How to know when it’s time to replace your roof

How often do you look at your roof? For most homeowners this is the least looked at part of their home. Typically people go from their house to their car, and back again, without glancing up at their roof. The roof will usually go unnoticed, until there is a problem. The bad part is that once you have a problem, it can be very expensive to fix. Most roof issues can cause underlying damage that sometimes can’t be seen, but can have devastating effects on other parts of your house. It is suggested that you inspect your roof two times during the year, spring and fall. Here are a few things to watch and look out for during the year when doing your necessary roof inspections:

Roof age: Making sure you keep track of how old your roof is can help you know what kind of wear and tear to look for when doing your inspection. Most Cedar roofs will last a good 20 years, Tile roofs can last up to 100 years and concrete roofs should never need replacing. These are the minimum years that roofs can last, but they can last longer if properly inspected and maintained.

Shingles curling and buckling: Over time and being exposed to all kinds of weather, shingles can start to curl or buckle. This is a very easy thing to be able to see when doing a roof inspection. When looking at your shingles you will notice that the corners are curled up. Shingles should lay flat. If they are curled, then it is a good time to get those shingles replaced. Curling, or buckling, can cause water to leak in underneath and can cause water damage.

Missing shingles: When inspecting your shingles, you might find that some are completely missing. Wind, rain, ice and snow can all attribute to shingles loosing their seal and go missing. This is a very easy thing to replace, and if caught soon enough, you can avoid any further damage to your house. Doing roof checks in the Spring and Fall is a good idea so that any missing shingles can be replaced before the HOT or WET seasons start.

Missing tiles: On a tile roof, tiles can sometimes come loose, crack or actually come right off. During the wet season this can let water enter your roof or attic and can cause water damage that you might not be aware about until you start seeing damage on the inside of your living area. Tile can sometimes be tricky to replace and it is suggested that a profession come out and install new ones so that they get a professional seal on them.

Chimney flashing: The chimney flashing can sometimes come undone and water can seep under and into your roof. Having a professional come out to fix this is a good idea because this can be difficult to get just right.

Shingle granules in the gutters: Along with doing roof checks, gutters should be checked twice a year as well. If you notice that shingle granules are in your gutters this could be an indicator that your shingles are getting old and are about ready to be replaced. When shingles lose their granules they become flimsy and don’t repel water the way they should. This could lead to water getting in underneath.

Daylight through the roof boards: There is more to a roof inspection that just looking and checking on the outside. When you check from inside your house, up in the attic, you might notice light coming in thru your roof boards. You might have thought everything looked okay on the outside, but from the inside you can see things differently. If daylight is showing, this could mean that your shingle seals are not as good as they need to be.

Roof inspections can be done by yourself or by a professional. Start doing your inspections now. Don’t wait until water is pouring down on you inside your home. By taking the time and looking for these signs of a wearing roof, you can avoid the headache and added expense of fixing major avoidable damage.

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