Do you need a new residential roof? Here are some things to consider

new roof

A new residential roof is one of the biggest homeowner purchases. But, it can also give you a great deal of comfort to feel like you are literally providing a solid roof over your head. Water damage, after all, is one of the worst and most costly things to happen for a homeowner. It’s good to be prepared for a new roof as it’s a key part of home maintenance.

How often do you need a new residential roof?

Depending on the material, a new residential roof may need to be purchased or at least repaired every 10 years or so to ensure integrity and avoid leaks.

Some of the most common roofing materials for slanted roofs are asphalt shingles, slate shingles, wood shingles and metal roofing.

For flat roofs, common materials are Modified Bitumen, EPDM rubber, BUR (built-up roofing), Single-ply roofs, Thermoplastic PVC roofs and Liquid Applied roofing.

Each type of roofing has its own replacement schedule given that the materials and application differ. Cost differences can be significant.

How do you know if it’s time for a new roof?

You will know its time for a new roof one of three ways. First, if you have any leaks you’ll unfortunately learn that you at least need a repair. The roofer can give you an estimate on when you need a full replacement, and you should always get a second opinion with a costly maintenance item like a new residential roof.

The second way you’ll know is if you have your roof regularly inspected and the roofer flags issues which indicate that a full roof replacement is needed. The third way you’ll know is if you already are aware of the estimated lifespan of your particular roof and know that you are coming up on the time it needs to be replaced.

How much does a new roof cost?

The cost of a new roof very much depends on the size of the roof and the material. Each type of material has a cost per foot including installation.

Roof surfaces are measured in 100 square feet of roof, referred to as “a square”. One of the less expensive materials for a roof is asphalt shingles which can be $100 – $150 per square. At the high end are slate shingles which can be $900 – $1,600 per square. The return on investment can be measured in the cost and expected lifespan.

As with any large home maintenance purchase, it’s wise to get several estimates and also opinions on the type of roofing material that’s best.

My recent roof purchase

I live in a townhouse that was built around 1900 and last had a new roof installed in 2010. About two years ago, I had a leak along the gutter where the roofing material had come unstuck and was letting water in one small area during torrential rains when the gutter would fill. At that point, a re-caulking of seams was done and repairs made along the gutter with a four year expected lifespan.

Well, imagine my surprise when I noticed some water damage on the ceiling recently. It turns out that the wood around the roof hatch had deteriorated (one of the many perils of older homes) and some water had gotten in. Not enough to cause drips but enough to cause discoloration.

water damage

As the roof was 11 years old, it seemed time for a whole new roof.

I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited about a pricey home repair in my life. Mainly because I knew that a new roof would make me less anxious about storms and water damage – my least favorite thing.

I got a new EPDM rubber roof. I used a roofer that I’ve used in the past and like – a father son team. The pricing was $1,000 under what I had been quoted by a residential roof

new residential roof

They even included a shiny red metal hatch to replace the old wooden box hatch which was compromised.

roof hatch

The roof is nice and spongey, and I’m sure that I’ll sleep better now when it rains.