Roof replacement becomes a necessity at some point in the life of every home. In the best case scenario, a roof simply comes to the natural end of its life and needs to be replaced. Just looking at it you can see it’s old and worn, and replacing it is a matter of preventive maintenance rather than repair. If you ignore or put off doing that maintenance, however, you can wind up with more serious problems, including: Interior ceiling and wall damage, Mold, mildew, and the resulting health concerns, Risk of electrical fires, Higher energy bills, Discomfort in summer or winter months, and Compromised structural integrity of your home. Like anything else, it’s easier and less expensive to prevent problems, rather than let things get so bad you have no choice but to repair them. Roof replacement cost only goes up the longer you wait. If your roof is 15 to 20 years old or more, now’s the time to start planning to replace your roof in 2021. Reasons to replace your roof. There are many specific reasons for roof replacement, but most of them fall into two general categories. One on hand, your roof is your primary protection against scorching sun, soaking rain, freezing ice and snow, insects, wildlife, and all that nature has to throw at you. Exposure to all those elements naturally takes a toll, and eventually every roof simply wears out. If your roof is 15 to 20 years old or more, look for telltale signs of age and wear, including: Curled, worn, cupped, or cracked shingles, Storm and hail damage, such as missing or broken shingles, Mold, mildew, moss, and rot, Dark streaks caused by algae, Cracks that leak water or allow sunlight into your home. On the other hand, as one of its most highly visible features, the condition of your roof can dramatically affect how potential buyers (or pesky HOA inspectors) perceive your home. When considering the cost of a new roof, think of it as an investment not only in your comfort, safety, and security, but also in enhanced curb appeal and the increased value of your home when it comes time to sell. In the highly competitive Loudoun County, Virginia market, where new homes with fresh roofs are readily available, it’s important your home remains equally attractive to potential homebuyers. Re-roofing vs. Replacing. Re-roofing is the process of nailing down a fresh layer of shingles over an existing layer. Replacing your roof entails completely stripping the shingles and underlayment, inspecting the wood sheathing, making any necessary repairs, then installing new underlayment and shingles. While re-roofing can be less expensive up front, it may not be your best choice, nor the most cost-effective choice, in the long run. For one thing, a second layer of shingles will retain double the amount of heat in the summer, making roof-level rooms unbearably hot and requiring dramatically more air conditioning. What’s more, there are a few situations in which re-roofing isn’t an option, including: A roof that already has two layers of shingles, Damage to roof flashing or other structural damage, Homes with construction that can’t support the additional weight of a second layer of shingles, and A roof that sags, leaks water, or is covered in mold, mildew, or moss. In contrast, although the average cost to replace a roof may be higher than re-roofing, the benefits include: Ensuring all roofing issues are fully addressed at the same time, which saves money in the long run, Appropriate insulation and ventilation, which saves on heating and cooling costs, A more comfortable living space in cold and warm weather, Mold prevention for healthier air quality, Enhanced appearance, whether to enjoy for yourself, to comply with HOA requirements, or to boost the value of your home prior to selling it. Choosing your roofing materials You have a variety of materials to choose from when replacing your roof. Asphalt shingles are the most common, but other types include slate, concrete or clay tiles, cedar shakes, metal, various plastic polymers and more. Your choice of roofing material should also take into account a number of other factors, including style, color, durability and expected lifespan, weight, insulation value, Energy Star rating, cost, aesthetic appeal, and climate and weather conditions in your area. Questions to consider before settling on your roofing material include: How long will this roof last? Do I plan to live in the home for most of that period, or am I replacing the roof to sell my house? Will the construction and framing of my house support the weight of this material? Is this an appropriate material choice for the Northern Virginia region? Is my roof properly ventilated and does it have the required slope to install this type of material? Does this project involve repairing a roof leak, or skylight replacement or installation? Will the material work with the style of my home, and is this material permitted by local building codes or HOA guidelines? How much will my new roof cost? Do I expect to recoup some or all of that cost in energy savings or resale value? Whichever roofing material I select, how can I ensure I’m getting a top-quality product from a reputable manufacturer? What kind of warranty is provided for this type of roofing material? When replacing your roof, the materials that are used can make a huge difference not only in curb appeal, but in the longevity of your investment. That’s why we choose GAF and Certainteed as our material suppliers — two of the best brands available — to ensure your roof stays beautiful and hassle free for a long time to come. As a deeply experienced, fully insured, high-quality roofing service operating in Northern Virginia and Maryland, you can rely on RNC Construction to help you answer all of the questions above, and provide you with the trustworthy advice and guidance you need to select the best roof replacement for your home. If your roof is 15 years old or more, a new roof is one of the best investments you can make in 2021. You’ll enjoy the double benefit of enhanced comfort, safety, and lower energy costs while you live in your home, plus increased value when you sell your home.