Have you ever driven up to your house and seen something that made you question the condition of your roof? The changes may have gradually crept up on you. Perhaps your neighbor’s new roof inspired you to consider scheduling a replacement. Whatever your case, you’re not alone; most homeowners have been there.
Your roof is always battling with the harsh weather elements. It suffers damage from continuous exposure to the sun, winds, cold temperatures, and heavy rain. Even if your roof may be designed with a 25-year lifespan, the shingles will inevitably age and start to deteriorate, tear, and shatter. The thing with installing a new roofing system is you need to know when to do so, as delays can cause further damage to your home. Below are ten ways to tell if you need a replacement roof and what to include in your roof installation checklist.
1. There’s a Leak
Don’t put off your roof inspection until water is dripping through the ceiling, and you have to get the buckets out. A blatant sign that your roof needs repair is water damage in the home. Ice dams, deteriorating flashing, and improper installation techniques may be the source of your problems. Whatever the situation, you should immediately start looking into replacing or scheduling a residential roof repair service because leaks will only go when you do something about them.
Failing to address moisture issues can lead to mold growth and carpenter ants infestation. Brown, yellow, or gray stains and peeling paint on walls and ceilings may point to a damaged, leaky roof. Check your attic for leaks or wet beams, which can be signs of roof deterioration. Be mindful of your limitations, even though you’re the first line of defense when recognizing roofing issues.
When you hire a reputable roofer for your annual inspection, they’ll check for the source of the leak(s). A routine professional check could help you avoid spending thousands of dollars on a new roof by identifying minor damage before it worsens. A qualified expert has the equipment and knowledge to safely climb your roof and spot the issues you’d easily miss.
2. There Are Missing Shingles
Missing shingles are never a good sign on any roof. This happens when the bottom’s glue separates from the course underneath, and the shingle deteriorates. Such pieces can easily come off with a little gust of wind.
Before you break a sweat due to the prospect of getting a new roof, you’ll be happy to know it’s not the end of the world if one or two shingles are missing. Improper installation is often the root of the problem. Your roof will be back in great shape after quick repairs by a professional roofing company.
However, you may have to accept the fact that the new shingle colors may not be an exact match. If several shingles are missing, getting a replacement is likely the most effective solution. Otherwise, you may end up with more expensive repairs down the road.
3. Your Roof Is 20 Years Old
Typically, your roof can reach the limit of its lifespan without a breakdown or significant storm damage. Even if you schedule regular roofing services, your home’s roof will still appear old and weathered after some time. Look through your previous roof installation checklist, receipts, and renovation records to determine when your roof was last replaced.
Asphalt shingle roofs typically last 20 to 25 years. If yours is almost reaching this limit or has passed it, it’s wise to start planning for a roof replacement. However, if it’s somewhere between 10 – 15 years, keeping up with its maintenance needs and ensuring timely repairs will give you more service out of its remaining useful life.
4. There Are Granules in the Gutters
Over your roof’s lifespan, granules fly off the shingles and roll off the surface, eventually accumulating in your gutters. The uncovered areas tend to develop discoloration and irregular patterns. If you spot these, note the discovery on your roof installation checklist if you haven’t already. You’ll soon be dealing with leaks.
Granules or grit embedded beneath the surface of asphalt shingles act as a barrier between the sun and the material. When residential roofers install a new roof, it’s common for some grit to become loose and fall off. You don’t have anything to worry about here.
However, you may have a more serious issue if they’re building up substantially in your gutters every year. Without these ‘particles,’ the sun’s baking heat would cause your shingles to cup, warp, or degrade. Ultimately, you’ll need to schedule a replacement.
5. There Was a Major Storm
An extreme weather event such as a thunderstorm or hurricane can stress your roof, especially if you live in Florida. The powerful winds can cause the shingles to lift or fly off to the neighbor’s yard. If a tornado strikes your area, there’s a probability your roof will sustain significant damage. For example, in extreme cases, the winds can cause a tree to fall on your home, necessitating the services of residential roofing contractors.
You can easily replace missing shingles, but whether they can be repaired depends on their location and how the shingles around them are doing. If your shingles weren’t properly installed as per your roof installation checklist, straight-line winds would rip them off your roof, and depending on the damage, you may need to replace your roof. For metal roofs, hail damage to the metal panels may require replacement if the metal’s integrity deteriorates.
6. Your Neighbor Is Getting a New Roof
The homes in your residential area were likely built around the same time as part of a larger project. This means they’re subject to the same weather conditions. If your neighbor tells you they’re assembling a roof installation checklist, it may be a sign that you should do the same.
Since the builders typically acquire the materials used in these homes in bulk, the roofs should age similarly. You ought to replace your roof as well if everyone else is. It’s one of the few instances where ‘going with the crowd’ may actually be a good thing.
