Date Published: 2024/07/08

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Time to replace your roof? Here's what you should consider.

Close up of a roof with damaged tiles peeling off.

The roof is any home's first line of defence, so choosing the right roofing material is important for both safety and longevity. With so many options available, deciding which one is best for your home can be overwhelming. Even though cheaper, less durable materials might seem tempting, investing in a high-quality, long-lasting roof can save you money and stress down the road.

In this article, we will explore important considerations to keep in mind when replacing your roof, such as signs your roof needs replacing, roofing options, and how your roof replacement impacts your home insurance. 

Signs your roof needs replacement

Severe weather and temperature fluctuations, both common in Canada, can damage your roof over time.

Look out for these signs to know when it's time to replace your roof:

    • Missing shingles. If you notice more than a few missing shingles, it could indicate a serious underlying problem. Asphalt shingles can also disintegrate over time. If you find curling or shrinking shingles, bare spots, or asphalt granules in your gutters, it's a clear sign that your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan.
    • Sagging. Structural issues with your roof, such as roof deck sagging, can only be fixed by replacing your roof and decking boards.
    • Roof age. Most asphalt roofs last 15-20 years. If yours is older than this, it's time to consider a replacement.

Choosing resilient roofing options

When protecting your home, selecting the right roofing material is key. Consider cost versus quality. Cheaper and less durable options might seem like the better short-term choice, but investing in higher-quality materials may reduce maintenance costs and increase the roof's lifespan, saving you money in the long run.

Here are some resilient roofing material alternatives to asphalt shingles to consider:

    • Metal. Metal roofing systems are known for enduring harsh weather, including strong winds and hail. They are non-combustible, fire-resistant, and effectively shed snow, preventing ice dams in winter. With a lifespan of up to 50 years, metal roofs are a great long-term investment for homeowners seeking durability and low maintenance.
    • Tile. Tile roofs, made from materials like clay or concrete, are highly resistant to UV rays and fire. These roofs excel in windy conditions and can last several decades with proper maintenance.
    • Rubber. Rubber roofs are gaining popularity due to their life expectancy of 30-50 years and their malleability, which makes them less likely to become damaged in extreme weather conditions.
    • Slate. Slate roofs are known for their exceptional longevity, with the potential to last up to 200 years with proper maintenance. They are fireproof and highly resistant to severe weather, like hail and high winds.

Reviewing roof ratings

Roof ratings can help you understand how effective and reliable roofing materials are under different environmental conditions. These ratings, categorized by fire resistance (Class A, B, and C) and impact resistance (Class 1 to Class 4), indicate how well a roof can handle hazards like fire and hail. 

For example:

    • A Class A fire rating means the roof has the highest level of fire resistance, offering the best protection against fires. 
    • A Class 1 impact rating means the roof is able to withstand sudden force, such as hailstones, without cracking.

Choosing roofing materials with higher ratings means your home is better protected against harsh weather, reducing the chances of expensive repairs, and boosting the overall safety of your property.

Installing hurricane ties

If you live in a hurricane or tornado-prone area, consider installing hurricane ties. These metal straps help secure the roof to the home's structure, providing additional protection against strong winds. Keep in mind that hurricane ties can only be added to your roof at the time of installation.

Informing your insurance broker

Before replacing your roof, inform your insurance broker about your plans and provide details about the type of material you are using. Your insurance broker considers risk factors such as your roof’s age, material, shape, and condition when calculating your home insurance premium. Opting for more resilient materials can potentially lower your premium due to reduced risk. For example, selecting a metal roof system that is fire-resistant. 

Maintaining your new roof

Once your new roof is installed, regular maintenance is essential to prolong its life:

    • Clean gutters regularly. Clogged gutters can cause water to back up and damage your roof.
    • Inspect annually. Conduct annual inspections to detect and address any issues early.
    • Remove debris. Keep your roof free from leaves, branches, and other debris to prevent damage.

A well-replaced roof is an invaluable asset to your home, enhancing its safety, comfort, and value. By considering more resilient materials and maintaining your roof, you can ensure a successful roof replacement that will serve you well for years to come.

Can upgrading your roof save you on home insurance? Call an Orbit insurance broker to find out.

If you're a current Orbit policyholder planning to upgrade your roof, contact an Orbit insurance broker to discuss potential home insurance savings. If you're just shopping around for home insurance, request a quote today