How To Tell You Need A New Roof
Unfortunately, even the best roofs are not permanent. The roof is the part of your home that absorbs the most punishment. Day after day, your roof quietly takes a beating from sun, wind, and weather, until it has taken all that it can take and needs to be replaced.
Of course, it is better to repair or replace your roof, if necessary, before major roof leaks develop and cause substantial damage to the interior of your home and its contents. A visual inspection of your roof will help you to know if your roof is in need of replacement or repair. The following conditions are warning signs that it may be time for a new roof.
Granules Falling Off
When new asphalt shingles are first installed, it is normal for the shingles to lose some granules. However, as the shingle age, granule loss, which exposes the interior of the shingles, is an indicator that the roof is nearing the end of its life.
Shingles Starting to Crack
Extensive cracking of asphalt shingles is a sign that the roof is in need of immediate replacement. Cracking in asphalt shingles can be a signal that the shingles are defective. This kind of manufacturing defect is often covered by the shingle manufacturer’s warranty.
Valleys Becoming Lose
Valley areas of the roof frequently are the first areas of the roof to develop leaks, as that is where water accumulates as it drains from the roof. It is often possible to replace worn shingles in the valleys, but it may be more cost effective to re-roof if the shingles are more than 15 years old.
When shingles reach the end of their useful life, the reinforcing mat inside the shingle can contract, causing the shingles to curl. If the roof is more than 15 years old and the shingles are curling, it may be time to replace the roof. If the roof has been recently installed and the shingles are curling, the problem could be a manufacturer’s defect in the shingles covered by manufacturer’s warranty.
It is possible for shingles to blow off when exposed to excessive winds. Old shingles or shingles that have been improperly installed are most susceptible to this problem. A roof with missing shingles may leak and is even less resistant to further wind damage. In most cases, new shingles can be installed in areas where shingles have blown off without replacing the entire roof.
Problems at Roof Penetrations and Vents
The most common roof leaks occur around penetrations in the roof at the plumbing and vent stacks. These leaks can usually be stopped by resealing or replacing the flashings at the stack. These will usually wear out before the shingles will.
Sagging In the Roof Structure
Inadequate attic ventilation can lead to many problems. If a roof is inadequately ventilated, condensation and excessive heat can decrease the life of the roof and can cause damage to the wood deck under the shingles. Sagging between the rafters, or a soft roof deck, may indicate that the wood has been damaged because the roof is not properly ventilated.
Hail Damage or Other Heavy Weather
Severe hail storms can damage an asphalt shingle roof. Exposure to hail can cause granules on a shingle to come off, creating dark spots, where the protective granules have been jarred loose. The loss of granules will allow moisture to penetrate the core of the shingle, accelerating its deterioration. If the damage is extensive, the entire roof may need to be replaced. Many homeowners’ policies cover roof damage caused by hail storms and excessive winds.
Water Spots Inside the House
Ceiling spots and stains are caused by roof leaks. A leaking roof should not be ignored, as moisture can cause structural damage, in addition to damage to paint and drywall. Water leaks and moisture can also create a breeding ground for dangerous strains of mold that can affect your family. If a roof leak is suspected, a thorough inspection by a professional can locate the problem, and allow for a recommended plan of action.
Worn and Damaged Flashings
Leaks can occur at damaged or loose flashings around chimneys, skylights, and roof to wall transitions. Attention may need to be given to flashings that have been improperly installed, deteriorated over time, or have been affected by the settling of the structure. Replacement of the damaged or improperly installed flashings and surrounding shingles will usually correct the problem.
Damage Caused By Trees or Thick Leaf Piles
Shingles can be damaged by falling limbs or by tree branches rubbing across the shingles. Proper trimming of trees adjacent to your roof will prevent this problem from occurring. Tree and shrub leafs will eventually turn acidic and eat the asphalt from the shingles.
Peeling Paint or Stains on Facia and Trim
Peeling paint or stains on the metal soffit under the eaves of your home can be a signal that the roof has been leaking on the edges of the roof. These leaks may or may not be visible inside the home. Often this type of leaking occurs during the winter as a result of ice damning. Melting snow can refreeze on the roof overhangs where the surface of the roof is cooler, forming an ice damn which blocks proper drainage of the roof. Water can then back up under the shingles and seep into the roof structure and interior space of the home. Installation of a quality ice and rain protective underlayment to the wood deck on the eave edges of the roof under the new shingles will prevent these kinds of roof leaks from occurring.