How to Know When It’s Time for a Roof Replacement

Kathleen Maxwell

White clock tower white brick displaying 11:30 with clear blue skies in the background

It’s a surprise no one likes. It’s more than added stress, noise, and disruption. It’s a five- (or six) figure check for a new roof. Like taxes, roof replacements can’t be avoided. No matter how good you treat your roof, you’ll have to replace it eventually. However, it’s possible to plan for a roof replacement instead of being surprised by it.

A Roof’s Lifecycle

A roof falls into four categories during its lifecycle.

  1. 0-3 years: Honeymoon Phase
  2. 3-5 Years: Preventative Maintenance Phase
  3. 5-15 Years: Ongoing Maintenance Phase
  4. 15-20 Years: Re-Roofing Watch

But, don’t be fooled by those categories. Not all roofs make it to 15 years old. Some fall victim to severe weather, others to faulty installation, and many to poor maintenance practices.

Smart Roof Maintenance

All roofs must be replaced eventually, but there are some easy things you can do to make your roof last longer and save money in the process.

1. Perform Roof Inspections Regularly. Regular roof inspections will help you identify potential problems before they turn into actual problems. We recommend hiring a professional to perform these inspections. Unless you have roofing knowledge or experience, you might not know what you’re looking for. If you miss a small issue, it could turn into a big issue down the road. If you decide to perform a roof inspection yourself, take pictures and notes. You want to have a record of your roof’s condition, so if any major problems arise, you’ll be able to provide your roofer with background information.

2. Put Maintenance at the Forefront. A new roof may need preventative maintenance as early as three years after being installed. Be willing to pay a small price for preventative maintenance to avoid paying a big price for repairs.

3. Fix Problem, Not just Symptoms. Imagine your ceiling has started leaking. The leak is the problem, right? Fix it, and the problem is solved. Not exactly. By this point, the problem could be that the insulation is so saturated with water it can’t absorb anymore—along with the fact there is a hole in the roof. In this case, the leak is the symptom, and there are two problems. The first is the hole causing the leak, and the second is the saturated insulation. When repairing issues, fix the whole problem, not just the symptom. It might be more costly at the time, but it will help extend the life of your roofing system and save money in the long run.

4. Budget for Repairs. Budget about $750 for a simple repair. You can estimate the number of repairs on the amount of foot traffic expected on the roof, as well as the number of repairs needed in previous years.

When to Call a Professional

Sometimes, your roof needs special attention. You should call a roofer if you notice:

  • Cracks, blisters, tears, or other blemishes on the roof’s membrane
  • Failing flashing
  • Soft insulation
  • Water stains on inside walls
  • Leaks

An experienced commercial roofer will be able to identify the severity of these issues and recommend a course-of-action to fix them. An experienced roofer can also estimate how much life your roof has left within these ranges:

  • 1-3 years
  • 3-5 years
  • 5 years or more

So, if your roof has an estimated three years left, you can start budgeting for a roof replacement and eliminate the surprise that too often comes with roof replacements.

When Should You Replace Your Roof?

Only a professional can accurately tell you when your roof should be replaced. However, the four major factors that contribute to the necessity of a roof replacement are:

  1. Roof age (How old is the roof?)
  2. Roof usage (Does it experience a lot of foot traffic?)
  3. Maintenance history (Have you performed maintenance throughout the roof’s lifecycle?)
  4. Roof damage (Has the roof experienced major damage from weather or people?)

Not sure how long your roof has left? Just click here to contact us and learn how we can help!


