Being told that you need a new roof can be overwhelming. Here's everything you need to know about why your roof needs to be replaced, what happens next, and how to help your roof last longer in the future.
How do you know when your roof needs to be replaced?
To the uninitiated, your home's roof may seem a bit of a mystery. The signs that your roof needs to be replaced, however, are quite apparent when you know what to look for.
The most telltale sign that you need a new roof is curling shingles. When you observe the first row of shingles along the edge of your roof, they should be flat and flush against your roof. As they age, shingles get dry and brittle. The edges curl up and, eventually, will break off.
How often do roofs need to be replaced?
Asphalt shingles can last anywhere from 15 to 40 years. The length of time depends on the quality of the original installation as well as the environment that they are in. The more severe the weather in your area, the less time your roof will last.
What causes wear and tear on a roof?
While you may suspect that storms with strong winds are the main cause of roof damage, you'd be incorrect. In fact, building codes typically dictate that shingles are expected to stay securely attached to your roof in sustained wind speeds of up to a certain mileage per hour. Unless you have just survived a Category 1 hurricane (75mph), your shingles should stay put on windy days.
The actual cause of most wear and tear on your shingles is due to exposure to the elements. Heavy snow, sub-zero temperatures, rain, hail, sleet, UV rays, and even salt spray from homes near the ocean can wreak havoc on your home's shingles over time. They are meant to protect you from these elements, but doing so can slowly cause them to break down.
Asphalt shingles are manufactured with a protective coating on them that is similar to gravel. It gives the shingles a tough, outer layer of protection. As Mother Nature sends her worst, however, that protective coating is washed away, leaving your shingles vulnerable over time.
What happens if you don't replace your roof?
While you may be able to talk to your roofing replacement specialist about waiting a year before installing a new roof, it is not a project that you can put off indefinitely. Your shingles are your first line of defense against water entering your home. When your roof fails, rain and snow can work their way underneath the shingles and cause the plywood underlayment to rot. Once that underlayment is damaged, precipitation can directly enter your attic space, ruining everything in its wake.
Are there any ways to save money with roof replacement?
There are two methods of replacing a roof. You can perform a complete tear-off or an overlay. During a tear-off, the old shingles, nails, and roofing felt are all completely removed from your roof and replaced. When you choose an overlay, on the other hand, the new shingles are simply installed directly over the old ones, saving money in both materials and labor. This should only be done when your existing shingles are in fairly good shape and the use of this method is allowed by the county you live in.
How can you make your new roof last longer?
While you can't protect your roof from the elements, you can take better care of it. Pay attention to overhanging tree branches that may scrape your roof in a storm, and be proactive with tree removal when necessary. If you live in a mildew prone area or your roof is particularly shady, consider having it soft-washed on an annual basis to prevent the build-up of mildew, mold, and other organisms that can cause your shingles to deteriorate faster.
Needing a new roof is not the end of the world. Hiring a good roofing replacement crew and knowing the how and why of roof replacement will ensure that your next roof lasts as long as possible.
To learn more, contact a roofing replacement company.