When it’s raining, you probably feel really lucky to have a roof over your head. But did you know that your roof plays a much bigger role in the safety and comfort of your home than just providing shelter?
From attic ventilation to landscaping maintenance, your roof acts as a multifunctional shield for your home. However, your roof can’t live up to this role if it’s damaged and deteriorating. In fact, an unmaintained roof can leave you with more problems than solutions. If you don’t address an aging roof, you could find yourself dealing with leaks, poor ventilation, shingle damage, and premature roof failure.
But do you really need to replace your roof? Can’t you just repair your old one? Let’s go over five ways a new roof protects your home to highlight the importance of investing in a replacement before it’s too late.
1. Better Storm Protection
As your roof ages, it can wear down, and be less capable of withstanding all of the things it’s designed to defend against like wind, rain, heat, and other harsh elements.
With a new roof, you won’t have to wonder if the next rainstorm will cause your roof to leak or worry that a windy afternoon could loosen your shingles. You can relax knowing that your fresh, new roof is in peak condition.
2. New Warranty & Insurance Coverage
As your roof ages, it naturally becomes more susceptible to leaks, algae growth, shingle defects, and other problems that require professional help. If these issues aren’t addressed, they can turn into bigger problems that require even further, more expensive repairs.
The age of your roof also plays a significant factor in your home’s insurance coverage. Most insurance companies offer limited or no coverage on roofs more than 20 years old. If your roof is hitting the 20-year mark, you’ll want to think about replacing it.
Most insurance policies won't pay to replace or repair a roof that's gradually deteriorating due to wear-and-tear or neglect. For this reason, you should schedule routine roof inspections and roof maintenance annually to keep your roof in excellent condition. Routine maintenance can also keep your insurance premiums low and may prevent you from filing an insurance claim after a storm.
You won’t have to worry about the condition of a new roof as it likely has several years before it starts to break down. On top of that, new roof installations typically come with warranties to cover the cost of shingle defects, installation errors, and other repairs. You can read this article to learn more about these warranties and how they can benefit your roof.
3. Proper Attic Ventilation
As the uppermost part of your home, your attic is sandwiched between indoor and outdoor temperatures. When these elements clash, moisture is bound to follow. If your attic isn’t properly ventilated, your home could suffer from roof leaks, ice damming, and, even worse, mold and mildew growth.
The best time to evaluate and improve your home’s attic ventilation system is during a roof replacement. Roof access and installation are generally easiest at that time, making it an ideal time to fix existing problems and/or increase the airflow in an under-ventilated attic. Let’s take a look at how proper attic ventilation can protect your home:
Prevents Condensation - Laundry, showering, cooking and other everyday activities produce warm, damp air inside your home. This moisture tends to gravitate up through your ceilings and into your attic. When that warm air hits your attic’s cool surface, it turns into condensation. This creates a moist environment that is just ripe for mold and mildew growth. Proper ventilation keeps your attic dry and prevents damage caused by condensation.
Increases Roof Lifespan - Inadequate ventilation can dramatically reduce the lifespan of your roof. Without ventilation, your attic will get extremely hot. When that heat builds up, it can cause damage to the wood decking, rafters, underlayment, and more. Proper ventilation helps that hot air escape and extends the lifetime of your roofing system.
Prevents Ice Damming - If you live in a snowy climate, proper ventilation can reduce your risk of ice dams. Ice dams are typically formed when warm air hits the roof deck and causes snow to melt. If melted snow runs down your roof, it can refreeze over your roof’s perimeter and form ice dams. Proper ventilation will keep warm air away from your decking by directing it through your roof vents and then outdoors.
4. Home Energy Efficiency Improvement
High energy expenses come from a variety of places in your home: drafty doors, loose windows, improperly insulated basements, and a roof that’s outdated and in dire need of replacement. An older roof can impact your home’s energy efficiency in a number of ways:
Attic Ventilation - As your roof ages, so does its ventilation. If your roof isn’t properly ventilated, hot air can get trapped in the attic and gradually raise the overall temperature of your home. This can put a huge strain on your air conditioning system and lead to a noticeable rise in your monthly energy bills.
Solar Reflection - The more effectively your roof reflects solar light, the more energy-efficient it is. If your roof isn't able to reflect sunlight away from your home, the shingles will absorb solar heat and transfer it into your home.
Climate Control - Your roof plays a large role in regulating your home’s climate. It helps control how much heat gets in or out through the top of the house. Therefore, replacing your roof can make it easier and more efficient to control the temperature of the house.
5. Foundation & Landscaping Protection
Though your roof is at the top of your house, and your foundation is at the bottom, the quality of your roof still impacts what happens to your foundation.
One of your roof's jobs is to act as a catch basin for water. Your roof protects your home by collecting a large amount of water at one time, especially during intense rainfall, and diverting it into controlled channels and drains. But, if those channels are damaged, things down below can get pretty messy:
Water will fall onto the roof and slide down to the roof edge.
Then, fall off the roof edge and pool around your home’s foundation.
This will cause the ground around your home to become oversaturated.
Water will move through the wet soil and press against the foundation.
This water exposure will leak into any cracks in the foundation and cause it to erode.
This heavy water exposure can also damage any landscaping that’s planted directly next to your home. Too much water can kill the roots of your plants and turn your yard into a mushy, muddy mess.
Ready for a New Roof?
Now that we’ve gone over the five ways a new roof protects your home, you may be wondering if it’s time for a roof replacement. Like we said earlier, if your roof is 20 years or older, it’s probably due for a replacement.
However, if you’re experiencing any of the issues we discussed in this article, you should do a little bit of investigating to see if you need a new roof or can get away with repairing your old one. Luckily, we have created a guide to help you do just that. Read this article to learn how you can tell whether you need a roof repair or replacement.
If you live in the Raleigh area and need help with your roof, don’t hesitate to fill out the form below. With over 30 years of roofing experience, we’d be happy to get you a free estimate, help you decide whether you need a repair or replacement, and answer any questions you may have about our roofing process.