Your home is one of your biggest investments and should be properly maintained and repaired to keep it in good shape. Unfortunately, although your home's roof is one of your home interior's first lines of defense against the weather, your roof's condition can go unnoticed as it is not commonly in your line of sight when you are outside. Maintaining your roof with repairs and replacing it when it is at the end of its life are very important details you don't want to neglect as a homeowner. Here are some tips to know when your roof will need replacement by a company like Elite Roofing KC and some smart replacement options to help you during this step.

When to Replace Your Roof

Your roof is under direct fire from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays, winds, hail, snow, rain, and ice, and can get worn down after years of wear. But depending on the type of material your roof is made of, you can have an estimation of how long it can be expected to last. Keep track of when your current roof was installed and set a reminder in the recommended number of years to consider a replacement.

For example, according to the National Association of Home Builders, if your roof is made of asphalt composition shingles, it will last approximately 20 years. Fiber cement shingles last a bit longer at approximately 25 years of life, and wood shake shingles can last up to 30 years. If your roof is made of slate, steel, copper, or tile, it can last more than 50 years. But keep in mind your roof can become aged more quickly if you live in an area that has harsh climates during summer or winter.

Once you know how long your roof is expected to last, you can keep an eye out for signs it is failing. Make a visual inspection from your yard as often as possible to view your roof and look for any patterns of curling and missing shingles and algae or moss growing upon the north side. The south side of your roof that faces the sun directly can become worn more quickly an this is the side that will begin to show wear first.

If your roof is made of asphalt shingles, your shingles will lose their granules heavily when they are nearing the end of their life. So if you begin to see granules washing from your roof out of the downspout, this is a sign for roof replacement.

Smart Replacement Options

When it is time to replace your roof, look for a roofing material that is of a premium quality to help it last much longer than regular roofing materials. For example, instead of opting for a traditional asphalt shingle, choose a shingle that has a longer warranty for a few hundred dollars more of cost, and flashing made of copper instead of traditional aluminum to help it last longer. Doing these upgrades to your roof will extend its life so you don't have to replace the roof sooner. And if you plan to sell your home in the next few years, this can add a selling feature.

Also make sure you have the roofers remove your old roof first before they install the new roof. Leaving your old roof on your home can add unnecessary weight to your home's structure and can also shorten the lifespan of your new shingles. It may cost a bit more in labor, but it will allow your roofers to inspect your roofing deck for any problems and moisture damage that may be hidden by your existing roof.

You might also choose to select a new roof made of a light-colored material or coated in reflective granules to reflect the sun's radiation and keep your roof cool during the summer in a hot climate. A cool roof can lower your roof's temperature by up to 50 degrees and keep your home's interior more cool. Talk to a roofing professional about your options for replacement and select one that will benefit you in the long run.