Have that sinking feeling that you might need a new roof? Let’s take the guess work out of this and discuss a concrete method for determining if your roof has reached the end of the line. If you find out that your roof is still in good shape, you’ll be glad you checked it out, and if you find out that it’s time to call a roofing contractor, well you’ll be solving a problem that simply needed to be solved. Either way, you benefit.
First, inspect your roof. As recommended by the National Roofing Contractor’s Association (NRCA), a roof should be inspected two times a year: in the fall and in the spring. Instead of climbing a ladder to your roof though, start inside your house by looking up for four things.
1. Signs of water leakage or damage
2. Decking that is sagging
3. Light coming through the roof
4. Dark spots
Then, move outside and up atop your roof. Look for flashing and shingles that might be damaged (buckling, curling, blistering, rotting). Note any torn, cracked, or missing shingles. Also, look for loose materials lying around on the roof that might have worn off of the shingles. Check the gutters for any large granules that might have fallen off of the shingles and for any signs of mold or rot. The former indicates considerable wear on shingles while the former is a clear sign of water damage.
After you’ve inspected your roof, and before you call a roofing company, take a mental inventory of the roof’s qualities. In specific, consider the type of shingles you have. Cedar shingles will splinter in weather that is too dry and mold in weather that is too wet. A cedar shingle will generally last for around 20 years. With tile roofs, look for cracked tiles. Keep in mind, also, that tile roofs generally last around 100 years. Concrete roofs should never require replacement.
You’ve finished your inspection, so what do you do know? Take all aspects of your inspection into consideration when making your decision. Some damage will not require total roof replacement but instead roof repair; this principle is true in many cases of water damage. Once you’ve made your best judgment, call the roofer and get an estimate.
If you do decided to replace your roof, take into consideration the climate you live in. As wood and asphalt are not fire resistant, avoid them if you live in areas prone to forest fires or if you live close to groups of dry trees and bushes. Instead, consider a more expensive but fire-resistant option like slate or tile. Before you go fall in love with one of these two, though, consider the fact that both are considerably heavier than wood or asphalt roofs. Find out first whether your house framing can support the weight of the slate or tile roof.
Once you’ve done your research, it’s best not to delay in going through with the work. A roof is not merely something that creates curb appeal. It’s a protector to you and your family.