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Some Considerations When Re-Roofing a House

The most overlooked part of a home is the roof. We know it is up there and we see it every time we turn into our driveway. But we never actually get up on the roof to inspect it. And with the length of warranties that roofing materials usually come with, we pretty much put its maintenance out of our mind. 

Unless it breaks. The only way we pay attention to it is when it starts leaking. Then we obviously pay attention to what is going up there. To not inspect it at that point would be negligence and lead to thousands upon thousands of dollars of additional damage to your home.

You might be surprised to know that the National Roofing Contractors Association recommends you inspect your roof twice per year for any problems.  I certainly didn’t know that before preparing for this article. And honestly, I’ve never done that with any of the six homes I have owned. 

This is important because a roof over your head offers shelter and security. But mostly, a home is the biggest investment you can ever make. It is one of the best ways to increase your net worth over time, as housing values typically rise. The ideal way to safeguard that investment and grow its value is to ensure that the roof is in good shape. 

Re-roofing a house is one task that requires a lot of expertise. That’s why homeowners should always turn to professional roofers like Roof Master for help. This is not a job for the casual weekend do-it-yourself warrior.

So, in this article, let’s look at how often you can change a roof and the possible lifespans of different rooftops. That is relevant depending on where you live, relative to the regions climate.

How Often Should You Replace Your Roof?

Roofs tend to tear and wear down as time goes. The buildup of snow, rodents, sunlight, strong winds, hurricanes and harsh weather conditions impacts your roof’s lifespan. How often you need to reroof your house depends on various factors like:

  • Yearly maintenance and care
  • Upkeep with minor repairs
  • Quality of the materials
  • Local weather
  • Keeping pests and rodents away
  • External debris accumulation
  • Building and design
  • Age of the materials

One of the major factors listed above is the quality and makeup of the actual materials that your contractor will be using. Let’s take a look at that one specifically. 

Related Content: A Beginner’s Guide to Home Remodeling Costs 

Quality of the Materials

Different types of roofs come with diverse lifespans. Here is an estimate of how long a roof can last based on the roofing materials used.

1. Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is a strong roofing choice. General roofing materials such as aluminum and steel should last close to 50 years before wanting a replacement. Additionally, other metal roofing like copper and zinc can last 100 years or more.

2. Asphalt Shingles

Before a need for a reroof arises, a 3-tab asphalt shingle roof should last 15-20 years under normal conditions. However, architectural asphalt shingle roofs are extra strong due to their design, lasting ten years longer than the 3-tab asphalt shingles roof. 

3. Wood Shakes

Wood shakes are denser than shingles. This makes them more resistant to factors like harsh weather and UV rays. Therefore, these roofs should serve you for up to 35-40 years. But, how well you maintain a wood shake roof determines how long it lasts.

4. Cement/Clay Tile Roofing

Clay tiles roofing is among the strongest options you can ever find. The tiles are not only resilient but also heavy. The installation of clay roofs is done on sturdy roofing support offering extra protection to your home. This makes tile roofing exceptionally durable and can last from 50 years to 100 years.

5. Wood Shingles

Wood shingles typically last between 25-30 years. Nevertheless, lack of proper maintenance affects the roofing material’s lifespan. Failing to clear the leaves and moss growth traps moisture against the roof and encourages decay.

Climate Issues

So materials definitely matter. But so does the weather and climate. Your roof is literally exposed to it everyday. So that probably has the greatest impact on its longevity.

1. Humidity

Humidity is among your roof’s worst enemies. If you come from zones prone to heavy rainfall, snow, sleet, and hail, your roof’s lifespan may not match its official description.

Winter can damage your roof, particularly when weather sways between freezing temperatures and above-zero. In addition, snowmelt cycles can cause severe ice dams, leading to roof-related issues.

2. Heat

Everyone complains about cold seasons during winter. But hardly anyone talks about the summer’s scorching heat. Unfortunately, dark roofs mostly absorb too much heat. This leads to cracking and other problems related to the weak rooftop.

Other Issues

1. Poor Ventilation

Good ventilation becomes vital in ensuring that your roof does not form ice dams during winter. Quality ventilation also keeps air circulating and your roof cold. During sunny days, ventilation ensures that your roof doesn’t get too hot, decreasing the need to lower your regulator.

2. Age of the Roof

An old roof is more likely to require a replacement or a repair. However, if you think your roof is getting old, a roofing expert helps you extend the roof’s lifespan. 

Factors to Consider When Re-roofing Your House

If it turns out that your rooftop needs a replacement, it would be best if you still considered various factors before the real reroofing takes place. This includes: 

1. Style and Design

A new roof can significantly change the appearance and increase the value of your house. Thankfully, there are many places you can get inspiration from before you reroof your home. They include online roofing galleries, nearby houses, or architectural magazines. Also, a designer can advise you on the ideal materials for replacement.

2. Ask for a Contract

Before any reroof work begins, ask for a contract from your roofing contractor. The contract should include all that you have discussed and agreed upon. Also, it should consist of things like the color, the area of the roof, and the shingle type. 

3. Presence of a Warranty

When replacing a roof, you should get two warranties. One should come from the manufacturer covering manufacturing faults. The other should come from the roofing expert covering quality control issues during installation.

4. Roofing Materials Options

As previously discussed, there are distinct types of materials to use to replace your roof. Due to technology progress over the years, you may have options that perhaps did not exist during the initial stages of building your house. Consider all your choices before construction.

5. Things Will Be Loud

Accept from the beginning that things will be loud when having your roof replaced. Therefore, if you are business, warn your employees about the noise before the project commences. It may be better for them to work offsite. If the roof replacement is happening in your home, consider staying out of the house during working hours (which are usually the morning hours when temperatures are cooler).

6. Re-roofing Checklist

You always consider all additional features of your roof before the whole reroofing process is complete. This includes replacing the gutter system, ventilation, repairing any structural damage, inspecting the fascia and soffit for damage.

Related Content: How to Make a Home Inventory Checklist in Case of a Catastrophic Loss

7. Performance

Every roofing material has a set of properties that affects performance. Before you decide on the material to use, check whether the performance factors of a roofing material match your design requirement.

Final Words

Re-roofing can be time-consuming and expensive, though it is a part of maintaining a home. It is an investment worth taking since it completely changes the face of your house. However, if you choose to ignore it, you will find yourself incurring hefty costs in the long run. 

Leave a Comment or Answer a Question Below: Do you have a horror story about damage that was caused by a roof? What problems have you run into installing a new roof? Are there any other issues that someone should look out for? 

Photo by Marian Kroell on Unsplash

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