Regularly cleaning out your gutters at the turn of the season gives you an up-close look at your roof’s condition. You may notice a few patches of moss or some light discoloration. Some light damage is expected on roofs that have been protecting your home for years. However, when you start seeing excessive wear and tear or even bare spots, it’s likely time for a replacement. Leaving old shingles in place can lead to water damage that impacts your household’s safety and your home’s curbside appeal. Here’s everything you need to know about replacing your roof.
Learn About Your Roof
The difference between needing repairs and needing a replacement is often in the age of your roof. Determine how old your shingles are by contacting the home’s previous owners or checking your paperwork. You may still have an active warranty that tells you when it was installed and an estimated replacement date. Shingle warranties last for several decades and protect against manufacturing issues. If you have a workmanship warranty, you’re covered in case of installation problems.
After determining when your roof was installed, you can gauge the life expectancy of the materials used. For example, asphalt, wood and architectural shingles can last up to 30 years. Clay tiles stay effective for about 50 years while metal roofs can survive for up to 70 years. You should also take into account your local weather patterns and precipitation. Constant rain, humidity and sunlight will dramatically lower your roof’s life span, taking decades off its usefulness. Upgrading your home with a locally appropriate option could save you from having to deal with another replacement during your lifetime.
Signs to Replace a Roof
When it’s time to be replaced, older roofs first start to develop issues around the chimney flashing. This type of flashing borders the edges of your chimney where it touches your roof. It’s often installed with two layers of sheet metal sealed with heavy-duty caulk. Over time the sealant can come loose and allow water to seep into your home. If you have an older roof, the flashing could have been installed with tar or cement, which can wear down due to constant wind and rain. Watch for water leaks in the home or signs of rusty flashing that indicate its structural integrity is compromised.
Another common sign of an outdated roof is curling, cracked or missing shingles. They may have fallen into your yard or gutters, leaving areas bare to the elements. On top of ruining the look of your home, broken shingles will also let water and pests into your attic. Look out for any white, black or green discoloration. You should also keep an eye out for new signs of moss or mildew. Growth on your roof indicates that water is present on your shingles for unsafe amounts of time. A healthy roof should allow all water to slide off efficiently into the gutters. The presence of moss means there may be a dip in your roof deck or a problem with the shingles themselves.
Check your home’s gutters to be sure they’re not full of nests, sprouts or hard granules. Asphalt shingles can slowly disintegrate at the end of their life span, leading to your gutters filling up faster than normal. If water is trapped in your gutters for too long, it can spill over into the eaves of your roof. This can cause further rot, water damage and moss growth.
Roof issues will quickly lead to problems within your home. Compromised shingles allow water to damage your attic insulation, leaving it flattened and streaked with moisture. You may see signs of light coming through the roof deck or recent animal nests. If your roof has been struggling for several months, water has also likely accumulated in your walls and ceilings. It may even have made its way down to your basement and foundation. Catching roof problems early will save you the hassle of trying to correct all the potential water damage and structural issues.
Once your roof develops holes and gaps, it increases the risk of animals getting into your home. Pests can chew through your wiring, destroy your belongings and fill your home with unpleasant odors. You may hear scratching or shuffling or find droppings in your kitchen or pantry. The presence of insects and rodents will also introduce harmful contaminants and allergens into your breathing air, lowering your indoor air quality. This can be particularly dangerous for younger family members or those with pre-existing health conditions.
Repair or Replace?
Once you begin noticing your roof’s wear and tear, it’s best to schedule an inspection with our professional roofing company. Experienced roofers will thoroughly examine your roof and check for leaks, growth, broken shingles and other common issues. They’ll even be able to evaluate any issues below the shingles with an infrared scanner.
Your roofer will give you several repair and replacement options based on the condition of your roof. Repairs may be the better option if your roof is newer and is only experiencing problems in one area. Shingles may have been damaged in a recent storm or by a tree that’s too close to the home. There could even have been an issue with the initial installation that can be repaired before any problems spread. If you have a newer roof that will last several more years or decades, repair service is usually the best option.
After a detailed inspection, your roofer may recommend a replacement if your shingles are out of date and no longer capable of protecting your home. Quickly replacing them will limit the impact on your family’s safety and immediately boost your curb appeal. You won’t have to worry about any service other than basic maintenance for the next several years. You’ll also have access to the industry’s best new shingles and color choices.
Consider the Housing Market
The decision to repair or replace your roof is often harder if you’re selling your home. You may not want to invest in a new roof when that money could go towards your new property or another project. However, your home’s roof is vital to its selling appeal. Buyers don’t want to move into a new house that’s going to require expensive costs in the immediate future. A new roof can help you sell your property faster.
Quality Alabama Roofing Team
Quality Roofing has been delivering reputable commercial and residential roofing services in Florida and Alabama for almost 20 years. We have experience installing and maintaining roofs made with architectural shingles, metal, concrete tile, wood shakes and more. Our company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association. You’re welcome to schedule a hassle-free and cost-free inspection with one of our roofers today. We can professionally maintain and repair roofs made with any kind of shingle material. Our team will also patch any storm damage and provide exceptional roofing replacement options. Call Quality Roofing at one of our offices in Pensacola, Gulf Shores, Destin, Orlando or Fort Myers to learn more about our roofing specials and discounts.