One of the most vital parts of your home is its roof—which means your roof needs to be properly cared for. But a roof replacement is a significant investment, and many homeowners have questions about what they need, what’s best, what’s most affordable, and more.
To help you enjoy a long-lasting, low maintenance roof you’re proud of, here are our roofing team’s answers to your most commonly asked roofing questions.
1. How long can I expect a roof to last before it needs to be replaced?
It depends on the material a roof is made of, and how much wear and tear it has endured. On average, the life of an asphalt roof is 20-30 years. Metal roofing lasts between 30-70 years. Beyond this age, roofing begins to fail and is in need of replacement to protect your home.
2. What are the signs a home needs roof repair or replacement?
There are several common signs of damage that you should look for and address:
- Curled, cracked, or dented shingles
- Loose or missing shingles
- Shingles that are worn or lack their protective granules
- Mold and mildew growth on shingles
- Ceiling leaks, and leaks that happen when it rains
- Water damage inside your home, including your attic
- Light peeking through the attic due to holes in your roof
Small issues can often be addressed with roof repair, while larger problems may only be addressable with a roof replacement. A proper inspection by an experienced roofing company can help identify any issues that aren’t easily visible from the ground.
3. Does a roof leak mean I need repairs, or should I get a whole new roof?
The answer depends on several factors, such as how big the leak is, what’s causing it, and how long it’s been happening. A small leak due to a few loose shingles can often be repaired, especially if you address the issue quickly. On the other hand, a large leak, multiple leaks, or long-standing moisture damage might be better addressed by a full roof replacement. The best way to resolve this question is with a professional inspection to assess the source and size of the leak and any related damage, such as rot and mold.
4. Which is better: asphalt or metal roofing?
All roofing materials have their benefits, so it’s best to consider your needs, personal preferences, and budget as you decide on a new roof.
- Asphalt shingles are an extremely popular, affordable choice preferred by many homeowners.
- Metal is highly durable and strikingly attractive due to its unique, modern style. It costs more up-front, but is super long-lasting.
Our roofing company is always happy to walk homeowners through their options, including the advantages of high-efficiency, long-lasting GAF Roofing materials.
5. What are the black streaks on my roof? Do they mean I need repairs?
Black marks, streaks or stains on asphalt roofing shingles are usually a sign that you have mold, mildew, or algae growing on your roof. In Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, black algae caused by humid weather and moisture is very common. This growth doesn’t eat away at your shingles, but it is definitely unattractive and hard to remove.
While you won’t need roof repairs to deal with black algae stains, you may want to consider replacing your existing shingles with Timberline® UHD shingles made by GAF. These shingles resist algae growth, look lovely, and perform reliably for years.
6. What is roof flashing, and how does it protect my roof?
Flashing is an aluminum or galvanized steel material placed over the joints in a roof to prevent water from seeping in. It’s most commonly found around chimney pipes, vents, skylights, and similar roof areas. If flashing is loose, damaged or missing, your roof can be vulnerable to moisture incursion.
This issue is easily addressed by roof repair. Either install new flashing or reattach loose flashing back into place. If you’re a DIY-er, you can do this yourself, but it’s often easier to hire a pro roofing company, and the fix should be quick and affordable.
7. How do I find a reputable roofer I can trust?
It’s important to choose your roofer carefully. If you’ve incurred storm damage and need roof repair fast, don’t simply hire the first person to show up on your doorstep. After a natural disaster, fly-by-night companies often visit neighborhoods trying to take advantage of unsuspecting homeowners—and you don’t want to be their victim.
To avoid storm chasers and find a roofing company you can trust, do a little investigation before hiring anyone.
- Ask—Ask neighbors and friends who they recommend, especially if someone you know has recently installed a beautiful new roof.
- Search—Go online and look for customer reviews, BBB ratings, and other signs a business has a solid, trusted reputation.
- Go Local—It’s best to work with a local roofer that’s been in business for several years, since local roofing companies are more likely to care about their reputation and will also be available after your roof repairs if you have additional needs.
- Consult—Take the time to get at least 3 estimates, and don’t look at just the cost. Consider also how easy it is to get in touch with the roofers you talk to, how knowledgeable they are, what workmanship guarantees they offer, etc.
Get a Lasting, Lovely Roof that Makes You Proud of Your Home
If you’re concerned about your roof’s condition, there is no better time than right now to get it checked. The sooner you have issues assessed, the easier it is to address roof leaks and roof repairs in a cost-effective manner.
Our roofing team is here when you need us, and we’re happy to answer any questions you have. We’ll give you a thorough, detailed report on your roof, so you can choose the best solution for your needs. Contact us for a free consultation—and enjoy a roof you can rely on for years to come.