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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Mar 14, 2023 8:00 AM

How to Know If You Need a New Roof

The roof of your home or business is an integral part of its structure and function. Keeping up with roof maintenance can save you money in the long run, but when should you consider replacing your roof?

Knowing the signs that it’s time for a new roof and available options helps you make an informed decision when the time comes. 

Age of the Existing Roof

The age of the existing roof on your home or business building is often one of the main criteria people consider when faced with roofing issues.

The average lifespan of a shingle-style roof is anywhere from 15-25 years, tile roofs can last 40-60 years, metal roofs (depending on the material) can last 50+ years, and slate roofs can last 100+ years. 

But roofs will exhibit a wide range of aging depending on local conditions, weather, maintenance, and original installation quality.

Condition of the Existing Roof

The first step in deciding between repair and replacement involves investigating the condition of your existing roof. 

The following are some of the reasons that might lead you to believe you need a new roof:

  • Your current roof exhibits sagging, rotting, or warping 
  • Missing materials such as shingles, flashing, and ridge venting
  • Algae or moss growing on your roof may be a sign of moisture damage
  • More than ten damaged shingles
  • If you notice water stains on your ceiling or walls, it may be a sign of a leaky roof
  • A significant rise in heating/cooling bills due to energy loss through an aging roof

While certainly not an exhaustive list, the above signs represent good indicators that it may be time to replace your roof.

When the time comes for a new roof, many building owners think their only option is to remove and replace their existing roof. However, for many buildings, a metal roof recovery solution is a better option with tangible benefits; decades-long service life, improved durability, resistance to Mother Nature, and energy savings.

When it’s time for you to decide between a remove-and-replace approach or recover over your existing shingles, understanding both types of installation options can help you make the best decision for your building's roof.

Tear-off and Replace

roof overlay vs. tear-off

While tear-off and replacement are still viable, the approach incurs additional expenses due to the added cost of removing and disposing of an existing roof. 

For example, if your original roof is an asphalt shingle roof, there will typically be landfill fees to dispose of the old shingles. in contrast, if your existing roof is metal it will be recyclable so you'll save disposal fees but will still incur labor and transportation fees to move it to a recycling center.

Removing and replacing projects can also disrupt day-to-day business operations because removing the existing roof leaves the building contents exposed.

Best case, this is simply an inconvenience for your family or employees, but worse case, this can be potentially hazardous to people and damage equipment and inventory.

Roof Recover

2Roof recover solutions leave the existing roof intact. This helps to eliminate removal and disposal expenses. In addition, day-to-day activities and business operations are not disrupted because people and building contents are never exposed to the elements.

Worker safety for the installation crew is also another advantage of recover roofing. The existing roof is a platform for workers to install the new roof. When the existing roof is removed, roofers often work over open framing, which can be hazardous.

Time savings is another major advantage of recover roofing. By eliminating the time required to remove and dispose of the existing roof, the overall time required for project completion is reduced dramatically.

While this blog post has focused on recovering, removing, and replacing options with metal, you should be aware that some additional recover options include roof coatings and single-ply recovers.

Even so, these types of recover methods have serious downsides, as discussed in this blog post.

Learn More

Understanding the advantages and options available to you is the best way to make the right roofing decision for your building. Our eBook, Need a New Roof? How Building Owners Reduce Cost with a Metal Roof was written specifically to help building owners understand the options available to them.

The eBook focuses on the difference between Remove & Replace and Roof Recover with Metal. Follow the link below to download your copy of the Need a New Roof eBook.

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Learn everything you need to know about Residential Metal Roofing. Check out our metal roofing resources for inspiration and answers to your questions.

About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Education, Metal Roofing, Recover and Retrofit, Commercial

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