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Answers to Your General Roofing Questions

How can a homeowner recognize when a roof has problems?
All too often, roof problems are discovered after leaking or other serious damage occurs. Periodic (twice-a-year) inspections can often uncover cracked, warped, or missing shingles, loose seams and deteriorated flashings, excessive surface granules accumulating in the gutters or downspouts, and other visible signs of roof problems. Indoors, look for cracked paint, discolored plasterboard, and peeling wallpaper as signs of damaged roof areas.

What are my options if I decide to reroof?
You have two basic options. You can choose a complete replacement of the roof system, involving a tear-off of the old roof, or a re-cover over the existing roof, involving only the installation of a new membrane and surfacing. If you've already had one recover over your original roof, check with a professional roofing contractor to see if your deck can support a second recover.

My roof leaks. Do I need to have it totally replaced?
Not necessarily. Leaking can result because some flashings have come loose or because a section of the roof has been damaged. A roof failure, however, is generally irreversible and results from improper installation or choice of materials, or from the installation of a roof system inappropriate to the building.

How long can I expect my roof to last?
The condition and lifespan of your roof will depend on the type of roof you have, the effects of your local environment and the maintenance which the roof has received. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, asphalt shingles generally last 15-20 years; wood shingle/shakes, 10-40 years; clay/concrete tiles, 20+ years; slate, 30-100 years; metal roofing, 15-40+years. Also be aware that Roofing product manufacturers off a variety of warranties on their products.

What will a new roof cost?
The price of a new roof varies widely, depending on the material selected,  the home itself, area of the country,  time of year, and more. For each roofing material there are different grades - and corresponding prices. Plus, there are a variety of styles and shapes. You need to look at the full product range and make a choice based on your budget and needs.