7. You’re Selling Your Home
Do you need to perform roofing repairs before selling your house? The quick answer is you probably don’t need to if it’s in good condition. However, if doing so will enable you to fetch a higher price, you might want to.
So what if the cost of a new roof is greater than the value increase? With your roof installation checklist, balance the benefits and drawbacks of different roofing systems to ensure you choose the best one. You can also look into some alternatives to assist you in achieving your objectives. Add the anticipated value increase to your free, comparative market analysis to determine how much your house might be valued after a roof repair.
Only consider a replacement if the condition of your roof could prevent you from selling your home. For instance, if the purchasers you attract can’t or aren’t willing to cover such a costly repair after closing. Ultimately, your realtor will be best positioned to suggest whether you should replace or repair your roof or leave it alone.
8. Your Warranty Is Expiring
If your roof was properly installed, you likely won’t experience any problems while the warranty is still valid. However, even if your roof is in great shape, it’s important to note when yours ends and if you need to hire a roofer. A roof warranty protects your home against subpar materials and the financial liability of pricey repairs. If yours is almost expiring, take it as a sign your roof is getting older and needs a maintenance check soon.
As part of your roof installation checklist, contact the contractor who performed the installation and the roofing materials manufacturer. The guarantee period might range from 20 to 30 years, depending on the caliber of the asphalt shingles used in the roofing system. You’ll be eligible for coverage for replacement materials while the warranty covers the roof.
9. There Are Critters in Your Attic
Your attic is a great place to start when establishing whether you need a roof replacement. Grab your favorite flashlight; it’s time for an adventure. Do you notice any light piercing the beams?
Some light is acceptable. For instance, ridge, soffit, and gable vents all allow a tiny amount of light to enter your attic while performing the function of air circulation. Look for illumination entering through the roof of the house or stains. These often indicate a leaky roof.
Critters can enter through the cracks or gaps, contributing to the leaks, and make a home there. This can make your home feel like the set of a horror movie at night as all sorts of creatures run across the ceiling. With the help of your roof installation checklist, inspect your attic and ensure you don’t miss anything.
Having critters in your roofing system can result in ugly damage and constant maintenance needs. They can lead to serious structural and safety issues by gnawing through wood or insulation. Consult with roofing companies or an exterminator to assess your entire roof for damage and take care of critters in your roof structure.
10. Your Roof is Sagging
One of the most obvious symptoms that your roof needs replacement is sagging. Sagging usually results from a structural problem underneath the shingles, such as significant water damage or a damaged rafter. If it sags slightly, check for water stains and note any changes over time.
However, if you have more noticeable light leaking in and greater water stains, it could be time to invest in a new roof. Ask for assistance from a roofing expert by making a call while referring to your roof installation checklist. To find the source of the issue in either scenario, a contractor will have to take off the shingles and plywood sheathing.
Almost all new roofs require the replacement of a few of the decking boards that support them. Old boards deform as a result of leaks or persistent moisture issues. Similar to teeth cavities, they appear as soft patches. You can often spot decking issues from the ground. There’s work to do (like, right now) if significant portions of the roof appear unequal.
While installing a new roof will leave a significant dent in your wallet, you’ll enjoy long-term savings by taking the leap. For example, most insurance companies will give you better rates for replacing your roof. A newer, modern roof will also be more effective at minimizing storm damage that could cost you thousands of dollars in property damage. A great money-saving tip is to schedule your project for the off-season.
As part of your roof installation checklist, get multiple quotes. Think of it like dating. You want to explore your options before making a decision that will stick with you for at least the next few years.
As you look for a roofer, note that not all offer quality services. You’ll encounter a fair share of amateurs and crooks during your search. That’s why you need to approach it with a plan.
You can always get honest reviews of a contractor’s work from close friends and family. Plus, it’s easier to see the work for yourself this way. If you prefer to keep others out of it, the internet also offers great resources for finding reputable professionals.
Verify the credentials of any roofer you’re considering. This is the only way of ensuring you don’t end up with legal troubles or a faulty installation or repair job. Some things to look for are licenses, certifications, valid insurance, and warranties. When meeting with your prospects, request samples of before and after photos of their past projects. However, you should be able to find some on their websites.
Don’t be generous with the research; go all out. You can gain useful knowledge that will help you better understand what to anticipate throughout the process. Remember that investing in your home’s roof is always a smart idea. Although it may appear expensive now, it will ultimately save you both time and money.
Take a moment to consider the role your roof plays in your home. Without it, nothing would stand between you and the elements. For the pests, critters, and animals indigenous to your area, your home would be free for all. With this in mind, knowing when to schedule a replacement is key to ensuring your home has optimal protection. Use this read as a guide, and if you relate to any of the points, contact a professional roofer.