Should I Re-shingle My Roof?

by April Reinhardt
(last updated May 21, 2014)

The shingles on your roof should last anywhere from fifteen to twenty years, depending upon how they were installed and the quality of the shingles used. A manufacturer's warranty is a good indication of how long your shingles should last, but it is also dependent upon the kind of weather you have in your area. How do you know when it's time to re-shingle your roof? Perform a roof inspection and note your findings. Here are some of the things that you can look for when inspecting your roof:

  • Excess or crumbling roofing cement.
  • Decayed, stained, crumbling, or deteriorating soffits.
  • Buckled, torn, split, or punctured flashing.
  • Missing, torn, buckled, or curled shingles.
  • Missing tarpaper roofing.

Spring is usually the best time to inspect your roof. This is because any damage from over the winter is easy to assess. Look for problems from the outside first, paying strict attention to obvious problems, and then the roof line, itself. The roofline should be horizontal, without any sagging. If you notice sag, you may have structural problems created by roof leaks. Only a professional should address structural sags.

If your inspection doesn't indicate structural damage, but you surmise that you may need to re-shingle your roof, it may be a job that you could perform yourself. When there are only a few shingles missing, you may be able to replace them or repair them without having to fork over thousands of dollars for an entirely new roof. However, even if you do decide to re-shingle the entire roof, you can perform that job yourself, or with the help of a friend. If you do decide to re-shingle the entire roof, make sure that you remove old shingles. Never re-shingle over old shingles. Shingle repair isn't complicated or expensive, and you can attend a class at your local home improvement store to learn how to do it yourself. You can find any number of do-it-yourself books on the topic of roof repair and attempt the repairs yourself.

Once you complete your inspection, and you find that repairs need to be made, or in the worse case scenario you need an entirely new roof, consider the costs of your own time in regards to doing the repairs yourself. Will it be worth your time and energy to do it yourself? Will it be less of a hassle to hire a professional? Start by calling several roofing contractors for estimates for a new roof or the repairs needed, and then compare them to the costs of your neighbors' repair jobs.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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