When looking around your home to see what needs improving or what repairs you might need to make, sometimes it pays to look up first. Your roof is the first line of weather defense for your home: it keeps everything that is supposed to stay outside from falling on your head.
You should inspect your root at least twice a year: in the spring after winter is over and in the fall. It is at this point you can determine if you need to simply to do some repairs, or look beyond normal maintenance. Here are 11 signs you may need a roof replacement.
Roofs are intended to be durable, and shingles will be rated for a number of years, usually measured in decades. A good roof will last between 20 and 50 years if it is well maintained, but not all shingles and roofing is created equal.
Essentially if your roof is more than 20 years old, you need to inspect it more thoroughly, and may need to consider replacing it sooner rather than later.
The first place to start looking for issues is inside your home. Go into the attic and look around. Do you see any places where the roof is sagging, even a little? If so, you may want to have that area inspected by a professional. It can indicate that moisture is getting under the shingles and affecting the wood underneath, a sure sign your roof should be replaced.
Water Damage or Leaking
While this sounds obvious, sometimes it isn’t. Attics or crawlspaces are often dark, and it can be hard to spot small leaks or other water damage. Take your time, and look carefully for wet spots in the insulation, and signs that water is getting through from above.
Dark Spots or Trails
One of the easiest ways to spot this is by seeing dark spots or trails where water has dripped down on the inside of the wood. Look carefully at the ceiling, and if you see any of these signs, you will need to continue your inspection outside. However, it can be an indication that you need a new roof soon.
Light Showing Through
The same goes for light shining through. This symptom is usually easy to spot: attics are dark, and so natural light shining through from outside is a clear indication of problems. However, do move around the attic and look up. Some of these places may be smaller than others, and harder to spot unless you are near them.
Look up without your flashlight or the interior lights on, and note anywhere you see light coming through the shingles and boards. When you conduct your outdoor inspection, you can investigate these further.
Curled and Buckled Shingles
Once you have moved outside and onto your roof, if you see shingles on your roof that are clearly buckled or curled, you need to replace them for sure, but if there are a lot of them, they may be an indication of the age and condition of other parts of your roof, and it may be time to replace it altogether.
These can be an indication of moisture that has caused deeper damage than you can see with the naked eye. A thorough roof inspection is probably in order.
These are some of the key areas on your roof to inspect. Water flows down these valleys to gutters and drains, and so they often endure a lot more moisture than the rest of your roof.
Missing shingles curled shingles, or even just lose shingles in this area can indicate a deeper problem. If you have clear issues in your roof valleys, you may need a new roof.
Sometimes wind and extreme weather like snow load can result in shingles going missing. While in some cases, like younger roofs, this may not mean you need a new one, those shingles need to be replaced right away. The reason?
Moisture, debris and other damaging materials can get under those shingles and start to cause damage you may not be able to spot right away. If your roof is older, and it appears that those shingles have been missing for a while, the damage may already be irreversible and you may need a new roof.
Chimney and Vent Flashings
Like roof valleys, this is another vulnerable area and should be inspected regularly. If the tar around these openings is worn, shingles are damaged, or more, these can be a place where your roof is weak.
The condition of this tar is also often an indication of the condition of the roof elsewhere, and so should be taken as a sign that you might need a new roof. At the least, a thorough inspection is in order.
Granules in Gutters
Shingle granules in your gutters, which look like large pieces of pea gravel, indicate that your roof is aging. As these granules slough off, shingles are less effective.
Even if you do not see the granules themselves if you see shingles or areas on your roof that appear discolored, especially if they are lighter than the rest of the roof, it may indicate the shingles are wearing thin.
Speaking of gutters, the final area you need to inspect are gutters and drains. Not only can granules in this area indicate roof wear, but often you can see wear on the edges of the roof as you make sure gutters are clear and all of your drains are working properly.
Not only can you determine more about the condition of your roof, but this is the time to do some maintenance to prevent future issues as well.
You may or may not need a new roof, but you should inspect it at least twice a year to find out, and if you have any questions, you should seek the help of a professional. Your roof is one of the most important protective features of your house, and having one that is in good shape can help you, especially if you decide to sell at some point.
Article Submitted by Community Writer.