Guide to Roofing Your Home
Is it time to re-roof your home? Many factors can help to prolong a roof’s life expectancy. Sunlight, wind, rain, location, trees and a million other factors constantly work against the life expectancy of your roof.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most common roofing products available and typically are used in well over 80 percent of new home construction. This particular roofing product has a life span of about 20 years – even less in more inhospitable climates like the southeast and coastal regions.
If you know the age of your roof you can easily tell about when it needs to be replaced. However, if you’ve never known the year that they were installed, a good indicator of shingle replacement is loose granules. If you have downspouts and gutters, you will notice a large amount of granules in and around the gutters. This is a strong indication that your asphalt shingle roof needs to be replaced.
A tear-off may or may not be required. That is up for a roofing professional or county building department to tell you if that is possible. In some areas, a tear-off is needed, in others a simple re-roof can be accomplished by simply adding a new layer of shingles over the existing. In many coastal areas, a tear-off and structural inspection must be performed to assess the integrity of older homes. Not only is a $1-3 per square foot charge for tear-off is required, you may get charged for a very expensive structural work.
Asphalt shingles come in several different variations. Three-tab shingles have two channels built in to them for weather runoff. Dimensional or architectural shingles are solid asphalt with varying sized tabs glued to resemble wood shingles. Asphalt shingles also can come with specialized granules to resist rot, mold or UV corrosion. These cost more, but you can get a substantial tax break until the end of the year. Asphalt shingles come three bundles to a square. A square costs a $250-500 for installation depending on the size of the roof.
Wood shingles or shakes last a little longer than asphalt shingles with an expected lifespan of about 25 years and up. Preventive maintenance and proper care can greatly expand the life of wood shingles. These cost anywhere from $500 to over $1000 for installation, with prices for shingles being about the same price per square as asphalt shingles.
Clay, steel and composites all have a much higher installation cost and price. In many cases, the weight of these roofing materials exceeds the home’s structural capabilities, making these choices for roofing out of reach for the average homeowner.