Unfortunately, a lot of property owners in Ghana do not find it necessary to replace the roof of their building when they need to; this makes it an often-ignored part of the house. If you are reading this article then it must be that you are curious to know when to replace your roof. This article will help you figure out if it is time to let your roof go and get a new one. 

How often should roofs be replaced?

This will depend on the type of roof you installed. In Ghana, most people opt for metal roofs; the average metal roof will last between 40-70 years. Some materials, like copper roofing, will last even longer with some copper roofs dating back over 100 years.

READ ALSO: Types of roofing sheets in Ghana 

5 signs you need a new roof

If you see some or all these signs on your roof, then it is time to retire your roof or at least get it fixed.

  •  Shingles are curling

Curling shingles are usually caused by poor quality materials or normal wear and tear. This causes the edges of the roofs to either turn upward (cup) or the centre part of the roof to look like it is a sinking claw, both of which will cause leaks in the roof. Either way,  if the roof is not fixed or replaced the roof will wear out faster than it should so your roof will not even stand a chance against weather conditions like storms or high winds. 

  • Water damage

Finding water damage on the upper parts of the wall or the upper floors of the building could be a clear sign that you have a roof leakage. A roof leak can cause water to drip, course, and collect above ceilings or behind walls and if your supporting trusses are wooden the leak could compromise the integrity of the roof. Though sometimes the water damage in the walls can be from a plumbing issue. When you need to replace your roof, find signs of water damage, check your roof. Don’t wait for further damage. Ignoring the water damage could be costly and require you to have your roof replaced entirely.

READ ALSO: Dealing with roof leakage 

  • Shingles are cracked or missing

This is one of the more obvious signs that your roof is damaged. If it is a couple of missing shingles then you can just find a replacement on the market, but a whole bunch of them missing means you need a new roof.  Cracked roofing shingles are a result of the thermal expansion of the metal. Do you know that faint popping sound you hear on your roof sheet on hot days? Well, that is the sound of your roof tearing or better still popping, this effect is a result of thermal expansion. If you’re not sure if your roof has a lot of cracks then you need to check. 

If you find that the cracking isn’t isolated to one particular area you can patch it up until a bigger issue presents itself, but if a roof starts to look like a checkerboard you could opt to replace the whole thing. If it’s random throughout the roof, that’s a telltale sign that you should start thinking about when to replace your roof.

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  • The shingles are covered with moss or algae

  Can you guess what the favourite food of roof moss is?  Your roof shingles, tiles, and slates. The presence of algae on the roof is an alert for the potential development of moss. Though they do not pose a threat, if left unchecked, damage and can shave years off the life of your roof. You can get rid of them by simply cleaning your roof but if the problem persists, it’s an indication that you need to replace your roof. Check your roof and look for tiles that show signs of rotting, moss or mildew. Deal with this as soon as you can; if you don’t, bacteria and fungi could grow and cause your roof to leak. 

READ ALSO: Improving your home: How to clean your roof

  • Your trusses may be damaged

Though this is not the roofing exterior, having the interior of your roof damaged could potentially have a damaging effect on the roof. If your trusses are wooden then they may be subject to wood rot and snapping; this could cause the roof to sink or fall off. However, steel trusses have proven to be more durable and ecofriendly.

What to consider when replacing a roof

Check out these pointers to know when to replace your roof.

  • What the exact problem with the roof is

Roof replacement is an expensive process, so the first thing you need to look out for when getting a new roof is to know what the problem is. This will help you figure out the next step because you might have to just replace some sheets or nails; not replace the whole roof. So try to identify what the problem is by calling in some roofers. 

  • The cost of the whole process

This should be one of the first things to consider when considering replacing your roof. You will have to factor in the cost of ripping and disposing of the old roof bearing in mind that prices may have fluctuated so you could pay more than what you paid to install the roof the first time.  

READ ALSO: Roof repairs: should I patch, repair or replace?

  • The material you will need

Over the past years, due to technology, many Ghanaian roofing sheet companies have improved upon the materials used in making durable yet, affordable products.  If you are looking to replace or install a roof on your building for the first time, know that there are current techniques and material options that weren’t available when your building was originally built. Metal roofs have gained much popularity and therefore the options for metal materials have grown to incorporate a large range of choices and designs like Domods’ Premium Aluzinc. This offers property owners the benefit of durability. Make sure you do lots of research on roofing options before your renovation work or outright re-roofing.

  • Ask the roofers about the removal and installation process

Just so you know, roofing produces a lot of noise. Also when it comes to removing the old roof, make sure you specifically ask them to get rid of your old roof, not place the new shingles or building material over the old stuff.

The rationale for this is to better examine any rot or soft spots of wood that ought to be replaced to stop future damage to your fresh roof.

Just covering the full roof with a fresh roof does not address any of the present issues. It is like simply putting a band-aid on the roof. It’ll not be a protracted-term solution to the matter.

  • Find the right roofer

Finding the right expert for the job can be a tricky process so ask around for references, look at reviews online, and check around a few different places to ask for estimates. Then make your final decision based on all this information. One other major thing you’ll want to test is whether your contractor is abiding by the building codes for where you reside, especially if you reside in a gated community.

What time of the year is best to replace a roof?

In tropical climates like Ghana you can fix your roof any time of the year but if you are worried about weather conditions like rain making the roofing process a bit difficult then avoid the months of  April, May and June which are the longer rainy seasons and the months of  September, October and the first half of November which are shorter rainy seasons. In the more desert-like north, the rains arrive from March to September.

Read also: Effect of weather conditions on roofs

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Your roof can still be in a questionable condition and protect your home, but if it’s old, worn, or outdated, the value of your property could be compromised. Having an old-looking roof can really have the property stand out, especially if everyone else in your neighbourhood has nicer, updated roofs. Want to replace or install a new roof? Call our expert roofers as soon as you can.