Roofing defines the appearance and value of your home, while also serving as your house’s first line of defense against precipitation. Roofing that is weak or neglected can produce leaks, causing potential damage to the structural integrity and contents of your home. Quality roofing keeps your home dry and insulted year round.

The right type of roofing can last you years. But if your roof is no longer getting the job done, and repairs won’t fix the issue, installing new roofing may be your best bet. When considering new roofing installation, there are a number of factors to take into account.

Knowing When to Replace Your Roof

 First, you need to determine whether or not new roofing installation is actually necessary. Sometimes minor repairs can solve the problems roofs face. So how can you tell for sure that it’s time to replace your roofing?

You’ll need to inspect your roof’s condition—safely, please. Call a professional to perform the inspection if you do not have experience navigating a roof top safely. The three most important things to consider, in assessing your roof’s condition, are its age, shingle quality, and structural integrity.

 Age: The most common type of roof, an asphalt shingle roof, typically lasts 20 to 30 years. If your asphalt shingle roof is nearing 25, there’s a good chance it’s on its way out.

Shingle Quality: Curling, cracked, or missing shingles in multiple spots are sure signs of a deteriorating roof. Check your gutters for shingle granules. Missing granules mean your roof’s asphalt isn’t as protected from the sun’s rays as it should be.

Structural Integrity: Study your roof’s structure—inside and out. From your attic, see if you can see any sunlight coming through the roof boards or feel any moisture in the insulation. If sunlight can get through your roof, so can precipitation and cold drafts. If you are able to safely walk on your roof, see if it has a spongy, springy feeling to it. That could mean your roof has suffered moisture damage. A roof found to be drooping will need to be replaced quickly.

Types of Roof Shingles

If you determine that new roofing installation is necessary, you will need to select an appropriate type of shingles for your home—ideally, a type that is stylish, effective, and affordable. There are five basic types of shingles, and each type has advantages and disadvantages.

Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of shingles in America. They are inexpensive and available in many different sizes and styles, including ones that fulfill Energy Star standards. They generally last 20 to 30 years, but drastic changes in temperature can damage them.

Wood shingles are slightly more expensive and a bit more long-lasting, having a life span of 30 to 50 years. They are more resilient and energy-efficient than asphalt tiles, but are also more susceptible to warping, termites, mold, and fire damage.

Tile shingles are considerably more expensive and evoke a unique Spanish or Mediterranean aesthetic. They are heavy but incredibly durable, boasting a life span of roughly 80 years. Tile shingles can be too heavy to be installed on certain homes.

Metal roofing is geared toward homes that have either flat or steep rooflines. Depending upon the material used, metal roofing can be fairly inexpensive and can last up to 50 years. It is typically very enduring but can develop rust patches.

Slate shingles are expensive but highly resistant to moisture damage and weathering. The longest lasting type of shingles, they can endure 80 to 100 years. Like tile shingles, they can be too heavy for certain homes. While durable, they are costly to repair.

Whatever roofing decisions you come to, you’ll want to consult with a reputable roofing contractor before making any final selections. He or she will be able to tell you whether replacement is really needed and which roofing installation options would be ideal for your particular home.