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Roofing Buyer's Guide (page 2 of 10)

Learn how to tell if it's time to replace your roof, and get information on the latest roofing materials and approximate costs.

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asphalt shingle roof

If your roof isn't too steep, you may be able to tackle simple shingle repairs yourself. Photo courtesy CertainTeed.

Roofing repairs
Small trouble spots can be fixed with a shingle repair or replacement. If your roof isn't steep (a pitch defined by the National Roofing Contractor's Association as 25%, or 3-in-12 or more), and you're not afraid of heights, you can attempt these simple repairs yourself. Take every safety precaution when working on a roof. Otherwise, call in a professional who will do spot repairs for $100 to $150 each.

If you have asphalt roofing shingles, one of the surest signs of an aging roof is finding piles of granules inside your gutters. These colored mineral granules coat the surface of asphalt shingles and help protect them from sun and hail damage. As the shingles age, these granules loosen and are washed into the gutters.

Knowing the age of your existing roofing puts you ahead of the game when it comes to determining if you need a replacement. The overwhelming majority of roofs are asphalt shingles, which generally have a life expectancy of about 20 years. Asphalt shingles generally perform better in cooler climates. In warm, southern regions, lifespan of asphalt shingles may be as little as 10 to 12 years. Other types of roofing, such as wood shingle and metal, have considerably longer life expectancies.