There is no part of a house more important than the roof. It’s the part of your home that keeps the outside from invading the inside of your house. When conducting maintenance on your home, the roof is a critical part of making sure your home is safe and livable.
Roofs can last for decades, but they still require maintenance to ensure there is no roofing damage. If not, then there could be a whole host of structural issues that could occur if your roof isn’t properly maintained, and you could be on the hook for a brand new roof.
How can you tell if you need a roof? There are warning signs that will point out that you need a brand new roof to cover your home. Here are the signs you should pay close attention to.
Check Your Paperwork
Before you do a physical check on your home, you have to check your records about your roof. Check your records to see how long it has been since your roof received a replacement or a reshingle. Doing this will determine just how much time you have left until you will have to have roof maintenance or a replacement. A typical asphalt shingle roof will last you around 25 years, so if your records show that it’s nearing that mark, it may be time for a roof replacement.
Check for Leaks
If you see water leaking into your home, this is an obvious sign that you could be in the market for a new roof soon. To see if you have a roof leakage, head up to your attic and check and see if there’s any intrusion of water into your home. Preferably, you should look to check after it rains to get a better gauge as to if your roof has suffered damage.
Not only should you check in your attic, but you should also check on the outside to see if there have been any signs of water leakage as well, especially after a winter storm. If you live in a cold climate, ice dams can form on your roof after the snow melts. These snow melts could get under shingles and drip into your home.
Now, water leakage doesn’t exactly mean that you need a complete roof replacement, but any leakage should be rectified immediately by calling a roofing company to come out and repair any damage your roof might have sustained.
Check Your Shingles
If you have any leakage in the roof and it’s shingle-tiled, then it’s time to check those shingles. A typical shingle should be laid flat against the roof. However, if you spot signs of cracked, buckled, of damaged shingles, then it’s time to get your roof fixed. Also, be on the lookout for shingle granules, which can accumulate in your gutters. If you see that there are a lot of shingle granules in your gutters and downspouts, that could be a sign that your current roof is nearing the end of its life and should soon be replaced.
Check for Roof Valleys
Be on the lookout for roof valleys that could form on your roof. A “roof valley” is formed when shingles fall apart or become missing in a certain area of your roof. The creation of roof valleys is a sure sign that your roof is failing, and you may need a brand new roof. Get in contact with an asphalt roof repair company to see if roof valleys have been formed.
Look for Missing Shingles
Another clear sign of a failing roof is shingles that go missing. If you check your roof after a storm and you notice that there are shingles that have gone missing, that could be a telltale sign that you may need a roof. Now, you could call a residential re-roofing company to put on more shingles, but if the roof has aged quite a bit, then a replacement may be in order.
Growth on Your Roof
Missing shingle and “roof valleys” aren’t the only ways to tell if you need a new roof. One thing that you don’t want to find in your home is the growth of mold and mildew. If you see this growing on your walls and ceiling, that is a clear sign that you have a leaky roof that has to be repaired.
Before you move on to repairing the roof, however, checking your home ventilation system is essential. Make sure the insulation is dry and that your plumbing isn’t leaking before embarking on a roof repair. The reason to check the ventilation and plumbing first is that if the water leak is coming from those two areas, it won’t be as costly to repair as the roof.
There are other signs of growth that you need to look out for, such as algae. An algae growth can cause really serious problems to your roof, such as munch away at your shingles, which could cause the roof to rot. This is a bigger problem if you live in a part of the country that experiences a lot of humidity, such as Florida or South Carolina.
Another form of growth you have to look out for is mildew, which can be found on wet surfaces and can be harmful to the health of your family. Much like algae, mildew growth is most prominent in humid parts of the country. So to sum it up, if you live in a humid climate, check to see if you have growth either inside your home or on your roof. If so, then it may be time for a replacement.
Look for Roof Cracks
The one thing that you don’t want to see from your roof are any cracks. Roof cracks can form after wind damage, either from a hurricane, winter storm, or wind storm. Sometimes those cracks can be limited to just a few shingles, which will only require a replacement of the shingles. However, if you see the cracks all over the roof, you’ll need to have it replaced.