Search Resources

Popular Tags

2020 2020 commercial roof 24/7 8th & Roast aaron muncie Accounts Payable Administrative Office Coordinator aerial roof moisture survey Alabama anchored article Anchored Client Spotlight Anchored Employee Spotlight apprenticeships architectural design asphalt Baker Twins Real Estate Brentwood Baptist Church budget Budgeting building maintenance building owners building permit new roof building temperatures built-up roofing BUR business owners CDC checklist checklist for business owners Chelsey Cole choosing a roof type Chris Vogl church roofing client spotlight client spotlights client testimonial clogged drainage cold Colliers International commecial roofing commercial buildings commercial contractors commercial flat roofing contractors commercial investment property commercial metal roofing contractors Commercial Properties commercial real estate Commercial Roof commercial roof budget commercial roof budgeting commercial roof construction commercial roof damage commercial roof inspection commercial roof inspections commercial roof leak repair commercial roof maintenance commercial roof materials commercial roof problems commercial roof repair Commercial Roof Replacement commercial roof replacement cost commercial roof replacement process commercial roof value commercial roofing commercial roofing budget commercial roofing career commercial roofing company commercial roofing construction commercial roofing contractors commercial roofing goals commercial roofing in Nashville commercial roofing jobs Commercial Roofing Partner Commercial Roofing Preventative Maintenance commercial roofing strategy commercial roofing technology commercial roofing terminology commercial roofs common questions competitive benefits comprehensive roof assessments comprehensive roof maintenance condensation Connection Between Insulation & Commercial Roofing construction construction manager construction managers construction misconceptions construction safety Contractor Contractor Warranties contractors cool roof cool roofing cool roofs coronavirus corporate buildings corporate roof cost savings costs courthouse roof COVID-19 customer experience customer service damage dan maxwell Design designer roofs develop talent Do's and Don't of Roof Installations documentation DOL draining system drains Drone Inspections drying durable materials Eco-Friendly Eco-Friendly Commercial Roofing Options eco-friendly roof Elevated roof moisture survey emergency helpline emergency repair emergency service employee appreciation employee spotlight employee training energy costs energy efficiency energy efficient tips energy savings energy-efficient roofing Ensworth School EPDM EPDM roofing estimates estimating estimator Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer Fabrication fabricator facility managers fall checklist fall maintenance fall protection faqs Featured Article Featured Client Spotlight Featured Employee Featured Employee Spotlight federal buildings flashing flat roof forecasting full-service roofing Full-service roofing services general contractor general contractors government agency government buildings government roof bids government roof insulation Grease Traps Green Roof green roofing gutters hail damage heat damage hiring Horrell Company how to get commercial roofing jobs Huntsville Huntsville Commercial Roofing HVAC HVAC systems HVAC units ice ice damage impalement hazards improve performance Indian Lake Peninsula Church industrial building owners industrial buildings industrial flat roof replacement Industrial Owners industrial roof leak repair industrial roof maintenance industrial roofing industrial roofs industrial roofs issues Infrared Moisture Infrared Moisture Surveys inspection inspection plan Inspections Installation Insulation insurance jack ryan jackie sprout John Blue Realty John Maxwell Journey Design Group Kalen Canaday Leak Prevention Leaks licensing light-colored roofs lisa ann parr long-term maintenance long-term roof management longevity of a roof low-slope commercial roof maintenance maintenance plan Manufacturer Warranties manufacturing Martha Walden Material Warranties MAXCare Maxwell Monitors Maxwell Roofing Maxwell Roofing & Sheet Metal Maxwell Roofing Client Spotlight Maxwell Roofing employee maxwell roofing employees maxwell roofing experience maxwell team metal fabrication Metal Roof Metal Roofing metal roofs michael buckingham Michael Cox moisture retention Nashville Nashville Commercial Roofing nashville roof recovery nashville roof recovery systems Nashville Roofing Nashville Roofing Partner nashville winter National Safety Month new career new construction new roof new roof building regulations Next Generation Net Lease ongoing learning opportunities ongoing roof maintenance open penetrations operations OSHA OSHA standards planning for emergencies ponding ponding water pre-engineered metal roofs Preparing for winter prevent a roofing emergency prevent seasonal damage preventative maintenance preventative roof maintenance pricing proactive maintenance project manager prolong roof life property management PVC PVC membranes PVC roofing qualified roof technician Quality Ray Ferguson RCP Companies recovery systems recruitment Recycled or Biodegradable Roof Material regular inspections reliability Reputation retail store owners Risk Management roof assessments roof budget roof cleaning roof coatings roof construction roof curbs roof damage roof debris removal roof diffusers Roof Drain Debris Removal roof holes roof inspections Roof Installation Roof installation tips roof investment roof leak repairs Roof leaks roof life expectancy roof maintenance roof maintenance tip roof management roof materials roof performance roof preventative maintenance roof repair roof replacement roof replacements roof safety roof weatherproofing roof’s lifespan Roofers Coffee Shop Roofing roofing budget roofing care roofing cleaning Roofing Company roofing construction questions roofing contractor roofing costs roofing employees roofing goals roofing industry roofing maintenance roofing materials roofing membrane roofing mistakes Roofing Partner roofing problems Roofing Products roofing projects roofing questions roofing sales Roofing Specialists roofing trends rooftop bar rooftop deck rooftop features Rooftop grease traps Rooftop moisture survey rooftop patio rooftop penetrations rooftop safety routine maintenance safe construction Safety Samples Properties school roof construction school roofing safety school safety seasonal maintenance service account manager service and repair Service Superintendent services severe weather sheet metal sheet metal fabrication singly ply roofing systems skylights Skyline Replacement Skyline Replacement Tips sloped commercial roof snow Solar Panels solar roof Spray Polyurethane Foam spring maintenance state buildings Stephen Marbach storm damage Summer Heat summer kick-off party summer maintenance sun damage superintendent surface hazards temperature control The EDGE estimating software thermal proofing Thermoplastic Polyolefin Tips for Commercial Roofing top blogs top roofing blogs top talent TPO membranes training types of roofing Under-roof moisture survey Valerie Bibee values warehouse roof replacement warranties Warranty waterproofing weather damage white reflective roofs White Roof white roofs wind resistance winter maintenance winter weather winterizing roof

What Do Our Customers Have to Say?


Read Our Reviews