A home is one of the most significant investments most people will make in their lifetime. As a result, protecting your home is one of the best things you can do to protect your investment, and one of the most important things you can do to protect your home is to keep your roof in good repair. But roof repair is costly, and roof replacement is even more expensive. In addition, it is hard to know precisely when you need it or whether or not you just need a roof repair or a roof replacement. Roof repair alone can potentially cost several thousands of dollars, and roof replacement can potentially cost tens of thousands of dollars depending on the materials used.
Taking care of your roof is very similar to taking care of your car. One similarity is that if you do not fix issues when they are small, they can have a cascade effect and create much more significant and more costly problems down the road. Also, similar to cars, the more you familiarize yourself with the warning signs of potential issues, the more likely you are to get the small things fixed in time before they become extensive and costly issues. Not only should you be aware of the signs that a new roof may be in order, but it is also vitally important to do your research to find reputable roofing contractors to make inspections and repairs. Here are eight signs you may need a new roof.
1. Several of your neighbors are all getting their roofs done
In most cases, homes in a certain neighborhood or subdivision were all built around the same time. The average life expectancy of a new roof is somewhere around 20 to 25 years, which means that most roofs in a given area will also be replaced on roughly the same cycle. If you suddenly start noticing a high number of roofers on the tops of your neighbor’s homes, it might be time to get yours checked.
2. Your roof is getting close to 20 years old
While families are much more mobile these days and tend to sell homes before they are fully paid off, there are still plenty of people living in a family home or a home they have lived in for 20 years or more. It is also becoming more and more common for homeowners to pass on information about when a roof may have been last replaced. The closer you get to that 20-year mark, the more critical it becomes to get your roof inspected.
3. Your shingles are curling, buckling, or missing
While it is easier to simply call someone to come and inspect your roof, you can also help yourself out a great deal by climbing up and taking a look for yourself. When your car isn’t working correctly, it is relatively common for people to lift the hood and take a look, even if they know nothing about engines. There are often telltale visible clues to what is going wrong that it doesn’t take a mechanic to notice. The same way leaking fluids or broken or damaged hoses can help guide even the most inexperienced drivers, missing, buckling, or curling shingles can indicate that at least repair, if not a total replacement, is in order. In addition, what is true of your car is also true of your roof. The sooner you get any damage repaired, the longer it will be before you need an entirely new roof.
4. Your downspouts and gutters are filled with shingle granules
If you don’t want to or are unable to climb up on your roof, there are some other telltale signs that your roof may be falling apart. Roofing shingles are coated with a layer of asphalt granules, which helps to protect them against sunlight, UV rays, and other natural elements. Over time, these granules begin to come loose from the shingle. Granule loss is common when a new roof is installed or during heavy weather, but if you notice a significant amount of granule loss, you may want to get your roof inspected.
5. Spots in your roof droop or sag
When most people think of the roof, they think only of the outer materials that protect your home. However, the truth is that your roof is the entire support structure that tops your home, which includes all of the beams and supports that hold your roof up. Over time, these beams and supports can be weakened and damaged by several threats ranging from mold and mildew to pests. A roof should generally be perfectly smooth and flat, so if you start to notice places where your roof droops or sags, it is time to get it checked.
6. Your chimney flashing is damaged
If you don’t have a fireplace or a chimney, you won’t need to worry about this, but if you do have a fireplace, you will want to keep a close eye on the flashing used to create a water-tight seal around your chimney. Flashing can last up to 30 years, but if it rusts or cracks, it can allow water to seep down into your home. If you have an attic, it might be a long time before you notice any moisture or water damage, so it’s always best to take a look at least once a year or get your roof inspected every few years. This is particularly important because replacing your flashing is far less expensive than replacing your entire roof and repairing any water damage to the underlying support structure.
7. Moss or plants growing on your roof
Moss may be more difficult to spot from the ground, but it is time to inspect if you have plants growing on your roof. Plants have to put down roots, which will definitely damage your roof, but they also invite several pests and creepy-crawlies, which can also damage your roof. Moss is also problematic because it holds moisture against the surface of your roof, which can cause damage when it freezes. In some cases, you can take care of both these issues with a good roof cleaner, but in most cases, you will need to hire roofing professionals to clear your roof of growth and check and make sure that growth hasn’t caused any underlying damage.
8. You can see daylight in your attic
If you have an attic, one of the best things you can do every year is to climb up into the attic, turn off any lights and see if you can see any light coming in. Daylight is a definite sign that there are holes, cracks or leaks somewhere in your roof. Any place light can get in, water can as well, so if you see the light, you’ll need some repairs at the very least. If you are in your attic and there are no windows, and the lights are off, it should be pitch black.
One of the best things homeowners can do to protect one of their most valuable investments is to get an annual roof inspection. Mitchell Restoration can help with all of your roofing needs. Mitchell Restoration is fully licensed and insured as a Professional Roofing Contractor Serving Connecticut. Please Contact Mitchell Restoration today.