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When Should You Get A New Roof

By July 31, 2018April 13th, 2024Home Inspections, Insurance Inspection

Having a new roof put on is a big expense and there are many different types of roofs to consider as well, such as: shingle, tile, metal, or even concrete. This post will strictly cover WHEN you should get a new roof, but after you find your answer be sure to click here for our post on what type of roof you should purchase! Also, at the end of this post, I will give you a quick reference sheet for roof life expectancy.

From an inspector (unbiased) point of view, I like to look at a few main points to find out if you need a new roof. They are:

  1. Is the age or roof damage affecting your homeowners’ insurance?
  2. Do you have roof leaks? (Note: plural)
  3. Have you had two different professional opinions on your roof’s life expectancy?

We like to get as many years as we can out of a roof, so if the roof can last another year, why not go for it, right?

Tackling the first question, there are certain cases where an insurance company will request an inspection on your roof. In Florida, they typically like to see at least THREE years left of roof life and no active leaks for them to insure. The reason being is to prevent liability if a hurricane were to hit or a possible claim on insurance due to roof leaks. Therefore, if you cannot receive insurance, you need a new roof.

Secondly, do you have roof leaks? One roof leak is not a big issue as a roofer can repair and you can move on. However, if you seem to have several roof leaks it is a sign that your roof covering is worn out. Moreover, the expense of multiple repairs is a bit larger considering you might even have several new ones arise. Ultimately, if your roof has multiple leaks and is near the end of its expected life, then it is time to pay for a new roof.

Lastly, we always recommend you receive multiple opinions about your roof even from inspectors! It is just like going to the doctors and then picking the treatment that seems most reasonable to you. Keep in mind, if you have a roofer come out to inspect your roof, their interest can be in selling a new roof. Due to this, we always recommend an inspector help you decide on roof replacement with estimates of repairs versus replacement.

According to the InterNational Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNachi):

Shingles (Three-tab): 10-12 years

***Honor sees them last about 14 years on average, but 10 years is a good mark for you to be on the look out.***

Shingles (Architectural): 15-20 years

***Honor sees the average being 17 years***

Tile: 80 years

***Tile roofs can vary as they depend on the underlayment and installation. Tiles themselves can last 80 years, but regular maintenance should be completed.***

Metal: 20 years

***Honor sees Metal roofing lasting longer if you keep up with regular maintenance, but is not recommended near salt water and may not be covered by warranty.***

Modified Bitumen: 10 years

***In our area, the average age is 12-15 years. This type can be coated every couple years to extend the life, but you should note this can sometimes void the warranty, cause problems for insurance, or other issues.***

The above are estimates ONLY! They can greatly be affected by your location in reference to the beach, hurricane season, and the manufacturer. Feel free to contact us if you need assistance!

Michelle Shishilla

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