There are many reasons that roofing may go bad. Weather, aging, type of material, and even previous damages may all contribute to the decline. There are often signs that point to problems, but not all of them mean the roof should be replaced. In many cases, a simple repair job is enough to stave off further damage. Putting several factors together will help you make the decision on replacing versus repairing your roof.
Most materials will last between fifteen and twenty years. Unless there is significant damage, you may be fine simply having a repair done. The standard for most materials is a minimum of fifteen years. However, there are some materials, such as copper, that can last closer to forty years before needing to be replaced. In this case, it is best to find out what type of materials were used and learn how long they are supposed to last. If their expiration is close, it may be better to hire a contractor to completely replace the roof.
There are different expiration dates based on the type of materials used. Obviously, the cheaper materials, such as asphalt tiles are not able to withstand weather issues as well as metal and concrete supplies. Copper and tin roofs often have a much longer survival rate. If the roof is flat, the damage may be more severe than sloping situations. Run-offs are necessary to prevent water and other items from settling and causing additional damage to the materials.
Major storms may cause enough damage to warrant a complete replacement. Obviously, when a tree or heavy objects breaks through the roof, there may be more damage and a simple repair will not do. If a major storm has gone through your area, it is suggested that someone safely inspect the materials to look for cracks, missing tiles, and any other damage that may have been caused. These should be repaired immediately before underlying damage is done.
There are internal signs of problems. Water stains on the ceilings and walls usually indicate that there are missing, moved, or damaged tiles. These may be difficult to find to an untrained eye. If the ceiling is sagging, you may have a significant leak that is pooling. However, a professional may need to determine if the problem is from the roof or inside plumbing that runs to upstairs sinks or showers.
External signs may not be noticeable. If you are not in the habit of inspecting your house visually, you may not notice some of the external signs. If tiles are cracked, missing, sagging, or shifted, they will allow damaging water through. Other signs include dark streaks, algae, and vines growing under the tiles.
Deciding between repairing and replacing can save or cost thousands of dollars. If a repair is all that is needed, the cost difference will be huge. However, if the material is aging and there continue to be ongoing repair costs, it may cost less to simply replace the entire cover.
Quality roofing is important for both looks and protection. It will protect you from the elements, and keep your belongings from sustaining water damage. If you are not familiar with the different materials, you may want to seek the advice of more than one professional before making your decision.