The decision to repair or replace a damaged roof can be a hard one. No one wants to replace their roof, but delaying a replacement when one is necessary can lead to problems like leaks, pest infestation, and structural damage. Knowing when to replace or repair a roof is critical for ensuring the structural stability of your residential property.
Roof Damage Common Causes
As a homeowner, it’s helpful and important to understand the common causes of roof damage that require repairs or full roof replacement.
A roof, like any other part of a home, can only last so long. Over time elements like rain, ice, wind, and UV rays can take their toll on your roof. Here are a few life expectancies for common roofing types:
- Asphalt shingles: 20-30 years
- Cedar shake: 30+ years
- Metal: 50+ years
- Clay tiles: 50-100 years
- Slate: 100+ years
When the roof has reached the end of the typical lifespan, you’ll notice problems such as curling or missing shingles, and roof leaks.
Natural disasters are a common cause of roof damage. Hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, and wildfires can all do serious damage to roofing materials. Raleigh, North Carolina is part of an area that sees hurricanes, which are a common natural disaster in the Southeast. Hurricanes can produce winds of 100 miles per hour or more, which are likely to rip shingles off of a roof, damage gutters, or knock a tree over onto a house.
Ice and snow in cold winter months can cause problems such as ice dams. An ice dam occurs when ice builds up at the edges of the roof and backs up under the shingles. Eventually, this layer of ice can penetrate the sheathing under the roof, causing water damage inside the house.
Moss can grow on the roofs of homes that are in shady, cool areas. If moss is not removed, it can lock in moisture against the shingles, leading to rot.
Lack of Maintenance
Most roofs need regular preventative maintenance at least once per year. Without it, a roof is not likely to last its full expected lifespan.
When to Repair
Typically, repairing your roof is the best option when the damage is minor. Here are a few examples of minor roof damage where repairs can easily be made:
- Missing shingles are a common problem that can be fixed easily by a capable roofer. Replacing shingles is an easy job especially if the replacement area is small.
- Damaged flashing is another example of a quick fix for a roofer. As long as there is not extensive water damage, it’s relatively easy to repair damaged flashing.
- Minor gutter damage is also considered a repair-worthy job. If your gutters are aging, clogged, or damaged, they can easily be repaired or replaced without having to integrate a new roof.
When to Replace
If your roof damage does not fall into the minor damage category, you will likely need to replace your roof. Some indications that your roof will need to be replaced are:
- Your shingles are curling or shedding their granules.
- The roof has passed, or is approaching, the end of its recommended service life
- Major damage, such as a tree falling on your home, that has caused severe leaks and other structural damage.
- If you constantly have to make roofing repairs within a short span of time, your roof is better off being replaced.
Major damage is the most common cause of roof replacement. Without pulling apart the entire roof and putting it back together one piece at a time, it’s impossible to know whether or not the roof is sound enough to be simply repaired. Since this is not an ideal assessment, many roofers will recommend a replacement for major damage.
How To Get Started
When the time comes to find a roofer to either repair or replace your roof, it is important to check references and get quotes from multiple parties. Have a set of expectations in mind for the company you choose, and talk to each roofer to get a sense of what they think is wrong with your roof and what can be done to repair the problem. The residential roofer you pick should be someone who makes you feel comfortable in their ability to design, craft, and renew your home.
At Pickard Rooﬁng, we think Design. Craft. Renew. We are experienced in all types of roofing systems- and provide the right roofing design and selective craftsmanship for renewing our customer’s assets. We invite sustainable building customers to give us a call for your free evaluation. For over 90 years Pickard Rooﬁng Company has installed countless metal, tile, slate, TPO, EPDM, and all types of shingle rooﬁng in the Triangle. Our services include residential, commercial, custom architectural metal fabrication, and historical renovation.