How To Know If Your Roof Can Hold Up

For home roofs, there are no off days, no offseason and no halftime intermissions. Roofs work every day tirelessly to defend our homes and families from the worst weather nature hurls its way. Roofs simply are the hardest working structures in America.

But when should a roof retire after a long career? Like a star athlete deciding when to ride into the sunset, it’s rarely an easy, clear decision. Heck, even greats like Brett Favre, Michael Jordan and Floyd “Money” Mayweather have had great trouble deciding when to call it a career.

Aside from the roof caving in on the kitchen table or your family room’s ceiling doubling as an extra shower spout, the warning signs aren’t always obvious. 

A home roof replacement is a costly project few American families can afford to swing and miss on. HomeAdvisor pegs the average national cost of a full roof replacement at $7,890. This year 7 percent of the U.S.’s 77 million single-family roofs will reroof. 

So how do you know if it’s time to retire your roof? By giving it an in-depth spring checkup.

“While your roof maintenance schedule should include monitoring protocols, your roof needs thorough checks in the spring and in the fall,” said Bernie Roma, EMC Senior Loss Control Representative. “Use the spring checkup to clean up after winter and the fall one to prepare for winter conditions.”

These Telltale Signs are surefire signs your roof’s best days in the sun have set.

  1. Widespread Craze-Cracking
  2. Severe Balding
  3. Major Drooping
  4. Noticeable Sunlight Intrusion

Additionally, if your aging roof has weathered an extremely fierce winter, there’s no time to wait on repairs.

“If winter has caused extensive damage to your roof, you want to get things fixed before leaks can begin,” Roma stresses.

Unlike James Bond, Marvel films or SPAM, roofs do have an expiration date. Average roofs, as U.S. World News & Reports’ Geoff Williams and Teresa Mears note, are designed to last 30 years. While roofs comprised of slate, copper and tile can last more than 50 years, fiber cement shingles last about 25 years and shingle/composition roofs last around 20 years, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

Of course, intense weather conditions like harsh climates, snow, hail and hurricanes can slash the lifespans of all types of roofs. 

“Understanding the life span of appliances and fixtures can help you decide when to repair and when to replace,” Williams and Mears write.

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