In between the hurricane-like windstorms, your roof has also protected everything that is precious to you from blizzards, torrential downpours and scorching heatwaves. While you would like simply to ignore your roof and imagine it will last forever, in truth it has a life expectancy.
At some point, you may begin to ask if your roof is still capable of keeping Mother Nature at bay.
What Are the Signs of Roof Damage?
Sometimes the signs of roof damage are quite apparent. For instance, you may notice water stains on the ceiling or exterior walls of certain rooms.
You may notice that some shingles are missing or that the roof cap or flashing along the edges of the roof has been damaged.
In the attic, you may smell mold or see evidence of rotted wood. Often you may notice one or two indications of trouble, though you feel tempted to ignore the issue to see if will go away on its own.
Because a roof does not repair itself and leaks and mold invariably get worse if ignored, your best course of action if you suspect a problem is to contact a professional, such as a Contractor for a roof inspection.
Should My Roof Be Repaired or Replaced?
In that most homeowners perceive replacing a roof to be a major, time-consuming, costly repair, they are tempted to ask if a roof can be repaired as opposed to being replaced.
As a rule of thumb, if a roof is leaking in multiple locations, if it is a couple of decades old and if there is not just one damaged location—for instance, caused by a tree limb falling on it—it is wisest to replace the roof rather than trying to repair it.
some roof access tools to consider
Remember also that shingles change color over years of exposure to the sun, meaning that a patch to the roof, even with the exact original shingles, will be obvious.
What Is Involved in Replacing My Roof?
In terms of construction, re-roofing a house is not a lengthy task. Professional roofers can complete such a project in only a day or two depending on how extensive the replacement must be. In times past, a common practice was placing new shingles over existing ones.
However, this is typically not recommended in that it can perpetuate already existing roof abnormalities and add a great deal of weight to the frame of the house. The steps are fairly simple:
- Remove existing shingles and repair any decking issues
- Place roofing asphalt over the decking
- Install any necessary flashing and valleys
- Beginning at the eaves and working upward, install new shingles and roof cap
- Cleanup and remove debris
How Long Should I Expect a Roof to Last?
Throughout this article, the only roofing surface mentioned has been asphalt shingles, which are pretty much the default material professional roofers use. Of course, other roofing materials have been used here as well, including tiles, slate, different types of metal and rubberized flat roofs.
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Many of these other substances, while they have various issues of their own, have extremely long life expectancies. Steel, fired tile, slate and copper roofs can last more than 50 years.
Shingles are rated by how long they can be expected to last, many with a life expectancy of 30 years or more.
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