Roofs: Repair or Replace
The roof is crucial for the health of your home. If the roof fails, snow, rain, chipmunks, bats, and even raccoons can get inside. The rain and snow will create mold and the animals will set up shop and destroy the place.
The first thing to decide is if the roof needs to be replaced or if it can be fixed. If the shingles are not too old (less than twenty years for asphalt shingles) then they are likely not in too bad shape. That's good because the underlayment is probably fine. The big problem is when the shingles are left up too long and they allow moisture and rot to attack the underlayment. Once the underlayment is destroyed, then the decking is vulnerable. The decking is the "wood" that makes up the roof.
There are two common styles of shingles: asphalt and slate. Asphalt is inexpensive and will last around 20 years. Slate is expensive and lasts perhaps twice as long. If you replace a roof with slate shingles, you can expect to never have to replace it for as long as you live.
It is mainly a matter of cost. Slate roofs are very expensive and are definitely not a do-it-yourself job.
If there are leaks in your roof, then it is a sign that the decking is shot. Likewise, if you do a visual inspection of the roof and see holes or feel that decking is "soft", then the entire roof needs to be replaced. This involves tearing up the old shingles, removing the decking and the underlaytment.
At this point you should decide if you are going to redo the roof with asphalt shingles or with a metal roof.
A popular alternative to asphalt and slate shingles is a metal roof. These are designed to last a long time, require very little maintenance, and look nice. Old-fashioned metal roofs got a bad rap because they all were a cheap looking corrugated design. New metal roofing materials look beautiful. You can get panels or even metal shingles.
The choice between metal shingles and metal panels is purely an aesthetic choice. You will have to decide which looks better on your home.
The choice between metal materials involves a price and quality difference. The most popular options are steel and copper. Steel is cheaper, but it requires treatment with chemicals to prevent it from rusting. However, it can be colored to fit different home paint styles. Copper roofing is more expensive, and is not painted, but it has the benefit of being excellent in the weather. Unlike aluminum or steel, copper roofs don't rust and therefore don't need to be treated with chemicals.
Talk to professional roofers, such as Homestreet Roofing Inc, for more information.