A roof replacement will become necessary when your roofing system starts to fail and is either sagging or letting water in. You should speak to a professional roofer to determine what types of materials you should use and how much your roof replacement will cost. Roof replacements usually involve tearing off the old roof and then replacing it with a new layer of shingles or another roofing material.
Should I Replace My Entire Roof?
Determining when you need a roof replacement depends on certain factors:
- Age and materials: Asphalt and ceramic shingles can last 20 to 25 years, but metal roofs can last longer. An aluminum roof could last 50 years, and some copper roofs have lasted well over 100 years!
- Climate: Whether you live in an area with a lot of rain and hurricanes or an area that has heavy snow followed by warm summers, your roof takes a beating from the elements
- Foliage: Tree branches act like a bridge for small animals to crawl from nearby trees onto your roof. They then dig under roofing tiles, which weakens the roofing system. Leaves can fall on your roof, pile up and breed mold. If your roof has been damaged by moldy fallen foliage or rodents, you need a roof replacement.
Water damage is one of the most common signs of needing a roof replacement immediately. As the first line of defense against the elements, your roof should be impenetrable. When water leaks through broken tiles or other openings, it can lead to mold inside your attic. Wooden beams in your attic that become moldy become soft, compromising the structure’s integrity. Water that travels down into your home and cannot be properly drained away will eventually erode your foundation, leading to structural issues. Signs of water damage include:
- Water stains on your ceilings, particularly in the corners of the top-most floor of your home
- Mold “blooms” on your walls
- Beams of sunlight coming in through your attic
- A musty smell in your home that is strong in a particular room
- Damaged, curling, or cracking shingles
- Higher energy bills
If you notice that your roof is dripping or sagging, that can be caused by insufficient internal bracing along with excessive weight from snow, ice, or accumulated debris. If you have flaws in your gutter system, that will prevent proper drainage and cause water damage.
What Materials Should I Use for My Roof Replacement?
When you speak to a professional roofer, they will tell you what roofing materials they recommend.
- Metal roofing: Made from recyclable materials, inflammable, durable, and capable of lasting decades, metal roofs can be made from aluminum, zinc, steel, and copper
- Asphalt shingles: As one of the most affordable roofing materials, asphalt shingles are one of the most popular choices for homeowners
- Slate tile shingles: More expensive than asphalt but less than metal roofing, slate shingles are renowned for their impact resistance and their gorgeous, rustic look.
How Long Does It Take to Replace a Whole Roof?
The answer to this question will depend on the size of your home, the weather, how much damage has occurred inside your home, and the accessibility of your home. If a roof replacement will also require treating a mold problem in the attic, then it could take up to two or three weeks. In general, though, a roof can be replaced in one or two days or three to five days for larger homes. During your inspection, you should ask your roofer what their estimated timeline is for your roof replacement.
What Is the Best Time to Replace a Roof?
Because summer rains and winter snows can add weight to a roof and put a house at risk of water damage, the best times to fix your roof are in the spring before the summer, and in the fall before winter. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you need a roof replacement during a snowstorm. Inclement weather can also prevent roofers from safely working on your roof, which could delay your replacement. Your best bet is to call in the spring and fall to schedule your roof replacement.