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We often talk about your home being the single, biggest investment you will make in your lifetime. As a homeowner, you want your home to last, and hopefully appreciate in value. You also want it to be protected from the elements, which all starts with a well maintained roof. It is important to keep an eye out for signs of decay.
"You can see it pretty visibly. There will be cracks in the shingles that you can see from the street. There will be algae and some moss. A lot of green build up can occur on them. That's a sure sign. The algae will build up underneath your shingles and start breaking them apart," said Joel Aery, roofer.
Just like any other major renovation that you will make on your home, the estimates for the work will vary widely. If you do your homework, the roof will be up quickly and it will last you a good 30 years.
"You want to call a few different contractors, get a few estimates. They can vary within $4,000. About one to two days usually, standard about a day. But some, if they're a little bit bigger, we'll go two days. You should go for a 30-year shingle. They can go all the way up to 50, but a standard 30-year shingle is good," recommended Aery.
The average shingle today will last about 30 years. And you can help to insure that it lasts that long by trimming away any foliage or tree branches that hang over your roof, especially in the winter, by clearing away some snow.
"It allows the sunlight to hit the shingles and evaporate the moisture. The shingles we use, the timberline shingles, actually have algae resistant build up in them, they manufacture zinc oxide in them," said Aery. "But, if you're looking to extend the life of your roof, definitely take away the trees and let some sunlight in. If you get a roof rake and just pull the bottom six feet of snow or whatever you can reach. A roof will go so far if it is installed properly, but it is advisable to take care of that if you can."
Fairly new to the market are energy efficient shingles, so keep an eye out for those. And keep in mind that a new roof is a capital improvement that will add significant value come resale time.