If you own a home and live in it long enough, you’ll eventually replace your roof.
The good news is unless you’ve been through major hailstorms recently, or you bought your home from someone who never maintained the roof, you likely have time to plan for the replacement.
Today we’re answering a question many homeowners ask. How often should you replace your roof?
Whether you’ve suffered recent roof damage, or you suspect your roof is very old, this post should help answer that question and a few more. Take a minute and read before you decide that you need to replace your roof.
How Long Does the Average Roof Last?
In short, how long a roof lasts depends on several factors.
The climate in your area can impact how many years of service you get from your roof. The quality of the materials matters as well. Finally, how well you maintain the roof impacts longevity.
A well-maintained composite asphalt shingle roof may last between 15-40 years. Some homeowners even get up to 50 years of service from asphalt shingles.
If you live in a mild climate and have a wood shingle roof, you may get up to 50 years from your roof. You’ll also need to pay close attention to maintenance if you hope to get that many years of service. The average lifespan of wood shingles is 25-30 years.
Another popular roofing material, metal, can last 30-50 years or longer.
This isn’t an exhaustive discussion of every roofing material available in Maryland. For a more accurate calculation of lifespan for your roof, identify your roofing materials and then speak with a professional roofing contractor.
Why Would I Need a Roof Replacement?
If you read the average lifespan, you’re likely thinking along these lines—what a relief, my roof isn’t nearly that old!
Keep in mind the above numbers are averages. They also pertain to ideal materials, climate, and maintenance. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world for roofing materials.
If your roof suffers wind or hail damage, that changes your situation. If you fail to maintain your gutter system, that can also affect the lifespan of your roof. If the last set of materials installed on the roof wasn’t good quality, it can shorten the roof’s lifespan. This would then lead to you having to replace your roof earlier than you normally would.
As you can see, if your roof could only sit on top of your house, unaffected by the weather, workmanship, or clogged gutters, you could likely get the maximum use from it.
My Roof Is Older Than Your Averages
As an example, let’s look at a 16-year old roof. The homeowner has already enjoyed 1 year longer than the average lifespan. Does that mean the homeowner should immediately schedule a roof replacement?
Of course, we’d love to say yes, after all, we’re in the roofing business, but the answer is no!
As we mentioned earlier, age isn’t the only factor. If you have a 16-year old (or older) roof the wisest thing to do is schedule an inspection, not a total replacement. A roof inspection done by a qualified roofing contractor looks at the whole picture, not only age.
A roof inspection includes an interior and exterior inspection of your roof structure, deck (or sheathing), and roofing materials. The inspector notes any signs of leaking (inside and outside), damaged roofing materials, and missing or damaged flashing.
The contractor may also note potential issues with gutter systems, especially if they aren’t well-maintained. Clogged gutters have a direct impact on your roof.
After completing your inspection, the contractor will go over any findings with you. At that time, they’ll also make recommendations about repairs or your need for a replacement.
Signs You Need a New Roof
If you’re lucky, your roof might naturally reach the end of its useful life without causing you any major problems. It might look a little worn, but you’ve given it the preventative maintenance it needs to live a long life.
That said, your roof often gives you warning signs that it’s ready for a replacement. Those signs include (but aren’t limited to):
- Missing or Broken Shingles
- Curled Shingles
- Bald Spots and Missing Granules
Your neighbor’s activities can also be a sign. If several neighbors install new roofs around the same time, it could mean they’ve all experienced the same weather events. It could also mean the homes in the area all have roofs of around the same age.
Do You Know Who Installed Your Roof?
Remember, we’ve mentioned the quality of your roofing materials several times already. That’s because quality materials and workmanship have an impact on the useful life of a roof.
Any information you have on the install of your current roof should help you determine when to start thinking about replacing it. Also, keep in mind, even if the roofers used the highest quality materials, a bad installation will fail sooner than you expect.
When you’re researching a new roofing contractor, do your due diligence. Ask how long they’ve been in the business. Check out their online reviews.
Learn about the warranties they offer, including the warranty on materials.
Benefits of Replacing Your Roof Today
Even if your roof isn’t leaking and you don’t have curling shingles or other problem areas, you can still benefit from replacing your roof.
The roofing industry works hard to offer advances in manufacturing and design. Things have changed since your original roof installation. One major benefit you’ll enjoy with a new roof is energy savings.
Ask your roofing contractor about energy-wise shingles. They reflect rather than absorb sunlight and help prevent your HVAC system from overworking.
A new roof also delivers fresh curb appeal. Curb appeal doesn’t only serve to keep your neighbors happy. If you’re planning to list your home soon, a new roof can increase your home value.
How Often Should You Replace Your Roof in Maryland?
After you figure out what type and quality of roofing materials you have, the impact of climate, and any visible signs of wear, you may still wonder if you need a roof replacement.
If your most pressing question is how often should you replace your roof in Maryland, we can help.
We’ve spent decades helping homeowners in Maryland figure out how often they should repair or replace their roof. Contact us today to schedule an inspection and a free same-day estimate.