Do I Need a New Roof? The Different Types and Materials

Spring is no longer just around the corner! Many homeowners are already scheduling roof inspections, repairs, and replacements.

What’s the rush?  

Spring doesn’t just welcome greener grass and blossoming flowers. For Austin, Texas, roofing contractors, it means the beginning of the busy season. The weather is warm enough to get up on the roof and inspect for leaks and other damage caused by winter weather.

If you’re still not sure whether you need a new home roof, you’re in the right place. This brief guide will talk about roof lifespan, roof repair, and roofing materials. By the end of the article, you’ll know which direction to go.

How to Know if You Need a Home Roof Replacement

The average homeowner doesn’t spend much time on a ladder observing the roof. For one thing, it’s not the safest activity. Second, it’s difficult for anyone other than a qualified roofing contractor to know exactly what’s going on with the shingles and other roofing materials.

Some homeowners end up doing a patch job or some other roof repair, only to create a worse problem than the one they tried to fix.

There are a few signs to look for that can help you, as a homeowner, make an educated guess as to the condition of the roof. Here are the most common signs you need a roof replacement:

  • Multiple visible leaks
  • Curled shingles
  • Missing granules
  • Interior water damage
  • Sagging roofline
  • Storm damage

It’s always wise to follow your preliminary DIY inspection with a call to a licensed roofing contractor. While these are all visible clues, one more sign to consider is age.

What Is the Average Roof Lifespan for a Residential Roof?

If you’ve lived in your home for more than 15-20 years, chances are you’ve already replaced the roof. If not, you’ll want to start budgeting for the cost of replacement.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), asphalt shingle/composition roofs last about 20 years. If your roof has suffered storm damage, you may need to consider replacement long before the roof reaches the end of its service life.

Other roofing materials may have a longer lifespan. For example, you could get close to 25 years from fiber cement shingles. Slate, copper, and tile roofs often last over 50 years.

Wood shakes usually last about 30 years, while metal roofs can last 40-70 years.

As you can see, age doesn’t only matter if you’re human. Roofs age out and need periodic replacement.

What If Only Need a Roof Repair?

The good news about roofing issues is that you don’t always need a brand-new roof. There are circumstances where a repair will suffice.

For example, when you’re missing one or two shingles, your roofing contractor may suggest replacing only the missing pieces. It’s also possible to make a repair when you have a small roof leak.

Even if after you do a quick visual assessment and think you could get away with a minor repair, it’s always better to have a formal inspection done by a roofing contractor.

You never know what’s hiding under the roofing materials. Putting off the repair or not doing a repair correctly often results in costly roofing problems.

How to Choose the Best Roofing Materials

If you and your roofing contractor decide it’s time for a home roof replacement, the next step is choosing the materials.

We’ve already mentioned the lifespan of some of the most popular roofing materials. You’ll want to consider all the different types of roofs to see which one best suits your home.

Of course, think about longevity, but don’t forget aesthetics. Which roof material creates the most visual impact? Use the style of your home and your individual preferences to decide.

Asphalt shingles are the most common, followed closely by metal. Both make a durable yet attractive roof. Choosing either one means you can choose from a wide range of colors.

By the way, if you haven’t seen a metal roof up close, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Metal roofs come in aluminum, steel, tin, zinc, and copper.

Many homeowners choose ceramic tile roofs made from slate or terracotta in the Southwest. Ceramic roofs look beautiful on Mission, Spanish-style, and Mediterranean home designs.

Cedar shakes and shingles work well on homes built from wood if you like the rustic look. Homes in high-end neighborhoods often feature elegant slate roofs.

Whichever roofing materials you choose, you’ll work closely with your Austin, Texas roofing contractor to ensure you’re satisfied with your selection.

A Word about Commercial Roofing Issues

You don’t have to own a home to need a new roof. Commercial buildings need roof repairs and replacements. As a business owner, you’ll want to pay close attention to the following signs you have trouble with your commercial roof: 

  • Bubbling
  • Holes or tears
  • Damaged pitch pans
  • Damaged flashing
  • Roof rot
  • Low spots
  • Puddles
  • Blow offs
  • Wind damage
  • Storm damage

Some of these potential roof repairs are specific to membrane roofing materials. Your roofing contractor will know how to identify not only the material but also the problems.

For some of these common commercial roofing issues, routine inspections can prevent issues from evolving into major problems. A licensed and qualified roofing contractor should always be your go-to resource for any commercial roof issues or repairs.

Contact an Austin Texas Roofing Contractor Today

Be proactive, whether you need a quick roof repair or a total home replacement. Contact a qualified Austin, Texas Roofing company.

When you search for someone to replace my roof, you’ll have many options.

The team at All Done Construction can handle any roofing project, including repairs and replacements on commercial buildings. Contact us today and schedule an inspection.