When your roof is damaged, or has arrive to its final, you have to decide among repairing or changing it.
This decision is not a simple one. How can you be sure if it’s time to make some patches, or take it to the trash and put on a new one?
Here you will find some ideas to help you in this process and to take the better decision.
You do not need to expend thousands for a new roof if the current roof can be repaired.
For instance, it is in poor condition (bad decking, deteriorating shingles), repairing can be better, it takes less time and money than installing a new roof.
If you are unsure of what to do, you should consult a licensed contractor for professional opinion.
Make a pros and cons analysis
Repairs will take less time and less cost. But, the lifespan of the materials used will be about 25% shorter than a new one.
If you get a new roof, you may have a warranty for materials, labor, or both. Additionally, you will have many years without reroofing again.
Do not take a long time to decide.
If you find that your roof needs minor repairs, do it as soon as possible, do not wait until the roof gets really bad.
If you wait longer, you will need more money to fix the damages, more time and, in extremely case, have to buy a new roof.
The message here is: do it quick, don’t wait too long, call the contractor right now. As the time goes by, the situation is getting worse.
What about Materials?
There are a lot of roofing materials with different life expectancies.
You must Know what yours is made of so you can get a better idea about replacing it.
Asphalt – (20-50 years) Most asphalt shingles last around 20 years, but top-quality versions may be rated for up to 50
Cedar – (About 20 years) Wetness is better for this material, dryness can produce cracking and crumbling, so climate conditions matters.
Metal – (40-80 years) It lasts long time.
Tile (Concrete/Slate/Clay) – (100 years or more) it may crack occasionally, but most are long-lasting and virtually worry free.
Wood – (About 30 years) moderate weather is the best for it.
Start checking from the inside out.
By using a flashlight from the attic, check if you can see any light from the outside and scan for leaks, sagging, or water damage.
Make sure that dryer vents really lead outside and not to your attic. On the exterior, you have to look for damaged or missing shingles.
Check if there is wear around chimneys, pipes, or other openings.
Also check for signs of moisture, mold or rot, and see if downspouts and gutters are properly attached and debris-free.
Examine gutters to look for a large build-up of shingle granules because this indicates advanced wear.
Does your roof have single or double layer of shingles?
If your roof consists of a single or double layer of shingles, and your decking is in good shape, it could not be necessary to replace it.
However, if your roof has multiple layers of shingles, the best idea is to strip them off and recover the surface.
Due to shingles add weight to a roof, building codes in most areas allow only two layers.
But in areas where there are longer periods of strong rain or winds may allow three layers for more protection.
Check local regulations and consult a contractor to decide if a repair or reroof is in order.
If you detect deterioration of sheathing your roof needs some actions ASAP.
Look for leaks in the attic or ice buildup, these are bad signs that will get worse in a few months.
Interior ceilings and walls with stain or signs of mold and mildew should get attention very soon.
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