Two words that every homeowner dreads hearing are “New Roof”. But, it is a fact of life that if you own your home long enough, you will need to replace the roof at some point.
Your best bet is to recognize when your roof is starting to age past effectiveness and get it taken care of before the old roof starts to damage other parts of your house. No one wants to pay even more money to fix water damage, wood rot, or mold.
Also, It can be difficult or even impossible to get your home refinanced, get insurance, or even sell your house if the roof is aged, worn, or just plain bad.
Making a regular inspection of your roof can mean that you catch any problems in time, Here are the things to look for when looking at your roof to determine whether it’s time to call in a professional.
How old is the current roof?
Without even going outside you should think about the age of the current roof. They don’t last forever, and eventually, all roofs have to be replaced. If you had the last roof installed then you should have a pretty good idea of how long it should last. The company that installed it should have given you some idea.
If you did not have the roof installed then you should have gotten an idea of how old the roof was from the previous owner.
A standard roof will last you from 10-20 years, and if you have higher grade architectural shingles installed then they might last upwards of 30 years. If that time has passed you need to take stock of your roof’s condition and start planning for a new one.
Without climbing on your roof.
I don’t recommend climbing on your roof yourself. Not only is it dangerous for you, but you could damage an otherwise good roof if you don’t know what you are doing. Professional roofers are trained to do that sort of thing, so leave it to the pros.
You can, however, check out several things about your roof from the ground or even looking our of a convenient window.
- Are you missing shingles? This will stand out immediately and it means you need help ASAP. Missing shingles means that water is most likely leaking into your home causing all sorts of problems.
- Are the shingles curling at the corners or the edges? Over time this will happen naturally and it’s not hard to notice. Shingles should lay flat against each other, to prevent water seepage and wind damage.
- Is there any debris from the surrounding trees built up in the corners? This sort of debris is very acidic and can degrade the shingles very quickly.
- Are there plants growing on the roof? If there is a lot of tree debris then there might be seedlings sprouting up there. The roots from these plants can dislodge shingles
- Are the trees rubbing against the roof? I know it sounds like trees are the enemy. Any branches that are constantly rubbing against the shingles will eventually dislodge them.
- Are any of your shingles “shiny”? The granules on the shingles are not just there for looks. They protect the shingles from heat and ice. Over time they will degrade and wear off. If your shingles are missing a lot of this texture, it may be time to call in the pros.
- Is there water in your house? Look in your attic. If you are seeing any moisture at all then you are looking at a problem with your roof that needs attention.
From the rooftop
If you have looked at the roof and think you need a second opinion then a qualified professional can head up a ladder or even send a drone up to safely survey your roof.
There are a couple of things that they will be able to check that you just can’t see from the ground.
They will be checking on tab adhesion. If the shingles are not still stuck firmly to the roof or pull up easily, then they are just waiting for a storm to blow them completely off. Even a few loose shingles can be indicative of a larger problem.
A second thing that a roofer will consider is the condition of any metal on your roof. Flashing, vents, and pipes that are corroded will need to be replaced and are a sign of the aging of your roof.
Fixing the roof
The foundation and the roof are the most important parts of any house. These are not the areas in which you want to cut corners.
If you are going to install a new roof then you need to find qualified professionals and do the job right.
Patching might get you through a month or so, but you will want to replace the entire roof at some point, including the metal pipes and vents. The roof is really just one unit and you can’t piece it together over time.
Using good, 30-year architectural shingles will mean that this is an ordeal you won’t have to go through again for a very long time
Do you need a new roof?
If all of the signs are pointing to needing to replace a roof then more than likely you will need to bite the bullet and get it done.
The damage from an older roof can grow to wreak havoc on the rest of the house. If you are going to continue to live in the house then you will have to address that problem.
You could also lose your homeowners insurance due to a poor roof.
Lastly, it will be hard to find a homebuyer willing to take on the task. Though you might have some luck selling your house to an investor. They are willing to deal with the roof situation themselves