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How do you know when it's time to replace an aging roof?

roof remodel

Is your roof feeling a little... over the hill?

An old roof can be more than just an eyesore. Leaks, mold, damage, and decreased home value are just some of the unwelcome surprises that an aging roof can bring.

While there's no one-size-fits-all retirement age for your roof, don't wait for a leak to spring or a shingle to fly before considering a roof replacement.  

Keep reading to learn how a proactive roof replacement can save you money, time, and headaches with our top tips, including:

Tip #1: Be aware that insurance carriers are cracking down on aging roofs.  

Insurance carriers have become increasingly stringent about roof age in recent years, so a proactive approach to an aging roof can ensure you maintain your coverage and don’t get hit by unexpected price increases to your policy.

Why are insurance companies cracking down on old roofs?

Insurance companies rely on historical data to assess risk. While the risk of roof damage has always existed, recent years have shown a trend of more frequent and more severe weather events. This has prompted insurers to adjust their policies accordingly, and the risk associated with older roofs is now seen as more significant than in the past.

Additionally, technological advancements and analytics have enabled insurance companies to better assess and predict risks. With more accurate data, insurers can identify the increased risk posed by older roofs more precisely and take preemptive measures.  


Image Source: ABC7 San Francisco

Some insurers now use real-time monitoring tools, such as satellite imagery and drones, to assess the condition of roofs.

Though there are privacy concerns about this new tech, it allows for more proactive risk management and helps insurance companies identify potential issues before they result in claims.

Ask your insurance agent to clarify the specific details of your policy and if the age of your current roof could impact coverage and costs in the future.

For example, in Florida, rather than covering the cost of a full roof replacement, insurance carriers only pay out the cash value for roofs over 10 years old.

This is important if:

  • Your roof is older than 10 years (especially if you have an asphalt shingle roof).
  • You live in a region prone to severe weather or wildfires.  

Tip #2: Talk to your roofing contractor about a roof-over vs. a roof replacement. 

Although a roof-over and a roof replacement sound similar, they are very different installation methods. Understanding the difference between the two is important since a roof-over could save money and reduce the time it takes to complete the job.

A complete roof replacement (also known as a full tear-off) involves removing all of the old roofing materials and underlayment, exposing the deck below. Roof replacements cost more than a roof-over due to the additional time and labor required to remove and dispose of the old roof.  


A roof-over is when a lightweight roofing material, such as metal roofing, is installed directly over an old asphalt shingle roof. This method is faster and more cost-effective than a full roof replacement, but it's not a one-size-fits-all solution. 

Several factors that will determine if your roof is eligible for a roof-over, including:

  • Local building codes may have restrictions on roof-overs, so it's important to check the regulations first.
  • Any form of damage to the roof deck or the underlying structure rules out the roof-over option.
  • If more than one-third of your existing roof needs repairs, a roof-over is most likely not an option, and a full replacement is required.

Tip #3: Planning to sell? The age of your roof can impact the sale price. 

If you're considering selling your home in the near future, don't underestimate the impact of an aging roof. Beyond its aesthetic value, a roof in its senior years can pose significant challenges during the selling process.

During a home inspection, an older roof may be flagged for leaks, missing shingles, or even general wear and tear.  


These issues can become major sticking points during negotiations, potentially leading to costly repairs, price reductions, or even falling out of escrow.

Further, an aging roof can create complications with financing and insurance. Many lenders, especially FHA lenders, have specific requirements regarding roof age and condition, and an older roof may not meet those standards, making it difficult for potential buyers to secure a mortgage. Similarly, insurance companies may view an older roof as a higher risk, resulting in increased premiums or limited coverage options for the new homeowner.

Be sure to talk to your real estate agent if you have an older roof and determine if it’s worth replacing prior to listing the home for sale. 

Tip #4: What to look for in a new roofing material.   

Let's face it, a roof replacement isn't a decision you want to make twice. It's a significant investment that should provide lasting protection and enhance your home's curb appeal for decades.

Each type of roofing material has its own pros and cons. Understanding how different roofing materials perform across various categories is important to making an informed decision.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most prevalent roofing material in the United States due to their affordability and ease of installation. However, their shorter lifespan, vulnerability to weather damage, and lower energy efficiency make them a less desirable choice for long-term value.


Clay Tiles

Clay tile roofs offer an undeniable aesthetic appeal, particularly for Spanish and Mediterranean-style homes. Their longevity is also impressive, lasting for 50 years or more with proper maintenance. However, their high cost, weight, fragility, and maintenance requirements are factors to consider.


Wood Shingles or Wood Shake

Most wood shake and shingle materials are cut or split from cedar, cypress, pine, or redwood trees. Unfortunately, without frequent maintenance and chemical treatments, wood roofs will quickly fade to a dull gray after exposure to sunlight. Wood roofs are also a combustible material, and some insurance carriers won’t insure homes with wood roofs in regions prone to wildfire.

Metal Roofing

Metal roofing is the second most common type of roofing material in the U.S. and continues to grow in popularity as more homeowners learn about its unique benefits. Metal roofs are also one of the strongest and longest-lasting roofing materials on the market, lasting two to three times longer than traditional options like asphalt shingles.

While metal roofs do cost more to install, the long lifespan and superior durability of metal roofing provide one of the highest ROIs of any roofing material.

In fact, a metal roof replacement can increase a home’s value by as much as 6%.  


The ROI of a metal roof is further boosted because it’s well-known as one of the most energy-efficient roofing materials on the market and can reduce cooling costs by as much as 40%.

Ultimately, the best roofing material for your home depends on various factors, so it’s important to be as informed as possible and research all your options.

Researching each option thoroughly, consulting with a reputable roofing contractor, and requesting product samples will empower you to make the best decision for your home.

Speaking of product samples, let’s move on to our final tip.  

Tip #5: Roofing manufacturers offer complimentary samples of their products.  

Choosing a new roof is an investment in your home's future, and you deserve to be absolutely confident in your decision. A roofing manufacturer who is proud of their product and confident in its quality will always encourage you to see and feel it for yourself.

That's why we encourage you to request a complimentary sample of DECRA Metal Roofing.

It's the perfect opportunity to experience the quality, craftsmanship, and beauty that only DECRA’s line of stone-coated metal roofing products can offer.

Contact us today to order a complimentary sample.  


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