Architectural reports state that water intrusion causes 40% of all major building-related deterioration.
If your roof is letting in water, and can’t be fixed by sealing, it is imperative that you look into replacing your roof as soon as possible. Replacing an entire home’s roof is an expensive undertaking. However, roofs that are left to leak can cause both cosmetic and structural damage which could cost you thousands in repairs.
When looking at installing a new roof, it is also important that you choose the best roofing material for your needs. If you don’t, you might end up with a roof not suited to your climate, budget, tastes, or neighborhood.
Fortunately, you’re in the perfect place to find out everything you need to know about buying a roof. Read on to learn more about the roof buying process.
Signs That It’s Time to Replace Your Roof
There are a few tell-tale signs that indicate an entire roof replacement is necessary.
- Recurring leaks that come back after being sealed
- Water damage
- An expired warranty
- Curling or missing shingles
- Bald spots on asphalt shingles
- Granules in your gutters from asphalt shingles
Besides these signs, if your roof is more than 20-25 years old, and it is showing signs of wear, then it’s likely that the time has come to replace it.
Choosing the Best Roofing Material
Once you have ascertained that your roof needs to be replaced, the next step is to get clued up on roofing materials and select one that matches your budget and requirements.
The main options to choose from are asphalt, shingles, clay tiles, steel roofing, slate, and wood shakes and shingles.
Asphalt shingles are an exceedingly popular roofing choice. They are one of the cheapest roofing materials and come in a wide variety of colors and styles. Some asphalt designs even mimic more costly natural materials like slate.
Asphalt shingles are also very light. This makes installation easier, and therefore cheaper. What’s more, the reduced weight means that there is no need for additional framing to be installed.
Because asphalt shingling is so popular, it should be easy to pick a color and style that will blend in with your neighborhood. Asphalt tiles tend to suit traditional suburban houses best.
The main drawback to asphalt shingles is that they do not last as long as other roofing materials. The average lifespan for asphalt shingles is 18-30 years. However, if you choose to go with a more expensive option, such as architectural asphalt shingles, you can expect lifespans of up to 50 years.
Clay and Concrete Tiles
Popular in Florida, California, and other areas in the South and West, clay tiles are both attractive and durable.
Style-wise they have a strong Mediterranean aesthetic.
On a practical note, they are one of the best roofing materials for insulating your home and are particularly effective at keeping the heat out in hot climates. These tiles are made from natural clay, and can, therefore, be pulverized and returned to the ground once they reach the end of their lifespan.
Clay tiles are also highly durable and can typically last for well over a hundred years with very low levels of maintenance. Immune to rot, mold, and insect damage, clay roof tiles are also almost 100% guaranteed to be leak-free.
The downside to clay tiles is that they are expensive, costing on average $675 to $1400 per 100 square feet. However, if you want the durability and aesthetic of clay tiles at a lower price, you can also consider opting for cement tiles that are engineered to look like clay.
Other drawbacks to clay tiles include their weight and difficulty of installation. If you wish to replace an existing roof with clay tiles, you should consult with an engineer to establish whether weight-bearing reinforcements will be needed. Clay tiles should also not be used on roofs with a pitch of less than 4:12.
A distinctly attractive roofing material, slate naturally comes in different colors, including green, grey, purple, and red.
Highly durable, slate roofs can be expected to last over 75 years. In some cases, lifespans of over 100 years are possible. What’s more, slate roofs are very low maintenance, and rarely tend to leak.
However, this durable material is expensive, and prices for slate roofing generally start at $600 for 100 square feet. Like clay tiles, slate is also heavy, which might mean additional costs could be incurred for the installation of weight-bearing reinforcements.
Steel roofing is becoming a popular option thanks to its durability and ease of installation. If maintained, steel roofing can last for 40-75 years on average. Steel roofs are well suited to areas that experience gale-force winds, as they are particularly resistant to high wind speeds.
On an environmental note, most steel roofing is recycled and can be recycled again once it has reached the end of its lifespan. It is also energy-efficient, being able to trap heat in winter and reflect it in summer.
As with clay and slate, the one downside to steel roofing is that it can be costly. Entry-level prices are roughly $100-$300 per 100 square feet but can rise to as much as $600-$800 per 100 square feet
Steel roofing is generally a good match for modern, contemporary, or minimalist homes.
Wood Shingles and Shakes
Wood shingles and shakes are a traditional roofing material dating back hundreds of years.
Offering a rustic look, wood shakes and shingles pair well with cottages and architectural styles such as Cape Cod and Tudor.
Like asphalt shingles, shake and wood shingles only last for roughly 25-30 years. They are prone to rot, mold, and splitting. In some areas, fire codes may also disallow the use of wood shingles.
Both of these materials are, however, renewable, and biodegradable.
The Final Step: Finding a Reliable Contractor
Once you have established that your roof needs to be replaced, and selected a material that will suit your requirements and budget, the next step is to find the best roofing contractor to carry out your roof replacement.
As roof replacement is such an extensive and critical job, it is essential that you engage a contractor that has a good track record, qualified personnel, all the relevant insurance, and a history of happy customers.
If you are on the hunt for a dependable contractor who you can trust with your roof, take a look at our roofing services. We pride ourselves on delivering outstanding service at affordable prices. Contact us today for an estimate.