A quality asphalt roof should last for eighteen to twenty five years under normal conditions. Before you call an estimator there are many ways to determine if you need to replace your roof. Having a roof inspection done may be the best way but many times you can be told that you need a new roof when you really only need roof repair. Check some of these factors before you make any final decisions.
Is your roof leaking?
If your roof is leaking it may need a complete replacement or a simple repair. If you only have a few damaged shingles and the rest are in good shape you may be a candidate for a simple repair. If you have an attic access check to see how much leakage you have but keep in mind that not all leaks are visible. Sometimes water will leak through your roof and run down inside your walls before it is finally a visible leak.
What are some of the signs of roof damage?
Curling or moldy shingles are a good sign that you have roof damage. If the damage is only in a small section you may be able to replace only the damaged area itself. Unfortunately when this type of damage starts showing up the entire roof is probably a candidate for replacement.
You can also check for shingle wear by checking the downspouts or gutters for a sandy type of material. Larges amount of this material means that your shingles may soon fail. This may be most noticeable after a hail storm or very heavy rain.
How old is your roof?
Twenty year shingles are expected to last about fifteen years. Twenty five year shingles have a life expectancy of twenty years and thirty year shingles should be good for twenty five years under normal conditions. For other types of roofing like wood or slate you should check with the manufacturer for the estimated lifespan.
The type of shingles is only one factor in how long you can expect your roof to last. The installation of the roofing material plays a big role in determining how long the roof should last. The slope of the roof is also a factor and so is the amount of roof ventilation. Poor ventilation and excess heat build up will cause your roof to deteriorate more quickly. Lighter color shingles also absorb less heat than darker shingles and this can impact the total life expectancy.
When you decide you do need to replace your roof the next step is determining if you need to do a complete tear off or if you can add a new roofing layer. Most styles of roofs can support two layers of shingles and some can support more. If you have had leakage problems you most likely will be better off with a complete tear off even if you only have one layer of shingles. If the underlying roofing paper and wood has been damaged adding a new layer of shingles will not provide a long term solution to your problem. You will need to repair any damaged wood and replace the roofing paper for the best results.