Without a roof above your head, you may find yourself vulnerable to rain, snow, and hurricane-force winds. If you own a home, you know your roof will need repairs or replacement at some point.
Some repairs are easy, while a replacement could cost you thousands of dollars you may not have already set aside. Still, this is an important bridge any homeowner must at some point cross.
There’s a lot to know about roofing, and it can all become very overwhelming. We’re here to help you along with these difficult questions.
Here are 7 facts about roof maintenance to keep the roof over your head in good shape.
1. No Roof Lasts Forever
Whether you buy a home or build it yourself, you must know the roof above your head has a finite lifespan. The typical roof will last about 20-25 years.
Of course, this will depend on several factors. Roofs made of steel may last longer than 25 years, while others have shorter lifespans.
If you live in an area with a lot of rain or high winds, you may need to replace your roof sooner rather than later.
2. Winterize Your Roof
Winter weather can be painful if you live in the midwest, northeast, or other colder regions. The coldest temperature ever recorded in the US was -80ºF in Alaska. If you live in a cold climate, you may find it helpful to winterize your roof.
Snow and frost can quickly get the best of your roof. Don’t let this happen to you.
The process of winterizing your roof is simple. Usually, it involves a quick visual inspection. Sometimes the contractor will add more water-shedding sealant where the weather has worn it down.
3. Plan Your Budget
When you buy a home, you might consider having your inspector check the roof. This will ensure you don’t need to replace the roof right away. You may find out the roof needs minor repairs.
If you do need to replace the roof, you’ll want to plan accordingly before you seal the deal. It’s better to find out sooner.
Once you purchase a home, you’ll need to assume you need a budget for any future roof repairs and replacements. Depending on the material, a new roof could cost anywhere from $7,000 to $50,000.
Before you contact a roofing contractor, you’ll want to find out how much you can afford. This will help you and the contractor figure out the materials you can use.
4. Take Care of Your Gutters
Although not part of your roof, the gutters are an important part of your home. You should think about regular repairs and cleanings for your gutters.
With regular cleanings, you may be able to put off a replacement for a while. However, you should look for a few warning signs that may indicate a need for replacement.
Some of the things you should watch for include the following:
- Signs of rust, usually seen as orange flecks beneath peeling paint
- Sagging or pulling away from the rest of the house
- Water or mildew around the foundation of the house (gutters are supposed to lead water away from the home)
- Cracking or splitting in any of the gutter pipes
All gutter systems will face the end of their lifespan at some point.
5. Roofers Work Like a Well-Oiled Machine
If you get a chance to watch a team of roofers work, pay close attention. A skilled team will seem to move in unison and with little hesitation.
However, not all roofing contractors are equal. You’ll want to find one which fits your specific needs and budget restrictions.
You may need to get more info about hiring a roofing contractor if you think you need a roof replacement. This will make sure you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to getting a new roof.
6. Don’t Add a Second Layer of Shingles
Once upon a time, you could add a new layer of shingles over an existing layer. This was a common alternative to tearing off the existing layer of shingles. This sometimes happened up to twice.
However, this is no longer allowed in some areas of the country. Even in those areas where you can do it, you may not want to.
If you want to layer the shingles on your roof, you’ll need to think about the following:
- The weight of the shingles could pose a structural risk to the underlying roof frame. This is especially true for older homes with weaker framing.
- Your existing roof probably has some irregularities in appearance. If you add another layer on top of the existing one, you may exaggerate some of these irregularities. Some people choose to fix these irregularities before adding another layer of shingles.
- You may save some time and money on labor if you add shingles over the existing layer.
Otherwise, you will need to tear off the existing layer of shingles to lay down the new ones.
7. Lower Prices in Winter?
Typical roofing season is from late spring to early fall. This is when temperatures are milder and the threat of snow is low.
However, some roofing companies may offer lower prices during the winter. Some good roofing teams may be able to manage to work in colder temperatures and even snow.
Because construction work is often slow during the winter, you may be able to find discounted services during this time. Shop around and find out if any local roofers offer discounted services during the cold seasons.
Keep Up With Your Roof Maintenance
This biggest takeaway should be your ever-present need to take care of your roof. The roof over your head keeps you and your family safe and warm at night.
Think about hiring an inspector to find out if you need roof maintenance or replacement. You can do these inspections yourself if you know what to look for (usually water damage, cracked framing, or cracked shingles).
Are you looking for more information about taking care of your home? Visit our home section.