Next to the foundation, the roof is one of the most important parts of your home. It protects you and your home from the elements like a massive umbrella. Any failure of your roof has the potential to cause damage to other parts of your home including water damage to your ceilings and walls.
So how do you know when it’s time to have your roof repaired or replaced before you discover water dripping down into your living room? The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends spring and fall inspections in your attic. Warning signs include:
- Outside light shining through the roof (if you have a chimney, check the stack vent for pinholes of light)
- Roof sagging of any kind
- Any signs of leaks or water damage including soft or moist spots
Views from the outside will also provide clues that your roof is in need of repair. Look for:
- Cracked or missing shingles
- Shingles that are lifting up or that have curled edges
- Shingles with smooth or dark areas—a.k.a., bald spots—indicating the protective granules have worn off
- Shingle granules in the gutters, a sign your shingles are nearing the end of their life cycle
- Moss, which can grow on shady roof surfaces (moss holds moisture which, overtime and in freezing weather, can damage the granules on your shingles, thereby weakening them)
- Proper ventilation of your roof, the lack of which can accelerate the aging process of shingles
Age is a Factor
Overall, the biggest indication that your roof may be in need of repair or replacement is age. Roofs more than 20 years old are more likely to need replacement than younger roofs. In many cases, your roof can simply reach the end of its life without experiencing a major failure. While younger roofs can fail as well, it is less likely, although you should have inspected regularly to keep up maintenance and extend the life of your roof.
Need another incentive? Insurance.com notes that many insurance companies are, “becoming more restrictive when it comes to roof coverage.” They mention examples of insurers:
- Not renewing homeowner insurance policies on houses with roofs older than 20 years without passing an inspection (failing an inspection would require you to install a new roof before attaining renewal)
- Not writing new policies for homes with roofs over 20 years old
- Paying actual cash value for roof replacement for older roofs
Maintenance is Key
The most important thing to know about your roof is that avoiding regular checks or ignoring the need for minor repairs will only cause you greater heartache—and financial pain—in the future. Just like with our bodies, any small issue can become a bigger one if left untreated.
Make sure to consult a licensed contractor if you face any of the issues outlined in this article. And read our article Tips and Tricks for Finding and Hiring the Right Contractor.
If you have any questions or concerns reach out to Mike at Allied Construction Services in Montgomery, Alabama by calling 334-281-3001. You can also email Mike here.