The life expectancy of your roof can depend on several factors; the type of roofing, the quality of material, and the exposure to harsh weather elements among the top. With proper maintenance and normal weathering factors, roofs can last anywhere from 10 – 100 years.

Common material needed for roofing such as built-up roofing can last 12 – 20 years, metal roofing 15 – 40 years, wood shake or shingles 10 – 40 years, asphalt shingles 15 – 20 years, and special types of materials such as slate up to 100 years under good conditions.

Leaks can start as small cracks in the roofing material that may not be visible; water may collect in an adjacent area. To detect such damage, a close inspection of the roof may be needed.

A certified roofer can be called to avoid further damage to the roof or personal injury to the homeowner caused by trying to inspect it their self. A roof inspection should be performed annually; constant weathering by sun, rain, heat, snow, wind, and the cold can cause roofing material to break down. A certified roofer will know what to look for.

A roof system should be vented properly to prevent over-heating and moisture retention, two kinds of factors that can cause a roof to break down.

Selecting a Qualified Roofing Contractor

A certified and experienced contractor offers various services. From completely tearing off an old roof and replacing it with a new one, to inspecting an existing roof. The latter is a process in which the roof is inspected and “guaranteed” to work properly for a certain time frame; usually 2 years. The contractor takes responsibility for any necessary roof repairs needed during that period.

A certified roofer is knowledgeable of roof system materials, types, and installation procedures best suited for each project, and will ensure there is proper venting.

Ask potential roofing contractors questions such as whether they are licensed and bonded. What liability insurance coverage they have, and whether it is up to date. Ask which roofing products they are licensed and approved by, for installation of products and warranty purposes. Also, ask if they are a member of any trade organizations.

There are several resources are available to find a roofer; referrals, local government licensed agencies, and web sites that offer contractors to hire, or a list of contractors who are licensed.