With fall now upon us, it is important that homeowners perform maintenance on their homes in order to ensure that they are ready for the coming winter season. Of particular importance is making sure that your roof is ready to withstand heavy winter storms. The fact is that a home’s roof is its primary barrier against the elements, so it is critical that you maintain its structural integrity in order to protect your family.
It is equally important that you are aware of your roof’s condition and that you know when to have it replaced, as the costs of waiting too long to have your roof replaced can be substantial. Yet, how will you know if your roof needs to be replaced this fall? Here is a look at just a few of the signs that you can look out for indicating that you should consider having your home’s roof replaced before winter arrives.
The first thing that you should consider when trying to determine if it is time to replace your roof is its age. If you have records from the last time you or the previous homeowner had the roof replaced, go back and check the year. If you have an asphalt roof that is over 20 years old, then it will likely need to be replaced in the near future. The fact is that asphalt roofs generally last between 20-25 years, so if your roof is within this range, or older, it will likely benefit you to have it replaced this fall. Doing so can help to ensure that your home is protected against winter storms, giving you peace of mind.
Believe it or not, one of the easiest places to start when looking for signs of an aging roof is within your home. If your roof is severely compromised, a leak could cause water damage that is noticeable from inside your home. Staining on your ceiling, or streaking running down your walls, likely indicates a serious roof leak. This water can infiltrate the structure of your home, which is why it is critical that you do not ignore signs of water damage. Call a roofing contractor as soon as possible to have the damage assessed; however, if your roof is aging, do not be surprised if it cannot be repaired. A full roof replacement will likely be the best way to ensure that your roof is able to properly protect your home against moisture this winter.
If you suspect that your roof may need to be replaced, another place to look inside your home for signs of roof damage would be from within your attic. Inspecting your roof from underneath can help you to spot early signs of roof damage that you wouldn’t be able to see outside. Before heading up to your attic, make sure to grab a flashlight with a bright beam, as this can help ensure that you don’t miss any signs of damage. Once you are in your attic, the first thing that you should do is lie on your back and turn off your flashlight. You should then look for signs of light coming in through your roof. If sunlight is entering your roof, this means that there are serious cracks or holes in your roof that could let rain or moist air into your home, potentially leading to serious damage.
Even if you cannot see light through your roof boards, you should still check for signs of a roof leak. Inspect the underside of your roof to see if there is any moisture damage that could indicate a leak. You should also check your insulation, as waterlogged insulation is another common sign of a roof leak. If your attic inspection leads you to believe that you have a severe roof look, you should consider having your roof replaced this fall.
After inspecting the inside of your home for signs of room damage, your next step should be to check your roof’s exterior for signs of aging and damage. Something that you may be able to spot from the ground is green/dark patches or streaks on your roof, which could indicate that there is moss or algae growing on your roof. Unfortunately, moss and algae can trap moisture against your roof, which can lead to water damage. Depending on how much growth there is, and how long it has been there, you may simply need to have your roof cleaned and repaired. However, if there is extensive water damage, your roof may need to be replaced.
Another sign of roof damage that you will likely be able to spot from the ground is a sagging roof. Unfortunately, if your roof is visibly sagging under its own weight, it is unlikely that it can be repaired, as a sagging roof usually indicates that there is severe structural damage that needs extensive work. In many cases, a sagging roof will be the result of severe water damage or too much weight from snow and ice. It is then critical that you have your roof inspected and repaired/replaced before winter arrives if you notice even a small section where your roof is sagging. If you do not have this problem addressed, you risk further damage to your home when the first snow of winter arrives. Having your roof replaced now can then end up saving you money in the long-run.
The next place that you will want to look for signs of an aging roof is your gutters. As your asphalt roof ages, it will begin to shed the granules that compose your shingles’ top layer. While this shedding is a natural part of your roof’s aging process, it will get progressively worse as your roof ages. Thusly, looking for the presence of granules in your gutters can be a good indicator of the condition of your roof. Is there are a lot of granules, or you have noticed more granules collecting in your gutters than normal in recent months, then it is likely that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. It is critical that you have your roof replaced before your shingles go completely bald from granule loss. These granules protect your shingles from the sun, and without them, your shingles will be more likely to crack, which could cause your roof to leak.
The next thing that you should do when assessing your roof’s condition is to actually go up onto your roof so that you can get a better look at your shingles. Make sure that you choose a clear day to do this and that there has been no rain in a few days in order to ensure that your roof is dry. If you do not feel comfortable going onto your roof, consider hiring a roofing contractor to inspect your roof for you.
Once you are on your roof, take a close look at the condition of your shingles. Do they look good, or are they showing clear signs of damage such as balding, cracking, curling, or buckling? While isolated damage to individual shingles on your roof may not be a cause for concern, as you may be able to merely replace the damaged shingles, widespread damage is another thing entirely. If there is shingle damage across your roof, or worse, there are many shingles missing, this is a sign that your roof is nearing the end of its lifecycle and will likely need to be replaced. Trying to replace individual shingles when there is widespread damage will not be effective, as you will be fighting a losing battle trying to keep up with the damage.
If you have only lived in your home for a few years, you may not know how old your roof is or whether it may be coming up on replacement age. If this is the case, you may be able to tell that your roof will need to be replaced soon by looking around at your neighbors’ homes. Have a lot of your neighbors been getting their roofs replaced in recent months or within the last year or two? If so, then it is likely that you will need to consider having your roof replaced soon. The fact is that the houses on your street were likely all built around the same time, and having been exposed to the same weather conditions, their roofs will likely need replacing around the same time as well. If your neighbors have all been having their roofs replaced, then it may be time to consider having your roof professionally inspected.
Of course, if you are uncertain about the condition of your roof. You may want to consider having it inspected by a roofer contractor. A professional roofer will have the knowledge and experience to assess your roof’s condition, and they can give you advice on whether it may be time to have your roof replaced, or if you can get by for a few years with repairs. Feel free to contact us to learn more about how you will know if your roof needs replacing as well as to schedule an inspection.