To your home insurance provider, there is almost nothing more important than your roof. Many insurers simply won't cover homes with a roof more than 20 years old. Others may choose not to renew your policy if your roof reaches that age and does not pass inspection.
Keeping your roof in good condition — and possibly replacing it every two decades — is paramount to keeping your home insurance. More importantly, it is paramount to keeping your home safe.
Do I Need A Whole New Roof?
If you can bring your roof up to spec and pass inspection, you don't need to go to the expense of replacing the whole thing. Of course, it's going to be a lot easier to keep your roof up to spec if you conduct regular maintenance and make repairs as soon as they're needed. If you wait 10 years before you even look at it, you're probably going to find that getting a new roof is cheaper than repairing what you already have.
What's Wrong With The Roof?
The roof of your home looks simple enough — a basic A-frame to block wind and deflect rain. You have your shingles and gutters, but there are not a whole lot of moving parts. Still, like many features of your home, your roof is a little more complicated than it looks.
Talk to a professional roofer and you're going to hear the word "system" being thrown around a lot. There is, indeed, a system in place. Your roof can trap heat and moisture, making it one of the most mold-prone parts of your home. The shingles can trap water underneath and rot the wood underneath. Everything about your roof is designed within a system to ensure a dry, well-ventilated whole.
When a roof starts to fall apart — or worse, collapses — everything in the house is at risk. If this happens, many insurers will not pay for a new roof even on a valid claim. Even worse, they'll pay for whatever your old roof was worth, which won't be enough to build a new one.
To your insurer, the roof may well be the most important part of your home. Keep it dry, keep it ventilated and don't put off repairs.