7 Signs You Need a New Roof
Most people don’t really think about the roof over their head… until a leak occurs! Don’t wait until water is pouring from the roof and you have to break the buckets to pay attention to your roof.
According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, homeowners should have a regular roof inspection twice a year, in the spring and fall. This year, a spring roof inspection is especially critical, in the wake of heavy snow and ice accumulation last winter.
Homeowners should remove debris from roofs, drains, gutters and downspouts, while also checking for signs of damage. Here are some things to look for that may indicate it’s time for a new roof.
1. Start internally – Roof leak
If you think you might need a new roof, the first place to check isn’t the outside of your home—it’s your attic. So arm yourself with a flashlight and climb under the eaves. Look for beams of light penetrating the top of the house or stains and streaks, which indicate a roof leak.
2. Roof guarantee
Check your home improvement records to see how long ago the roof was replaced or rebuilt. Knowing when a roof was installed (and what it’s made of) provides insight into how much life it has left.
For example, a typical asphalt shingle roof lasts 20 to 25 years, while a roof installed over an existing layer of shingles should be replaced after 20 years.
3. Check shingles – Roof tiles
Keep an eye on your roof to make sure it is ship-shape, especially after heavy storms. The shingles should lie flat on the ceiling. if you find patches that are cracked, damaged or bent, then repairs are in order.
While you’re at it, check your gutters and downspouts for shingles—a roof that’s shedding a lot of shingles may be at the end of its useful life.
4. Flash Forward – Ceiling flashing
Flashing around vents, skylights and chimneys seals roof seams from rain and weather. Examine these points and make sure there are no cracks or breaks that could lead to leaks.
In older homes, flashing is often made of roofing cement or tar, but it’s a good idea to upgrade to a metal flashing system for added durability.
5. Rescue From Rot – Damaged roof
A drooping, sagging roof is one that definitely needs replacing before further damage is done to your home. Check the surface for signs of trapped moisture, rotting boards, or loose spots—especially at the lowest points of the ceiling.
6. Unwanted outdoor plants – Moss on the roof
Moss may look great in a shady corner of your yard, but on a roof, it causes problems. Moss (and similarly mold and mildew) indicate that there may be trapped moisture, which can damage a roof.
To eliminate moss that gathers in the shadowy corners of your roof, use a stiff brush, but be careful to address any underlying problems.
7. Do not panic – Roof repair or new roof replacement
Just because you have some damaged shingles or a little leak, don’t automatically assume you need a whole new roof. If your roof has been installed properly and is less than 15 or 20 years old, it can get by with repairs rather than a full replacement.
When in doubt, contact a licensed roofing contractor to get a professional opinion.