Is It Time to Replace Your Roof? Here's What You Need to Know
A new roof is a major home investment — one that protects your home from the elements and often makes up about 40% of your home’s “curb appeal.” It’s important to time your roof replacement wisely and to understand options for your new roof. We’ve put together a brief guide to help you determine when it’s time for a new roof, what your new roof options are, and what to expect in terms of cost.
How Long a Typical Roof Lasts
The lifespan of your roof is primarily determined by the roofing material used. Traditional asphalt shingle roofs, which are the most common in the United States, typically last between 20 and 25 years. Wood shingle and shake roofs typically last between 20 and 30 years. Metal roofs can last 40 to 50 years. Slate, copper, and tile roofs, which are common in both California and Florida, can last up to 100 years or even longer.
Signs that Your Roof Needs Replacement
If your roof is approaching the end of its lifespan, you should start thinking about replacement as soon as possible. You can estimate when your roof will need to be replaced based on the average lifespan of your particular roofing material and when it was originally installed. Keep in mind, however, that harsh weather and unexpected damage can shorten the lifespan of a roof significantly, especially if problem areas are left unrepaired.
If you don’t know when your roof was installed, or if there is a chance that harsh weather and damage have shortened the life of your roof, be on the lookout for signs of age, wear, and tear. Signs to look out for include:
Has a ceiling leak recently appeared inside your home? If so, there could be a leak somewhere in your roof. Leaks often occur at roof valleys (which direct rainwater to gutters) and in areas where flashing has developed cracks and breaks. A simple roof leak repair or roof patch may do the trick if you have just one or two leaks; but multiple leaks could indicate that it’s time for roof replacement. Roof leak detection can be a dangerous DIY job, so it’s best to hire a roofing specialist if you need to inspect your roof for leaks.
Sunlight through roof boards
Take a look inside your attic during the daytime. Do you notice any sunlight coming in through the roof boards? This is a sure sign that you have a leaky roof that needs to be replaced.
Shingle granules in gutters
Do a quick inspection of your gutters. Do you see a whole lot of black specks? These are asphalt granules from your shingles. Some granule loss is normal throughout the life of an asphalt roof, but asphalt shingles tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle. Heavy granule loss on a consistent basis is a sure sign that your roof needs to be replaced.
Curling or buckling shingles
Shingles can curl or buckle over time due to heavy sunlight exposure. Take a look at the slopes of your roof that get direct sunlight. Do the shingles there create a flat, even surface, or are there areas where parts of the shingles lift upward? If you notice curling or buckling shingles, your shingles are likely reaching the end of their life.
Roofs are built to withstand high winds and heavy storms. If you notice shingles missing from your roof after a storm, that could be a sign that your roof is failing.
Your Roofing Options
When it comes time to replace your roof, be sure to consider your options. The most common roofing materials in sunny and temperate areas like Florida and California include asphalt shingles, wood shingles or shakes, metal roofing, clay or concrete tile, and slate.
Many homeowners opt for asphalt shingles because they come in a wide range of styles and are the most affordable roofing option. Wood shingles and shakes come in a variety of wood types and may be treated with fire retardants for better fire resistance. Metal roofing is lightweight, fire resistant, and very durable. Slate is the most expensive roofing option and is known for its outstanding longevity. Clay and concrete tile offer comparable benefits to slate, but with greater variety at a lower cost.
As you select a roofing material for your home, consider ‘future-proofing’ your roof. You may want to consider upgrading to an energy efficient cool roof. Cool roofs use an extra layer of premium quality shingles that reflect sunlight more effectively and reduce heat transfer into the home. This can keep your home cooler in the hot summer months and also reduce your energy consumption.
Another way to ‘future-proof’ your roof is to install a solar electric or solar heating system on your roof. Going solar is a great way to harness the power of clean, renewable solar energy to power your own home. Solar is an especially wise investment in sunny and temperate climates.
Estimated Cost of a New Roof
Replacing your roof before it develops extensive leaks and damage can help keep you from major repairs down the road. A minor repair here and there will cost between $150 and $400, but major roof repairs can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, or more. If roof repair costs are starting to reach this end of the spectrum, roof replacement may be a smarter choice.
The cost of a new roof largely depends on the roofing material you choose:
Asphalt shingle roofs tend to be the most affordable, ranging from $5,000 to $12,000. However, this cost can be higher if you upgrade to a cool roof, which uses premium-quality shingles to more effectively reflect sunlight. Cool roof shingles tend to cost 20% to 40% more than their standard counterparts.
Wood shake roofs are more expensive, ranging from $15,000 to $22,000.
The average cost of a metal roof is $18,000 to $25,000.
The average cost of a clay tile roof is $22,000 to $32,000.
Slate roofs tend to be the most expensive, averaging at $32,000 or more.
A number of additional factors including roof size, pitch, and complexity also factor into how much your new roof will cost. A roofing specialist can give you the most accurate roof estimate for your home.
How to Pay for Your New Roof
A new roof is an investment, but that doesn’t mean it’s out of reach. Renew Financial can help you get the roof you need now without tying up your cash or personal credit. Renew Financial offers PACE financing,, which you repay at a fixed interest rate on your property tax bill. With Renew Financial, financing a new roof has never been simpler.
Considering investing in a new roof for your home? Apply for Renew Financial PACE financing for your roof replacement today!
For more on how a roof contributes to curb appeal: https://www.ihouseweb.com/blog/2014/07/updating-homes-exterior-for-greater-buyer-curb-appeal/