Your roof serves as an umbrella for your entire home, protecting the structure as well as its contents from precipitation and severe weather. That’s why when your roof is old or damaged, you need to make roof replacement a priority project. Unlike many home improvement projects, replacing your roof isn’t a choice – if you put off a new roof for too long you risk damage to the structural integrity of your home!
How Do I Know If I Need a New Roof?
Sometimes it’s obvious you need a new roof-catastrophic storm damage, gapping holes, etc. – but, in most cases, there is a judgment call involved. Missing shingles are a sign that your roof needs to be repaired at the very least, and if your attic has started to leak, you’ll definitely want to replace your roof rather than repairing it. Unlike missing shingles, curling shingles always illustrate that your roof must be replaced, as they are beginning to fail. Ceiling stains and wet spots in your attic are indications that your roof needs to be replaced. Other problems may include missing flashing and blocked gutters, both of which prevent your roof from functioning optimally. If these issues are identified early enough, you can probably fix them before roof damage occurs; if not, the roof should be repaired or replaced.
Should I Repair or Replace My Roof?
With some types of roof problems, you’ll need to choose between replacing and repairing your roof (missing shingles, damaged flashing, etc.). Two factors are crucial in this decision: first, the extent of the problem, and second, the age of your roof. For example, if your roof has a substantial leak, you’ll be better off doing a complete replacement rather than a repair: your roofer won’t be able to combat the moisture without taking the whole roof off, and potentially even replacing the plywood underneath. Also, if your roof is approaching or past its expected life span, there is no point repairing a small section, as you’ll probably need to make additional repairs within a short time. You’ll save money and hassle by doing a complete roof installation if your roof is older. However, if a few shingles have blown off and there is no leak, a roofing repair is probably a wiser choice.
What Kind of Shingles Should I Choose?
There are a number of replacement roofing materials available today. Choose from:
- Traditional asphalt shingles (3-tab)
- Architectural asphalt shingles
- Wood shingles
- Slate tiles
- Composition (manufactured) slate tiles
- Ceramic (Spanish) tiles
These options offer distinct benefits and drawbacks in terms of cost, appearance, fire-retardant properties, weight, and life span, so be sure to thoroughly discuss roofing materials with your local roofing contractor. They’ll be able to recommend specific materials suited to your home, needs, and climate. The size and pitch of your roof will also impact the cost of replacement, so be sure to keep that in mind when evaluating the cost-benefit of different roofing options.
Once you’ve decided to replace your roof, you’ll need to find a qualified roofing contractor in your area. Be sure you pick a reputable roofer, as correct installation directly impacts the performance of your roof. We recommend selecting a roofer with experience, positive reviews from past customers, and a full warranty on labor to ensure the best possible roof replacement experience and a roof that will last for years.