Replacing Roofs: How Often Should Your Roof be Replaced?

How do you know when the time for replacing roofs has come? Age, wear and weather are all important factors: Here are some important tips on judging your roof’s life span.

Typical roof life span

One of the best clues for when to replace your roof is when it was last replaced. The average rooftop lasts for at least 20 years – but different materials can weather time in different ways. If you have asphalt shingles, they can last anywhere between 20 to 50 years, depending on quality. If you use wood shingles, they will only last around 30 years at the most, and may need to be replaced more frequently than other materials.

Some rooftops can last for a very long time. Slate and concrete, for example, can last for many decades and may still be in good condition in a hundred years! Metal or copper rooftops, meanwhile, can last for around 70 years in ideal conditions while synthetic materials last for less time.

Replacing roofs: Common signs

Generally, the condition of your roof is more important than its age: If your materials have wear or damage, it doesn’t matter how new it is, you need to consider replacing roofs. Here are several signs that it’s time to think about a new roof:

  • Widespread moss: Moss traps moisture and leads to roof decay. If there’s moss over a large area of your roof, you probably need all new materials before the damage gets worse.
  • Cracked or split shingles: Sometimes shingles can break in easily repaired patches due to storms or accidents. However, if most of your shingles (especially wood shingles) are cracked or split, it’s time for a full replacement.
  • Sagging roof deck or framework: Older or damage rooftops often have a sagging deck or uneven frame, a serious issue that often requires a total replacement.
  • Multiple leaks: One leak is easy to take care of. But if your roof suffers from many leaks, your shingles or underlayment are probably too old and need to be replaced.
  • Large amounts of shingle granules: If you see piles of shingle granules on the ground that means that your shingles are aging and losing their protective coating. It’s time for a new roof!
  • Curling shingles: Curling and cupping may occur in shingles where the corners warp and bend upward over time. It’s encouraged to replace these shingles before they lead to worse problems.
  • Faded color and stains: Overall loss of color or stain problems could mean that your roof is due for an upgrade. Call in a roof professional to inspect for algae, general age and the general wear of your roof.

Additional factors and considerations

Keep in mind that weather, climate and the location of your home are also important factors that determine how quickly your roof will age – and what new materials you need to keep your house safe. Local roofing technicians will be able to offer more specific advice.

Image Courtesy of: Flickr

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