No homeowner wants to shell out $5,000 to $10,000 or more for a new roof, but unfortunately, most roofs don’t really ask your opinion. When they wear out, they wear out.
Experts say in most cases that a roof will last around 15 years, so if it’s been awhile, chances are a roofing company is in your future.
First, to make sure your roof lasts as long as possible, you should be having a roofing contractor inspect your roof at least once a year. Some experts say even twice a year in the spring and the fall is better.
In addition, the place to inspect is not necessarily the roof of your home but your attic. A roof repair contractor will thoroughly inspect your home for leaks. Beams of light peaking under the eaves of your house are a sure sign of a potential problem.
Next, go through your papers. It’s entirely possible that your roof is still under warranty if it was replaced sooner than 20 years ago by competent roofers.
Hopefully, if you are a recent new owner of the home, you received all of the paperwork from the previous owner. By all means, check it.
A previous roofing contract should tell you exactly what kind of shingles you have on your roof. That’s extremely important.
Besides hiring a competent roofing contractor to thoroughly inspect your attic, next you will expect them to get up on your roof.
What are they looking for? The first thing they will do is to inspect the shingles. If your shingles are cracked, damaged, or buckling, then repairs are in order.
Next, they will inspect the gutters and rainspouts. Are there a lot of shingle granules in them? This means that the life of your shingles is coming to their limit.
The next step is to check the flashings. Vents, skylights, and chimneys all have seals around them to keep water from coming in. As flashings are constantly exposed to the elements, it’s very easy for these flashings to become cracked.
Is your roof slopping or drooping? That’s a sure sign that a new roof is in your future.
Another question is has your roof become a moss farm. Moss on your roof means that there is trapped moisture on your roof allowing that moss to grow. You don’t necessarily need your house reshingled, but somebody needs to go onto your roof with a stiff brush to get rid of it.
Most people aren’t athletic enough to tackle such jobs on the roof by themselves, which is a reason to hire a professional.
Streaks and stains on the inside of the house are another bad sign. It means water is leaking from outside into the house.
Water damage or rotting is a sure sign there is a water problem. Water rots joints underneath your attic quickly. On the roof of your house, decaying or rotting shingles are also a bad sign.
Your roof inspector will also inspect your roof valley. The roof valley is the area where two parts of the roof meet. AS roof valley’s collect a lot of snow or rain, these areas are particularly vulnerable to rot.
Another sign and it’s not hard to miss, even for an amateur is shoddy workmanship. If the covered in patches, or tiles and shingles seem to fit together awkwardly, you, or possibly the previous owner was a victim of poor roof workmanship.
Unfortunately, shoddy workmanship happens to homeowners contracting to get roof repairs done more often than you think which is a good reason why you should only hire a local roof company with impeccable references.
And never hire a cut-rate crew that just happens to be in the neighborhood for a few days after a major storm. These fly-by-night roofers are rarely licensed, and their crews a poorly trained.
Also, be wary of nail-over artists. These guys will simply nail new shingles over old, meaning that the work will definitely not last.
Hopefully, particularly if you don’t plan on living there for several decades as most young homeowners do, your inspection team will tell you if you genuinely need a new roof, just need a few minor repairs, or possibly that you are good to go for another year.
The differnce between the three conditions may be a matter of several thousand dollars if your roof is not still under some kind of warranty.
Just keep and eye upwards on your roof for every once in a while, as roof replacements can be expensive.