American Roofing & Metal

How to Know When to Replace Your Roof

10-27-2014 | Rick O’Toole

If your first clue that your roof needs replacement is a big water spot on your ceiling, you’ve waited a little too long. When your roof is working properly, it’s very easy to forget about it. Unfortunately, the cost of ignoring your roof for too long can be pretty high.

So how do you know when your roof is ready for replacement? The most obvious indicator is the age of your roof. If it’s more than 20 years old, it’s probably due for replacement. Of course, newer roofs can fail as well. If you have your roof inspected annually, you can keep an eye on its condition and know when it’s time for a new roof.

While we don’t recommend you get up on a ladder to inspect your roof for safety reasons, you can actually check it out with binoculars from the ground. If you spot curling shingles, missing shingles, or valleys in the overall plane of the roof, it’s a good indication it needs to be replaced.

You can also check the condition of your roof from inside your attic. Look for water stains, soft or moist spots on the underside of the roof sheathing or insulation. Also look for pinhole spots of light near the chimney or other roof intrusions. These are a sign the flashing has been compromised, which might mean the entire roof is in rough shape.

Of course, different roofing systems have different lifespans. Your choice of roofing materials can extend or shorten how long it is before you need a new roof.

  • While they’re the most popular choice for residential roofing, asphalt shingles have the shortest lifespan, typically lasting 20-35 years, depending on their rating.

  • Wood shakes or shingles have a life expectancy of 30-50 years. But they can have issues with mold and rot, and may have a lower fire rating.

  • Metal roofing provides a good balance of light weight and durability, with a lifespan over 50 years.

  • Clay and slate tiles require more framing due to their heavy weight, but can last hundreds of years.

If you find that you need to replace your home’s roof, be sure to hire a reputable Cincinnati, Lexington or Louisville roofing contractor. We’re happy to provide an honest quote to replace your roof and help you consider the different options of roofing materials to fit your budget.


Rick O’Toole

Rick O’Toole | Branch Manager

Rick was hired into American Roofing and Metal Co. to further expand the company into the Lexington area. He brings with him 20 years of roofing experience in the industry. Rick is an extremely hard working individual who has a tremendous amount of expertise and knowledge in the roofing and sheet metal industry.