When you should replace the roof on a rental property

Wondering when you should replace the roof on a rental property? How long should the roof on your rental property last before it is replaced? Most roofs will last up to 15 years, but the specific life of a roof depends on the roof material. Asphalt shingles last 15- 30 years, wood shingle roofs last 30-plus years, clay tile roofs last 50 years or more, metal roofs last up to 70 years and slate tile roofs can last over 100 years.

In addition to the roofing material, workmanship and weather play a huge role in how long the roof lasts. Poor roof installation will increase the probability of damage and ultimately lead to premature roof failure. While inclement weather like strong winds, heavy rain or snow, and extreme temperature, changes will increase the stress on the roof.

But by far the most important factor in the longevity of a rental property’s roof is maintenance. A roof that is maintained in a timely fashion will outlast a poorly maintained roof. With a home’s roof, warns Dawson Property Management. it is easy for small issues to escalate and become costly repairs if the property owner is not careful to pay attention.

What are the signs to look out for to know when your roof is nearing its replacement time?

The roof is sagging

When a roof sags, parts of the structure will take the shape of a saddle. Sagging occurs due to the roof giving way under the weight or pressure of snow, wind, and the roofing material itself. It could also be a result of the attic decking giving way or issues with a home’s foundations.

A sagging roof gets progressively worse with time. And frequently, it is not possible to reuse the roof shingles after the underlying cause of the problem has been addressed.

Persistent roof leaks

Every roof leaks once in a while. Most leaks, if caught early, can be fixed with minimal damage to the roof’s structures. But when a roof starts to leak frequently, it could be an indication of deeper issues.

There is a chance that the roofing material has been severely weakened. If this is the case, the cost and stress of incessantly fixing leaks can get to the point where it exceeds that of changing the entire roof.

Curling or buckling shingles

The roof is the part of a building that is most exposed to the brunt of the weather. Consequently, shingles can curl or buckle under the force of wind or heat from the sun. When this happens, the part of the roof under the shingle becomes exposed to water damage. But usually, this is an isolated problem.

However, when buckling and curling shingles become commonplace on the roof, it is a sign that the roof is failing. Swapping out individual shingles will not solve the problem, the whole roof needs to be replaced.

Massive moss or algae growth

Moss and algae growing on the roof is a huge problem. They undermine the integrity of the roofing material. Moss and algae only grow on surfaces where they have something to feed on. And in the case of roofs, the compounds that make up the roofing material is what moss and algae feed on.

Moss and algae, with the aid of water, break down the roofing material, making it brittle and weaken the binding that holds the roof granules in place. Additionally, these growths trap water on the roof surface and facilitate leaks. If moss and algae have taken hold on a roof, the chances that the material is damaged are high.

Damaged flashing

Flashing is essential to maintaining the overall health of the roof and protecting its internal structures. Flashing are the thin pieces of water-resistant materials that are installed around roof joints and valleys to keep water from penetrating these highly-vulnerable areas.

They are critical to keeping the roof in good condition, but over time they can get weak and start to peel away from the roof. When the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights become damaged, the internal structure of the roof can deteriorate very fast. Roof failure often begins as damage to the flashing.

Excessive shedding of granules

It is normal for roof shingles to shed granules. But when the roof rains granules and roof gutters are filled with them, it is a clear sign that a roof is failing and needs to be replaced. Roof granules create a protective barrier between the roof and the sun’s heat or the force of rain and wind. But when the roof shingles are stripped of their granules, they cannot perform this role well. The sun’s heat will penetrate the roof and into the home and the shingles will be more liable to crack.

If your roof is near or at the end of its life expectancy, then it’s time to replace the roof on your rental property. Depending on how well it has been maintained, a roof at the end of its useful life can still look good. But that is no proof that the roof is in good condition; it can fail suddenly. Contact Steele Restoration when you are ready to replace the roof on a rental property.