One of the most important things in your life as a consumer in our wonderful capitalistic society is to be well informed about the products you buy. That extends to everything in life, especially when it comes to your roof. As one of the most important structural necessities of your house, your roof must be maintained and/or replaced with care and a good education about what’s what when it comes to the roofing business.
First of all, you should be aware of what you can do yourself to maintain your roof and what you need a professional to take care of. All fixes are not created equal, so it is always a good idea to know what you can handle with your trusty hammer and nail, and what needs some serious TLC by a roofing expert. If you have begun to suspect that your roof needs repair, you can go up and survey it yourself to find any leeks or damage. The first thing to do, however, is to make sure that you have taken proper safety precautions before you clamor up to the top of the house. Thousands of Americans suffer serious injuries or even death from falls from roofs. Make sure you have a checklist of common safety procedures before you start.
If the roof only has some minor damage or leaks, you can probably fix it with your handy-dandy shingles and nails, but if the damage looks bad, or you aren’t exactly the handy type, it’s probably a good idea to call a good roofing company to come out and assess your roof. Most of the time, they will find all the damage and fix your roof, but sometimes your roof may be so worn or damaged that it is time to get it replaced. Depending on the material you’ve used, you may be nearing the end of your roof’s lifespan.
Asphalt roofs are the most common type, and they tend to last 15-20 years. Asphalt roofs are generally inexpensive but they need a good deal of maintenance.
Another type of roofing is metal roofing, which has an average lifespan of 20-40 years. Metal roofs are generally low maintenance and very durable, but they are much more expensive than asphalt roofs.
Another popular type is wood shingle and shake roofing, which are often used for their attractiveness and insulating properties. Wooden roofs tend to be the most prone to damage and have a shorter lifespan of about 20-30 years.
Then there is tile roofing, which is most common in the sunny and dry southwest where it is extremely durable and low maintenance and can last 50 years or more. But the downside to tile is that it doesn’t do as well in particularly cold or wet climates, so choose carefully.
Finally, there is slate roofing, which is one of the most expensive types, but also one of the most durable and long-lasting, with some of the best ones lasting a century or more.
Whatever type you choose, it is necessary to understand that with good knowledge and an understanding of the pros and cons, you too can pick a roof that will be a great investment.