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Blog > Roofing > How Long Do Roofs Last? Forgone Maintenance the Silent Equity Killer

How Long Do Roofs Last? Forgone Maintenance the Silent Equity Killer

A recent US News and World Report survey found that 86% of recent homebuyers have had at least one home repair issue since moving in. So if you’re selling your home, you want to ensure that the home inspection does not raise red flags. These could put the deal in jeopardy or mean you have to offer a substantial discount.

One surefire equity killer is forgone roof maintenance. Understandably, buyers do not want to buy a home only to start Googling “roof replacement near me” within days of moving in. So keeping your roof in good order – or replacing it at the right time – is the key to preserving the equity in your home.

Let’s explore how long a roof should last. We’ll also look at how to determine when it’s time to repair or replace your roof.

How Long Do Roofs Last?

Asphalt shingles are far and away the most common roofing material in New Jersey. They’re relatively inexpensive, and modern shingles have a great lifespan. They can also handle variations in temperature from below freezing in winter to 94°F in the height of summer.

Search online for how long roofs last, and most sources will tell you up to 30 years for asphalt shingles. However, real-world experience is something else. Ask a professional roofer, and they’ll tell you that 18-23 years is more realistic.

Common Problems with Asphalt Roofs

Asphalt shingles themselves are relatively hardwearing and can last for 30 years. But the weak points of any roof are:

  • Skylights
  • Flashings
  • Wall transitions

These are usually the first areas to fail. If you don’t repair them promptly, they can cause serious problems to the deck of the roof. This, in turn, can cause leaks and internal damage.

If the problem progresses to the point where water is getting inside your house, you’re looking at a very expensive repair bill. Therefore, it’s extremely important to schedule regular roof inspections.

What Happens in a Roof Inspection?

During a roof inspection, a local roofer will examine your roof and look for signs of damage. They can spot small issues that could develop into more serious ones. Then, they’ll give you a report outlining any action you need to take to get your roof in great shape again.

The inspection will include the following:

  • Structural checks – roof planes, chimneys, soffits, fascias, etc.
  • Materials – problems with shingles and seals
  • Interior – check for any signs of leaks

A professional roofer can spot issues that are not obvious. For example, they may pick up on damage to the deck or flashing that homeowners can’t spot easily. They will also tell you if the best choice is to rip off your current roof and install a new one.

To Repair or to Replace?

The correct answer to this question depends on a few factors. Think about:

  • How old is my roof?
  • How serious is the damage?
  • What is the cost of the repair vs. installing a roof replacement?

This may be an easy decision if your roof is relatively new and just has a few torn shingles. But, of course, the new shingles may not match your roof permanently, and it may not be as attractive and even in appearance as it was before.

The repair route may also be suitable if your flashing has suffered minor damage.

Serious Problems

If your roof starts sagging, this could indicate there are serious problems with the deck. It may have become wet and started to rot. This can spread to the rafters and could make your roof a danger to your family.

You may also notice there are spots on the roof that always appear wet. This could be a sign of algae growth, which can cause leaks and shorten the lifespan of your roof.

Remember, the longer you leave these problems, the more costly the repairs will be. That’s why regular roof inspections are a must, no matter how recently your roof was installed.

Think About Internal Damage

The interiors of our homes cannot withstand water ingress. Even a small leak can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.

The increased humidity that water leaks bring can also cause mold problems. Mold can cause health issues for your family. Mold remediation can also be a nightmare, potentially costing thousands of dollars to correct.

The takeaway? Think carefully before carrying out a roof repair. If your roof is already quite old, installing a roof to replace your current one may be a better option.

The Cost of Roof Repair vs. Roof Replacement

According to Bankrate, the average cost of roof replacement in the US is between $5,601 and $11,729. That may sound like a lot, making a roof repair, which may cost less than $1,000, sound more tempting.

Let’s work through an example together.

Suppose your roof has a leak. You’re quoted $10,000 to replace the roof. Repairing the roof will cost $1,500, and $750 to repair the interior damage.

In two years’ time, your roof leaks again. You now decide to replace your roof. The only problem is that with inflation, the same roof now costs $11,500.

By delaying two years, you’ve spent $3,250 more than needed. If a professional roofer recommends a roof replacement, you can trust their experience. Rather than putting it off, it’s better to swallow the expense and enjoy years of low maintenance costs.

Replacing your roof at the right time also means that your home will be in great condition when you decide to move on to new pastures.

Roofing Replacement Near Me

The signs are clear; it’s time to get a new roof. There’s no need to start frantically searching for roofing replacement near me. If you’re in the northern New Jersey area, American Home Contractors is the obvious choice.

We are a fully licensed, GAF Master Elite Certified roofing contractor. We will assess your roof and give you an honest appraisal of its condition. We can help you make an informed decision about your roofing project.

For a free quote, call us at (908) 771-0123 or reach out online today!