Roof Replacement: Knowing When It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

One of the most expensive home repairs is installing a new roof. Determining whether your home needs a new roof or roof repair can be confusing. There are several determining factors which can guide homeowners. Consulting with a roofing contractor can also help you determine if your roof needs to be repaired or replaced.

The Age of the Roof
Most asphalt shingled roofs last about 15-20 years. Nowadays, there are new types of GAF asphalt roof shingles which last about 30 years (if maintained well). If your roof has numerous leaks, several damaged areas and is close to 15 years old, then you will likely need to replace it.

Number of Roof Layers
If your roof is leaking and already has several layers, you might need a completely new roof. Roofers refer to this as a “complete tear-off.” All the layers are torn off and new wood roof framing is installed. New shingles are then installed. City codes are usually very strict regarding the amount of roof layers permitted. In most areas, the maximum number of layers is three. Check with a local roofer who will be most familiar with the roofing codes in your area.

Other Signs That an Older Roof May Need Replacement

Missing or Torn Shingles
Torn, damaged or missing shingles are often a sign of other roof problems. Peeling shingles could be caused by poor roof ventilation. Poor roof ventilation results in warm air escaping through the roof. The warm air can lead to moisture under the shingles and cause them to peel. Mold growth or black spots are also a sign of a moisture problem. Before considering a new roof, make sure that you have enough intake and outtake roof and attic vents.

Condition of Interior Walls
The condition of the interior walls that touch the roof can give many clues about what is going on up on top of the roof. If you notice a significant loss of paint and heavy moisture marks on your walls (and ceilings), then there could be some serious leaks originating on the roof. If you have safe access to your attic, climb up and check for evidence of moisture.

Extreme Weather Conditions
Tornadoes and hurricanes can cause roof damage that cannot be repaired. Structural damage to the roof cannot always be seen. A professional roofer (with experience in repairing and replacing weather damaged roofs) can help determine if you need a new roof.

Faulty Design
Is your roof less than 15 years old and suffering from major problems? It could be that your roof was improperly installed or that faulty materials were used. Many roofs come with warranties for the materials used and some even cover the labor. Check with the roofing company who installed your roof.

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Roofing Materials – What Are the Differences

Roofing has existed for centuries. Roofs can be made of a variety of materials. The most important aspect to roofing is weatherproofing. Making an assessment of the weather in your area will help you choose the best roofing material for you.

As long as people have lived in houses, roofing has been a necessity. Roofing can be made of many different materials, which each have their own weatherproofing properties. As time has progressed, new roofing materials have been created that are even more effective than their predecessors. Roof construction has existed for thousands of years, and was a huge factor in the human transition to sedentary civilizations.

Domestic architecture has had an immense variety of forms throughout the history of civilization. Homes likely started as constructions of bricked mud, sometimes reinforced by plant stalks. Roofs also can be made out of thatched plant stalks to seal a home from weather. Thatched roofing consists of dried plant stalks that form straw. Wheat straw and rye straw can be used. Thatching itself is a process that involves stacking crisscrossed layers of straw to form a tight seal.

Weatherproofing is the most important aspect of roofing. It is essential that the materials used can effectively keep out rainwater and wind. Usually, when a roof needs repair or replacement, it is because water is leaking through the roof and through the ceiling.

There are a wide variety of materials with which one can make a roof. While thatched roofing has been used for a long time, and is still used today, advancements in technology have allowed for other materials to become popular. The most popular materials with which to make a roof include slate, metal, ceramic tile, concrete, and asphalt. Membrane roofs can be made of plastic, bitumen, or other materials. It features large sheets of material, as opposed to smaller shingles or tiles.

Shingles are not actually a material themselves, but like thatching, they are a method of arranging materials in a way that seals out moisture. They are flat objects, usually tiles, arranged so they overlap and form a tight seal. Shingles can be made out of many different materials. Sometimes they are made out of wood.

Slate is a useful material because it can be made into thin layers that can be easily shaped into lightweight tiles. Stone and concrete can also be used. They are less expensive, but also heavier. Ceramic tiles have been used for centuries and are another material that works well for roofs.

Metal shingles are a lightweight option. Metal roofs can also be accomplished with corrugated metal or a variety of other shapes. The benefits of a metal roof are that the materials are less expensive and lightweight. Also, metal can be shaped into an enormous variety of shapes, and it is a relatively easy process to make metal very thin.

Constructing a roof is a complex practice that involves many different materials. The materials you will want for your own roof will depend largely on the area in which you live. Your needs should be assessed by considering the climate and daily weather of your region. Typhoons are a concern, so roofs in affected areas should be secured to prevent damage. Knowing what materials work best in your conditions will help you and your roofer make the right decisions about which roof style will work best for you.

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