan, making you go for an expensive roof replacement too soon. Thus, maintenance and early repair of the slightest damages are crucial to making your roof lasts as long as 20 to 25 years before you need to replace it.