Ask Your Roofer: Homeowner’s Top Roofing Questions Answered

Your roof is one of the most important aspects of your home’s structural integrity, keeping you, your family, and your belongings safe—not to mention adding curb appeal to your residence. It’s not surprising, then, that keeping your roof in good repair is a major priority for homeowners, especially in southeastern Pennsylvania where the seasons expose roofs to varying temperatures and types of precipitation.

Professional roofers, like JL Roofing and Siding, are trained to install, replace, and repair roofs of every kind, and have seen almost every possible scenario when it comes to helping people with their roofing needs. In this article, we’re tapping into those years of experience to compile a handy Q&A of a few of the most common questions people ask roofers:

How long can I go before replacing my roof?

The answer to this question depends on a coupe of factors. First, you need to know what kind of roof you have, as different roofing materials have different lifespans. The longest lasting roofs tend to be made of copper, tile, or slate—they can last upwards of 50 years. The next most durable material is wooden shakes, which can reach up to a 30-year lifespan. Asphalt shingles are the most economical and common type of roofing material, but they generally last about 20 years.

Of course, these lifespan estimates are assuming no major damage happens to the roof, like a hurricane or a tree limb falling onto it. If a damaging event occurs, the lifespan of any roof can be significantly shortened.

Finally, how well and how regularly a roof is maintained will factor into its longevity. Homeowners who have their roofs professionally inspected and cleaned twice a year—and who fix minor issues immediately—can expect to enjoy their roofs for a longer period of time than those who neglect the upkeep of their roofs or let small problems progress to larger ones.

 How much roof maintenance and repair can I just do myself?

It’s very tempting to want to save on your roofing expenses by handling some aspects of maintenance and seemingly simple repairs yourself. Homeowners may try to do their own roof inspections, cleanings, or maybe even replace a shingle or two on their own.

There are some serious drawbacks to DIY roof maintenance and repair, however. Unless you are a professionally trained and experienced roofer, like JL Roofing and Siding,  who has all of the proper equipment and tools, you can put yourself and your roof at risk. The first thing to consider is safety. A fall from a ladder or roof can result in serious injury, or even death.

The second thing to consider is expertise. A professional roofer, like JL Roofing and Siding,  knows what to look for in an inspection and can get into areas and spot potential problems a homeowner would likely miss. The same goes for cleaning. Roofers have specially designed equipment that can clean without damaging your roof. And it goes without saying that a less than professional repair job can lead to much bigger problems down the road.

There are many areas of home care that homeowners can safely and effectively take care of themselves, but roofing is one place it pays to call in a professional.

How much will it all cost?

Cost is an important question to homeowners who have to balance roofing expenses against other areas of their budget, and there’s no set answer to this question. Clearly, it will depend on the scope of the project—pulling off an old roof and installing a new one will cost more than replacing a few shingles or performing routine maintenance.

The important thing to do here is to work with a roofer you trust, and to ask questions about your options. If you have a certain budget cap for a new roof, you may be able to accommodate it by your choice of materials, for example. Working with an established roofer who has a strong reputation for integrity will help you get a fair answer to the question of how much it will cost and help ensure that the project stays on budget.

Have more questions about your roofing needs? Consult JL Roofing and Siding today!

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