Your home's roof is vital for protecting you, your loved ones, and your belongings from the elements. However, like any part of the home, the roof eventually needs replacement. Wear and tear, storm damage, neglect, etc. can lead to leaks and other problems. When this happens, it's time to consider replacing your roof. If you've noticed problems with your home's roof, you may need a new roof. Before you call a contractor, however, use these three questions to determine if an asphalt shingle roof is right for you.
How Much Can You Spend Now?
Any home renovation or project relies on a budget, so before you decide which roof is right for you, determine how much you can spend. If your budget is low, asphalt shingles may be the best choice because they are one of the cheapest roofing materials available. You'll pay only about $50 per roofing square for asphalt vs. $100 for wood shingles, making them a great choice if you are on a tight budget.
If your existing roof is also an asphalt shingle roof, you may be able to save even more money on a new roof. Asphalt shingle roofs can have overlays performed. An overlay is a process in which new asphalt shingles are installed over old shingles. Normally, with traditional shingle replacement, the old shingles are removed, any damage to the decking is fixed, and then new shingles are placed. Having an overlay instead can save you a significant amount of money. However, your roof may not qualify for an overlay. To qualify, you need to have little or no damage to the decking, and you must not have too many layers of singles already installed from previous overlays.
When Will You Replace the Roof?
In addition to budget, however, you also need to consider when you'll want to have the roof replaced again. If you don't plan on staying in the home long or you don't have a preference on when to replace the roof, asphalt is great. However, asphalt doesn't last as long as most other roofing materials. While asphalt may last 15 to 25 years, some wood shingles can last 50 years, and slate tiles may last over 100 years. If you don't want to replace the roof in the near future, you may want to choose a material with a longer lifespan.
Keep in mind, however, that asphalt roofs can have overlays, so when it's time to replace the roof again, you may only need to perform an overlay. If your existing roof doesn't qualify for an overlay or if you can afford a total replacement now, it may be more cost effective to install asphalt, so you can save money by having an overlay done in the future.
How Much Maintenance Will You Perform?
Asphalt roofs don't require a ton of maintenance, but how much and what type of maintenance is required depends on where you live. Asphalt does well in most climates, but in areas that are particularly moist, you may need to watch for moss, which easily grows on asphalt shingles. You may need to occasionally kill and/or remove any moss to keep the roof in good condition. In hotter climates, the shingles may chip or crack, so you may need to make small repairs as damage occurs.
For the most part, however, asphalt shingles require little work. You don't have to paint or stain them, but it is important to keep them clean. As debris builds, it increases the chance of moss, mildew, decay, infestation, etc.
If your roof is no longer looking great or protecting your home, it may be time to replace it with a new roof or have an overlay performed. Asphalt shingles are still a popular option because of their flexibility to work on most homes and in many climates. For more information about roof installation services, contact a roofing contractor.