You have lived in and enjoyed your Des Moines-area home for years now. Memories, good times, comforting moments. How long has it been? Could it be time to replace the roof? How can you know?

What Signs Tell Me to Replace My Roof?

Without any training, you may spot signs that your roof’s condition is failing. Never attempt to climb on any residential roof, but from the ground, take a look:

  • In a shingle roof, can you see cracking, buckling, or missing shingles?
  • In a metal roof, can you see dimples, dents, raised seams, or corrosion?
  • In a tile roof, are tiles cracked, is algae and moss growing, or are tiles missing? 
  • In a plastic composite roof, do you see shattered tiles, shakes, or shingles? 

If you can do so safely, put an extension ladder against your gutters and take a look. In shingle roofs, gutters full of granules spell trouble.

In all types of roofs, continue the inspection in your home’s attic. Look for signs of water infiltration: stains, dripping water, soggy insulation, or (far worse!) mold and mildew. 

Next, take a look at your checkbook. Have you been writing checks for more and more roof repairs over the years? At some point, paying for additional repairs no longer returns value. Your home, your family, and your budget all suffer. 

Who is the Better Judge? 

You are not a roofing expert. Your roof cannot speak for itself, so enlist the help of a local, reliable roofing contractor. The representative can inspect your roof, including the underside of sheathing, and give you a far better sense of the challenge:

  • Quality of existing materials — More expensive materials generally last longer
  • Quality of previous roof installation — Did the previous roofer cut corners, sacrifice detail, or rush to complete the job? 
  • Type of roofing — shingles last around 20 years; tile lasts between 30 and 50 years; metal roofing can outlast the home’s occupants
  • Anticipated life span of the whole roof
  • Problematic areas such as flashing, signs of water leaks, damaged sheathing, and more

While nobody has a crystal ball, the representative may be able to judge your roof’s apparent age and its weathered age. Depending on local conditions, the weather may have accelerated your roof’s end of life. Forecasting only a year or two more of useful life means you need roof replacement now. 

When Should I Replace My Roof?

Roof replacement combines a roofer’s schedule, your budget, and your home’s value. All must align to tell you when to replace the roof. You cannot afford to allow the home to decrease in value due to a deteriorating roof. Water leaks, mold, mildew and damaged furnishings can all be far costlier than a full roof replacement. 

Spring and summer are ideal times for roof replacement using any of the most popular materials:

  1. Shingles
  2. Metal
  3. Tile
  4. Composites

Fall is a possibility if scheduling and budgets require it; winter is seldom a good time for roof replacement, but in emergencies even that can be done. 

Every homeowner worries about cost, but with modern financing, budgets should not be a roadblock to a new roof. 

What Is the Longest Lasting Roofing Material?

The material on your roof need not hold you to what will go on your roof. Sure, shingles are popular, but other materials can replace a shingle roof and bring new beauty and long life to your home:

  • Metal roofing — No longer relegated to industry, metal roofing is a gleaming, beautiful option that easily lasts 50 years in residential installation
  • Tile roofing — Traditional, durable tile can last 40 to 60 years when properly maintained; it is an ideal choice for historical accuracy and Spanish-influenced architecture
  • Composite roofing — Modern technologies produce beautiful, colorful composite roofing that mimics shakes, shingles, and tiles, lasting up to 50 years

This is not to say that shingles are a bad choice! The fiberglass-asphalt shingle is America’s #1 residential roofing material. It is economical, long-lasting, and easy to install. Most shingle roofs now come with “lifetime” warranties, but expect between 20 and 30 years from a typical installation. 

If you choose shingle roofing, make sure you select a superior installer, one with strong credentials and the highest levels of craftsmanship. All major shingle manufacturers have programs to elevate the best contractors; pick from the cream of the crop for your Des Moines-area home. 

You may have no choice when to replace your roof. Storm damage, age, or deferred maintenance may mean replacement this year. You do have a choice in:

  • The quality of materials
  • The type of roofing material
  • The right roofing contractor

The experts at VanWeelden Company can help you with all three decisions. We install the best roofs for the best people in Des Moines. Contact us today to let us help you with your complete roof replacement!