Replacing a roof can be one of the most expensive repairs a homeowner can face. However, most homeowners rarely traverse their own roofs, let alone know the warning signs for when a roof is in trouble resulting in leaks which can affect the support structure, insulation, drywall, and even furnishings and finishes within the home itself. This is why it is crucial to have a home inspector do a thorough roof inspection before a home is purchased. Not only will you learn about the pros and cons about the particular type of roof you have, but you can also ask questions about the type of ongoing maintenance you should plan for.
Below are the most common types of roofs and the minimum recommended maintenance required which includes removing debris among other things. Of course, your particular roof may require additional maintenance depending on the type of material and your environment.
Shake –these are usually rectangles of wood that overlap. The life expectancy of a shake roof is usually about 30 years and up depending on the materials. Homeowners should have leaves and debris removed every year and an anti-moss agent applied and then maintained every few years to wash off any built up moss or mildew and then re-oiling if recommended for the type of material.
Asphalt Shingles – This is most common type of roofing material in our country due to its high durability and low cost. This type of roof usually lasts between 20-30 years depending on the material. Should be maintained by removing debris and applying an anti-moss agent on a regular basis.
Metal – Metal roofs can last up to 70 years depending on the materials. Debris should be removed on a regular basis and inspected every few years to make sure no repairs are required.
Slate – Depending on where the slate was quarried, a slate roof can last up to 200 years! As the slate naturally flakes, the roof deteriorates. Slate roofs should be inspected every few years or after heavy weather both on the outside as well as the inside for water leakage, and individual slate pieces which have deteriorated should be replaced.
Tile – Tile has been the roofing material of choice for Asia, Europe, and South America for hundreds of years and with regular maintenance, can last several hundred years. Inspect regularly, looking for chipped or cracked tiles and replace. Have a professional wash or brush once a year depending on where you live. Seal the roof every few years as recommended by your roof repair company.
There are also a wide number of other materials available on the market today from interlocking composites to copper and more! And different types of roofing can impact resale value.