Every homeowner fears the dread of that pesky water stain or small drip during a rain. Is it time for a roof replacement or would a few minor repairs and maintenance give your roof more life? The most important question to ask may be, how old is my roof? If you are experiencing some minor leaks or water stains on your ceiling, knowing the age of your roof can be key in determining whether your roof has reached the end of its life. It is inevitable that over the course of many years water can find its way in. In many cases, the water stains can be far away from the actual issue with a roof as well. Diagnosing the life left in each layer of a roof can be complicated, but we’re here to help you troubleshoot and take action to maintain a functioning roof.
How long does a roof last?
First take into consideration the region you live in and the weather your roof endures, as well as the quality of workmanship that went into the installation. In Southern California your roof can be subject to some high winds, but the weather is generally mild and easy on your home.
With proper installation a tile roof can last a lifetime and is a perfect candidate for repairs over replacement. Be sure to choose a roofing contractor that is equipped and familiar with tile roofs to avoid additional damage to your installation.
Shingle roofs generally can last a very long time as well, up to 30-35 years. In some areas, simply adding an additional layer of shingles can help you avoid a full tear off and replacement. That would require the sheeting, roofing paper, and drip edge to be in good condition. Not all previous shingle roof installations will work for this though. For instance if the your roof was installed with staples that are sticking out, those would damage the new layer, we wouldn’t recommend a new layer in that case. However, large sections of shingle roof may be repaired while maintaining an original look and proper protection.
Flat roofs can be good for 20-25 years depending on the materials used. If water is finding its way in it could be as simple as re-caulking or replacing a pipe flashing or a few shingles. With tar and gravel roofs, it’s important to gain an understanding of the condition of the tar itself. In situations where it’s become brittle or begun to crack, a tear off and replacement will be the best bet. In that case, you will also have the opportunity to consider going with a newer material that may last longer.
Simple repairs should be part of your roofing maintenance and will ensure that your roof does not fail prematurely. This could include fixing small leaks around the chimney, nail pops, or a leaking skylight. If your roof was properly installed but is beginning to act up the good news is minor roof repairs are cost-effective and can generally be taken care of very quickly.
Increasing the Lifespan of Your Roof
Let’s talk about some simple ways you can maintain and care for your roof. Keeping your roof free of debris and maintaining clean gutters are a great place to start. If you are having a build up of leaves in your valleys or around your chimney that is the perfect place for water and moisture to get trapped and eventually leak into your underlayment and will cause rot. You want your valleys open 3-4” with proper metal flashing so water can run freely without creating a dam that will run sideways underneath your roofing material. Check your flat roof for proper drainage as well. Trim all overhanging branches that are prone to causing damage especially during high winds. Simple roof maintenance is generally very easy and doesn’t require a lot of your time, but safety comes first. Never go it alone, and when in doubt call us, we would be happy to serve.
When to Tear Off and Replace a Roof?
Have you decided it may be time for a new roof? Are you beginning to see granules loosen from your shingles or do they appear worn? Have you seen a shingle on your lawn after a big storm? Maybe you suspect that water is leaking underneath your tiles and it’s time to replace the underlayment. Or maybe your flat roof has been patched for the last time. A new roof can feel overwhelming, it is not cheap and something we don’t always prepare for. At Diamond Roofing we do our best to serve all your roofing needs big and small with the least amount of stress to you as possible. We are trained and experienced to walk you step by step through the process with honesty, care, and skilled craftsmanship that you can trust for the life of your roof. If you are wondering whether your roof needs some maintenance or possibly replaced it would be our pleasure to send someone on our team out to your home. We all want a safe, dry place for our families and we take that job very seriously.