Roof replacement and how to decide when to replace a roof

Wondering how often do roofs need to be replaced? We've got your answers right here!

You're sitting at home, looking at the ceiling, and wonder "how often do roofs need to be replaced?" It's one of those passing questions that doesn't receive a lot of thought until there is a problem.

You may have spotted damage or received unnerving results from a home inspection. Now that question warrants an answer.

Let's build on answering this important question. Plus, learn what other questions you should ask to find peace of mind and a safe roof over your head.

How Often Do Roofs Need To Be Replaced?

Replacing a roof is an infrequent home repair and rarely makes our priority list until we begin to see problems. Yet, normal wear-and-tear of mother nature, stress, and nasty critters like termites can do a number on the structural integrity. This makes haste for a roof replacement.

How will you know when a roof needs replacing? Look for the signs.

Signs a Roof Needs Replacing

A roof doesn't need to show extreme physical distress before it needs repairs. Lurking in the crawlspace and foundation are troubling factors of underlying problems. An initiative to identify these indicators will lead to a conclusion on how often do roofs need to be replaced.

The following are signs of a troublesome roof:

The Visual Indicators

Signs that a roof needs to be replacedThe visual indicators are the problems you can see and identify with a quick glance and inspection. Damage to the shingles and exposed building materials are clear signs of a replacement job. Old, curled shingles that buckle takes out the guesswork. Yet,these items don't always result in a call to a roofing professional -- consider the following:
• Patchiness: Scan the roof and take note of missing shingles and patches. Areas that are missing shingles creates exposure to weather and an entry point for dubious critters and insects. A small drip as the result of missing shingles can lead to massive structural damage due to moisture and rot. Patch jobs are equally troublesome because they aren't intended as a permanent solution.
• Bald spots: Missing granules of the shingles create a bald appearance which looks unflattering and easy to recognize. Yet, more important is the issue that the underlying spot is less protected and susceptible to wear & tear.
• Cracks or Rust: Cracking is a tell-tale sign the roofing material has reached its end. These cracks happen as the result of exposure to heat and cold or caused from debris. Metal roofs are susceptible to rust despite their coating; this damage quickens depending on the climate and location.
• Moss & Mold: Moss and mold are vegetation that's quite common to find on roofs. Homeowners typically pay little attention because it gives a unique aesthetic to the home. Yet, moss and mold can create pressure between roofing materials that expose underlying materials to the damaging effects of nature.
• Sagging: Water retention is an indicator of sagging. It's unwise to guesstimate the remaining stability of the roof if sagging is present. Immediate action is needed as sagging means the roofing materials and foundation have begun to give way.

The Secondary Indicators

The secondary indicators are ones found through documentation. The documentation could include the prior owner's records of renovations and inspections. Yet, these items aren't always present so a bit of guesswork may be in order to identify the following signs.

Age: Have an idea on the age of the roof? Roofs last decades but that doesn't mean yours is structurally sound. The previous owner(s) may have skimped on quality roofing services. An inspection or access to mortgage records would reveal more about the age of the roof. This will help give you a better guess at when it needs replacing.

High energy bills: An electric bill that has shown a creeping increase compared to previous years could reveal problems with the roof. Your unit will struggle to maintain the set temperature of the thermostat when cracks and openings are present.

Request prior electric bills from your provider to compare costs. Use this information as a motivator to inspect the attic, crawl spaces, and roof for damages to confirm your suspicion.

Time is of the Essence

Observations aren't enough to verify the extent of damages and stability of your roof. Remember that you're not an expert and that the signs are sometimes deceiving to the untrained eye. You can make smart guesses but it's best to talk with the professionals to get proper guidance and suggestions.

Talk to the Professionals

You've made up your mind and decided it's time to replace your roof. The signs were too clear and the time is right. Great! This is the moment that you forgo the DIY route and place trust in the professionals.

Many roofing jobs take a full day if it's a basic replacement. The tougher jobs take upward of a week. You'll know the extent and cost of the job once a professional gives you a full breakdown.

Replacing a roof is a big investment. It's why you need to ask the right questions about roofing to guarantee you find a qualified professional that delivers quality work for a fair price.

Finding the Right Roofing Professional

There are dozens of contenders for your business. Taking the time to research each option will lead to matching your needs with the right professional(s).

Consider the following to help with this decision:

• Years in business - A company with longevity has a long list of satisfied customers otherwise they would have gone under long ago. Look at the "About Us" section of their website or ask customer service to share their history and ideals.
• Pricing - Call around and ask for a quote to get a median price for services in your area. Compare service listings on websites if you're not inclined to talk on the phone. Ask prior clients if they would disclose their invoice/bill to get an idea of the final pricing.
• Feedback - What's the community have to say about the business? A cross-selection of feedback and reviews on the company website and across social media will provide a well-rounded understanding of the quality work the roofing business has to offer.
• Legal - A roofing project requires a good deal of paperwork. Paperwork includes permits, contracts, and insurance confirmation. Have contractors present these documents and keep a copy on file (digitally and physically) to make sure everything is covered.

Take your time when selecting a contractor so you're able to identify what needs fixing, how long it'll take, and what you'll pay. Ask the right questions. Do so and you'll save both time and money. Plus, that peace of mind knowing the work is in good hands.

Bonus Points: Otto's Exteriors

The average shingled roof lasts 20 years meaning a likelihood of a replacement at least 2-3x if you remain settled. Clay tiles and metal roofing lasts almost double this time.

How often do roofs need to be replaced?

Let Otto's Exteriors answer that for you. We've been in business since 2007 and still going strong. Our experts will help you understand all there is to roofing replacement through our no obligation consultation.

Don't let that damaged roof hang over your head any longer -- get in touch today!