Most roofing experts say that if you find widespread cracks on your roof, then it’s a sign that the roof will have to be replaced within five years. A good way to spot widespread roof cracks is to climb into your attic, shut off the lights, and see if there are any lights from outside that shine into the attic. If you see a lot of holes and cracks beaming in light, it’s time to call your local roofers and get your roof either repaired or completely replaced.
Check the Flashing
Flashing is an integral part of making sure your roof is up-to-par to handle anything weather throws its way. Flashing is the part of the roof that seals the seams of the roof from the weather. Make sure that the flashing around your vents, skylights, and chimneys (if you have the latter two) are free from cracks. If you spot cracks around the flashing, this could be a point of entry for leaks.
Cheking the flashing is critical in older homes, which, according to Bob Vila, are often made up of tar or roof cement. For these homes, it may be wise to contact a metal roofing company to switch to a metal flashing system. The metal flashing is far more durable.
A Rotting Roof Is a Bad Roof
If there is one central enemy to a roof, it has to be rot. Having a rotting roof can easily cause all sorts of problems with the structure of your home and, if left untreated, can become a very serious living hazard. Roof rot occurs when the wood is exposed to moisture for a long time.
Over time, that moisture exposure will allow the roof to grow fungus, which could also lead to the structure itself deteriorating. If you spot a rotting roof, it has to be taken care of quickly.
How can you spot a rotting roof? First, look for shingles that are missing and flashing that look torn. Shingles and flashing are two of the biggest protectors to moisture damage, and those missing shingles and ripped flashing can lead to water damage, and there is not a bigger enemy to a roof than water. If you spot damage to the shingles and flashing, call professional roofers immediately to have the roof repaired.
Another way you can spot potential roof rotting early is if there’s water damage to your ceiling. If you have water linking from your ceiling, that’s a big sign that your roof could be failing. By checking your attic, you should also be on the lookout for mold or any other fungus that could take root within the insulation. That’s another sign your roof is rotting.
There’s one more sign that you should look for to see if your roof is rapidly deteriorating from rot. If you look at your roof and spot that it has taken on a sunken nature, you should call residential roofing services immediately. The sunken roof is a sign that the roof’s support beams and studs are failing and rotting. A sunken roof is a huge sign that you may need a brand new roof.
Lack of Energy Efficiency
Sometimes, a sign that you may need a new roof may not just appear in its physical form, but it could also become apparent in your utility bills. Are you becoming a little bit miffed as to why your bill gets higher-and-higher every winter? That could be due to the roof’s insulation no longer being energy efficient. A poorly insulated roof can allow heat to escape the home, which will put more pressure on your heating unit to heat the house, which, in turn, will cause your bill to increase.
While it may not be an issue during the warmer months, it will become noticeable on your utility bill during the winter, which is why, before Old Man Winter begins to settle in, you should have your roof inspected. That way, you can spot the issues and have it repaired by any roofing services in your town, which will save you a lot of money.
Consider Switching Out Your Roof
If you need a new roof, it may in your best interest to consider switching away from asphalt shingles and instead turning to a metal roof. Metal roofing is incredibly durable and could reduce your utility costs by up to 25%. Although it may be a little more expensive to switch to a metal roof than asphalt, over time a metal roof will require little maintenance and will have better longevity than an asphalt shingle roof. You may be able to save additional utility costs by installing a solar panel on your metal roof as well.
If you spot any of these signs, you could be needing a new roof soon. That’s why it is important to make sure that your roof receives maintenance from an experienced residential roofing services so that you won’t be caught by surprise by any of the signs mentioned here. Look for water ceiling damage, unwelcome growth, missing shingles, and roof valleys and sinkage.
Those are telling signs that you will probably need a roof replacement. If you do, you may want to invest in a metal roof that carries more durability and longevity and add a solar panel to further save in those high winter utility bills. The roof is the most important structure that makes your home whole, so make sure that it’s properly taken care of.