when to replace roof?

if you have a 10-yr roof, does that mean you should replace it in year 10? or, does it mean you have a 10-yr warranty, but the roof could last for 15-20+? like my truck has a 3-yr warranty, but I hope it lasts about 3 times that!
Are there any tell-tale signs of when to get a new roof? lots of leaks? just one leak?
thanks
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Pablo wrote:

I won't even wait until one leak springs out. Check the shingles. How much coating material is gone? Are they curling up bad? Cracking? etc., etc. If you wait too long, it'll cost you more. If under neath sheathing suffers water damage.... for one. Tony
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You'll know when to replace it from appearance. Don't wait for leaks.
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Appearance how? Mine looks bad due to stains, but the shingles are still flat, still have most of their coating. It was 15-year roofing, installed during initial construction 17 years ago. I'm wondering how soon I shuold plan on redoing.
Also, is it OK to roof over the original shingles the first time? Or should I strip first?
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Stains can be a indication of a problem, but other stains are not. There are a lot of potential visible problems, but it takes someone with experience to spot them all. This is a tough one since finding someone who is impartial to take a look may not be easy. Maybe check out a certified home inspector and see what they would charge. It would be worth the cost.
I recently had hail damage. The hail roofers were all over the place, and I am sure they would not find a home not damaged. I called my insurance company and they sent their man out. He said I had damage. I had not seen a thing. However he pointed it out to me and sure enough it was damaged and they replaced it for free. I ended up with a better roof than I started with.
BTW my first car had a one year warrantee, I kept it for 16 years 195,000 miles with very few problems. Warrantees have very little to do with useful life.
As the others have suggested, don't wait for a leak.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Thanks for your replies. We have not had any leaks coming through just the middle of the roof, but have had leaks around flashing, etc. From one leak by the chimney, I think it was b/c the flashing was not properly installed.
So, it sounds like the key indicators are:
a) does the tile still have coating on it? (ie-not smoothed, but still bumpy with little grains)
b) are tiles flat? not curving, etc.
Also, from the inside, the decking looks good. I don't see any stains or leaks, but is this test realiable as the damage would be on the top of the decking?
Also, it sounds like a "10-yr roof" can last longer? In trying to search the Web for this, I can't find any 10-yr shingles, is there such a thing?
THanks!
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You need a roofer to fix the flashing, he can tell you about the rest of the roof. Get several estimates.

If it is so bad it is smooth, you would have had leaks long ago. It is a matter of how much is still on. It is a judgment call that needs experience.

It would not show right away, but if you see damage, you know it leaked sometime.

I think most makes start at 15 year and go up.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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On Sat, 17 Jan 2004 04:27:33 GMT, "Weezer"

If you have stains on the north side only, or other places shielded from the sun, it can be a form of mildew. Those are not harmful and they can be removed with a product carried by better building supply stores. (Can't remember the name, maybe "Mildew-X" or "Mildex"?)

If you strip first, the replacement shingles will last longer.
--
Larry
Email to rapp at lmr dot com
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I have been told that mildew and moss can be harmful.
As you indicate there are products to deal with these problems.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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Weezer wrote:

I'm not sure appearance tells the average homeowner [like myself] when to replace. I had no stains, or curling on my 18 yr. old roof, and couldn't see any problems. However, I developed a leak in a valley that roof repairs by two different companies didn't fix. So I replaced my 20 yr guaranteed shingles last year.
If you want to avoid leaks, I agree with others, a professional inspection will probably be necessary; and likely no one will tell you that you don't need a new roof now. [Catch 22, if you can't do it yourself.] So I would be making plans according to my budget. ;) bj
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chicagofan wrote:

Appearance or looking? I would assume that when anyone mentions appearance one would need to get on the roof and look at it from 3-4 feet not from 20 feet away on the ground. A leak in the valley probably has nothing to do with the life of the shingles, especially if the valley is sheet metal. What did the sheet metal look like? any holes, rust? The valley shouldn't leak even if the shingles fail. I have a good sheet metal valley underneath my interlaced shingless (no metal seen). You just had a poor roofing job.
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George E. Cawthon wrote:

I'm an over the hill female, I have to trust what I'm told. :) The valley was replaced due to where the water was entering the one wall. No water tests were done, and there was nothing they could see... I was told, without removing, etc.

Same type here.

I may have had 2 "poor" repair jobs on the valley, but 18 yrs for the original roofing job, I consider pretty good. And since all of the experts I got quotes from wouldn't guarantee a third *repair*, I decided to go with a new roof.
The *source* of the leak was never determined, so they [all 3] said. :-/ bj
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Weezer wrote:

If the shingles lie flat, like yours, and you don't see any bare spots on any of the shingles you are ok. If you see sand comming off the shingles sufficient to let the black base show, it's time to reshingle.
Most people will tell you not to shingle over the original shingles. But it is done all the time. If you do that you need to make sure that the wood sheathing is in good shape and that the additional load won't be a problem. In most cases, neither of those are a problem. The down side is that shingles need to be the same size and type as the original shingles to fit well and they may not lie quite as flat as if the original shingles are removed.
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Hi
Just throwing my 2 cents in. My roof appeared to be still in good shape when I found some stains on the wood in the rear of my shop. Checked it and yes water damage. My shingles were laying flat, do apparent damages. But after looking found the very first (reversed) layer had cracked along the shingle openings and the paper had dried out and was brittle (Florida Sun). So even when they look perfect there can still be leaks. I learned a good lesson there!
--
Lee

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native_texan snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Pablo) wrote:

A select few people just wait for their roofs to fall in under their own weight of disrepair, but for the most part, most other folks get new roofs when water starts showing up in some fashion on their celings or in their attics. That's pretty much the one telltale sign a lot of people go by. The other is when their shingles start looking really moth-eaten around the edges.
The 10-year thing you mention is *generally speaking* how long those shingles should last under normal circumstances. And really, that's about as far as it goes, given that there's a LOT more to a good, sound roof than just the shingles. 10-year shingles with piss-poor materials and workmanship beneath it might only give you 3 years or 5 years -- or maybe even 10 if you're really lucky -- of not ending up with a wet ceiling for a somewhat large variety of reasons.
Also, you *definitely* know it's time for a complete scrape-off down to the bare wood when you have ANY number of leaks and there are already 3 layers of shingles up there.
AJS
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