A Summer Family Retreat

« Back to Home

What You Should Know When Replacing Your Roof

Posted on

It's time to replace your roof. This is a big undertaking, and the decision will last for years or possibly the rest of your life. If you're considering replacing your roof, check out these four facts you must know first, so you make an informed decision.

Some Materials Don't Work on Low Roofs

Depending on the slope of your roof, there are some materials you just shouldn't use. Asphalt and metal are fine whether you have a low roof or steep roof because they do a good job of blocking rain and allowing it to slide off with ease. This prevents water from leaking through gaps or sitting pooling on the roof.

Slate and wood shingles are not a good option for low roofs. The shingles don't interlock as well as asphalt and metal, which increase the risk of exposure to the elements. For steep roofs, this isn't a problem because gravity allows the water to quickly drain. On lower roofs, the pull isn't as strong, and water has a longer opportunity to slip through these cracks and damage the understructure.

An Overlay May Be Possible for Asphalt Shingle Roofs

If you have an asphalt roof and don't have the money to spend on a new roof, you may be able to do an overlay. Instead of removing the old shingles, a roofing contractor places the new shingles directly over the old ones. This saves money because there is less labor. This process can only be done once before you'll need to actually replace the roof.

Unfortunately, there are problems when you overlay the shingles. The procedure creates a less durable roof, and if the old shingles had curling, the new ones won't lay flat. This also increases the risk of allowing moisture to trap between the layers. It also prevents you from examining the decking for holes or damage. The only real benefit to an overlay is the reduced cost, but when you calculate everything, it really only saves you about 25 percent. Plus, when you do need to replace the roof, both layers must be removed, which increases the cost.

Cheaper Shingles Don't Last as Long

Different shingles range in money. Asphalt shingles are one of the cheapest options, starting at $50 per 100 square feet. Metal, clay and slate are more expensive, reaching into the hundreds per 100 square feet. If you're concerned about short term costs, you'll want to stick with the least expensive options. However, you get what you pay for.

An asphalt roof lasts about 15 to 20 years, which is an adequate amount of time, but many other roofing materials last longer, especially the more expensive ones. In fact, with proper care, metal and slate shingles may never need replacing in your life. However, that doesn't necessarily mean a more expensive roof will save you money in the long run. Even a more expensive roof that never needs to be replaces may end up costing you more in the long run because of the big gap in prices and the cost of possible alterations you may need, such as adding supports for heavy slate roofs.

Climate Is a Big Deal When Picking a Material

Climate plays a big role in which roofing material you should choose. In cold areas, asphalt, wood shingles and metal are a great option. This is because they are lightweight, so if it snows, you don't have to worry about the extra weight and strain associated with tile and slate roofs. If you do choose asphalt roof, pick a darker color, so it will absorb as much heat as possible.

In hotter climates, asphalt (light colors only), metal and clay tile are the best options. This is because they all do a great job of blocking or reflecting heat, so your house stays cooler. If you live in a hot and tropical locale, however, your best bet is metal. Asphalt roofs, in particular are more likely to grow algae and mildew.  

When it's time to replace your roof, there are many options to consider, and many factors play a huge role in which material is best. If you're ready to replace your roof, contact a roofer and get your questions answered. Don't wait; call today and read more here.