How long does a roof last?
If you’re lucky, you won’t have to deal with roof issues too often as a homeowner. This roofer advises customers that a newly shingled asphalt roof should last you about 20 years, while a roof made out of copper or slate can last you up to 50 years. There are also asphalt shingles on the market now that can last 30 to 40 years as well. However, if you’ve been in your home a long time or have purchased an older home, you may be facing reroofing or a roof replacement.
Reroofing vs. Replacement: what’s better?
Before you consider the cost difference between reroofing and replacement, know that sometimes reroofing won’t be an option for you. Reroofing is process of layering a new set of shingles directly on top of the old set. It’s significantly cheaper than a roof replacement, but it can only be done once. A roof replacement, on the other hand, means that you everything on your roof will be torn off down to the deck and then new felt paper and shingles will be put down. It is more expensive than a reroofing because of the labor involved.
Reroofing can be a great option if your roof shingles are nearing the end of their life but your roof is in overall good shape with no sagging, moss, or missing shingles. However, because you aren’t pulling up everything to see the roof deck, you may not know if any concerning issues are hiding underneath the shingles.
If you’re starting to notice minor leaks, shingles coming off, or moss growing on your roof, your roof is probably in need of some serious TLC. While roof repair is pricey, you risk causing some serious structural issues to your home. Here are four issues that could follow as a result of you delaying repair.
Your roof’s main purpose is to keep the elements out, so when it becomes compromised, the elements can start getting in. Water leaks are going to be the first thing you notice when your roof damage starts getting out of hand. As water begins entering your home, it will find it’s way onto your insulation, to your ceiling, and begin damaging your drywall—and everything else it touches. Not seeing to a leak or to missing shingles that allow leaks will mean that you are inviting rot into your home. Water is the ultimate catalyst that will lead to every other negative effect that delaying your roof fix can cause.
Mold and Rodent Risk
Where there is water, there is often mold. And where there is mold, it means you have a weakened structure that can allow access to rodents. Mold can cause some serious health issues, including respiratory distress, allergies, throat irritation, and eye irritation, coughing and wheezing. Children, the elderly, or those with a compromised immune system are even more likely to experience these negative effects. Once mold has entered the structure, you will need to remediate it and fix your roof. Mold remediation can cost thousands of dollars for a home, so fixing any roof leaks before they cause mold is key.
As for rodents, it should go without saying that the invasion of mice or rats to your home is a serious health risk. Their urine and feces can carry bacteria and disease and they will get into your food and infest your home, leading to an exterminator having to get involved.
Most people are unaware that putting off a roof replacement can put your home at risk for a fire. Water entering your home can mean that it gets into places it really shouldn’t be (though it shouldn’t be in your attic in the first place). If it encounters electrical outlets or wiring, it can become a huge fire hazard that puts you and your entire family at risk. There is nothing as valuable as the safety as your loved ones and pets, which is why addressing roof issues early on should be paramount when it comes to caring for your home.
When your roof gets too old to do its job, it places your entire home at risk. Your roof is a key element of your home’s structural integrity and if your roof is failing to “hold up” it’s end of the bargain, you could be facing dire problems. If water finds its way into your home, it can begin to rot away your structural beams, which can in turn lead to a roof collapse. One-story homes are especially at risk of this. The cost of fixing your roof when problems originally arise pales in comparison to the idea of your roof collapsing in on your home. Not only will this be catastrophic damage that may lead to the home being condemned, it also puts you and your family at risk. If your roof is unstable, it is most likely to collapse in inclement weather or under a heavy snow load—which is the last moment you want to be forcing your family outside.