Many homes are topped with asphalt shingles because of their effectiveness and low cost. If your old asphalt roof is in need of replacement there are a few things you should consider before you start talking to contractors. Check out these five facts to know before you replace your asphalt roof.
An Overlay Isn't Always Cost Effective
An overlay is when you place new shingles over your old shingles in an effort to repair your roof for less money. It's common practice, but the actual savings are only about 25 percent when compared to buying a new roof. With an overlay, the shingles don't last as long as if you replaced the roof entirely, and it's impossible to tell if there is damage to the underlying structure. If there is unseen damage to the decking, you're just wasting money to cover it up, and you'll probably need a full roof replacement sometime in the near future.
You'll Probably Need to Replace it Again
If you choose to replace your roof with new asphalt shingles, you may need to replace the roof again down the road. Asphalt shingles last about 15 or 20 years, which is a long time, but where will you be in 15 or 20 years? If you plan on staying in your current home for the long haul, will you have enough money to replace the roof again in 15 or 20 years? Will you still be working, or will you be retired and on a tight budget? If you would prefer to never replace your roof again, consider switching to a metal roof.
The Color of the Shingle Is More Than Cosmetic
If you stick with asphalt, you have a wide array of colors from which to choose. However, don't just choose a color because you like it. Think about whether you want to absorb heat or reflect heat. Lighter colored shingles reflect the heat, which is better for hotter climates. On the other hand, darker shingles absorb the heat, making them better to keep your home warm in cooler climates.
Choosing a Different Roofing Material May Not Be Possible
Many houses with asphalt roofs have lower to medium roof slopes, and the extent of your roof's slope plays a big role in what type of material you can use. If you do have a lower roof, don't expect to be able to switch to wood shingles or slate. These materials are more likely to leak, so they are best left for steep roofs so the water can easily drain. With a lower roof, it's best to stick with asphalt or metal. If you do have a steeper roof, slate and tile are an option, but they are also heavy, so make sure your roof can withstand the weight.
Picking a New Roofing Material May Be Necessary
In other cases, picking a new roofing material may be the best way to protect your roof. If you live in a humid region but have an asphalt roof, someone has made a mistake. Asphalt roofs are prone to mold, mildew and algae, which are more common in humid areas. For humid climates, metal roofs are better. If you insist on sticking with asphalt, make sure to apply algaecide as protection against growth.
When it's time to replace your asphalt roof, it's probably best to stick with asphalt, or switch to metal, if you want a longer lasting roof. If you do want to switch to tile, slate or wood, make sure to talk with a contractor first to determine if it's right for your house. For more information about roofing materials, contact a roofing company like John Criner Roofing Inc today.