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Top 5 Warning Signs: How To Know if Your Shingle Roof Needs to be Replaced or Repaired
Wondering if your shingle roof needs servicing? Check for any of these five warning signs…
Curling Shingles1. Curling or Clawing Shingles
Curling or clawing shingles are a sign of both an aging roof system and excessive heat. Curled or clawing shingles are highly
susceptible to wind uplift and ice damage. Shingles will become rigid and can break easily and lose tab edges.
Bare Spots Missing Shingles2. Missing Granules and Bare Spots
Poorly placed downspouts, lack of eavestrough, or poorly designed valley drainage on a second storey can cause a waterfall
effect that washes away granules over time. Aging of a roof system or physical damage can also cause bare spots and a loss of
granules. When the protective granules of a shingle are lost the shingle begins to harden from heat and sun exposure. Granule
loss on a roof system will accelerate aging and shingle decay and can become an entry point for water.
Broken Damaged Shingles3. Broken or Missing Shingles
Broken and missing singles greatly weaken a roof system’s ability to shed water and can be an entry point of water. Two common
causes of damaged shingles are excessive wind and physical damage.
Buckling Shingles Roof4. Buckling Shingles
Buckling shingles are visible waved distortions that usually run vertically up a roof slope. Buckled shingles are highly
susceptible to wind and ice damage and can be torn off easily. Overall roof age and wet or poorly installed underlayment are
common causes of buckling shingles.
5. Damaged Flashings
Flashings located around skylights, valleys, eaves, rakes, wall details, stacks, and chimneys are all subject to separation, lifting,
and dried out caulking. The flashing details can lift and separate due to general expansion and contraction. Expansion and
contraction will cause fasteners to become loose and the bottom-flashing flange to lift thus allowing water to enter.
If you notice any of the signs noted above you may need to have your roof repaired or replaced by a certified roofing contractor.
A roof leak is not always apparent immediately on the inside of a home; it can damage insulation and deck sheathing causing
replacement costs to grow. Call a professional roofing contractor before your problems grow.
How Do I Know I Need A New Roof
How to tell if you need a new roof. One of the questions that any home owner should be asking themselves if they have a roof that is
getting up there in age is “how do I know if I need a new roof”? Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home, for
obvious reasons. Without it you would be left with four walls and a foundation – not enough to provide much comfort or protection
from the elements. Like everything though, a roof will wear out over time.
As a homeowner you need to be aware of the state of yours and whether it needs repairs or replacement, especially if you have any
plans on selling the home. Knowing whether you need a new roof prior to selling becomes important so you have a sound strategy
Working as a roofer for over thirty years, one of the things that becomes a bone of contention more than any other when negotiating
home inspection issues is a worn roof. Of course from a home owners perspective if there is any amount of years left on the roof
they want to do nothing. The buyer of course when told there is very little roof life wants to negotiate for a new one.
While the quickest way to find out the state of your roof would be to call a roofing contractor for an inspection prior to putting your
home on the market, you do not necessarily need to pay someone else to do periodic checkups.
You can look for signs of damage yourself. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, homeowners should examine
their roofs in both the spring and the fall. Mark a time on your calendar for spring and fall and perform the following checks as
necessary. Read on and you will discover the best ways of how to tell if you need a new roof or not.
Interior Roof Check
One of the first ways how to tell if you need a new roof is to get into the attic. The interior check is fairly easy to do as long as you
have access to the attic and a good flashlight. Invest in a good light because you want to be able to see fine details. Even the best
flashlight is far cheaper than replacing your roof, so get something that will give you all the light you need to search the attic.
Once you get up there, look around for four particular signs of roof troubles:
Light shining in from outside – This is the easiest problem to discover, even without a flashlight. Any light shining in through your
roof from outside is a problem that should be addressed immediately. If light is getting through, so is moisture.
Sagging Areas – If there is a sag in your roof this will be one of the easier ways to tell if you need a new roof. Sagging is a definite
indication of structural issues. Something has given way, either due to external pressure from outside or from moisture damage to
the wood that makes up your roof.
Dark Spots or Trails – Dark areas and trails are an indication that moisture is penetrating your roof somewhere and probably
creating mold in the process. Moisture will eventually cause real problems, both with your roof and with the interior of your home.
Leaks or Water Damage – If you actually see a leak or obvious water damage it is time to call in a roofing repair company. Water
causes damage and it is important to patch any leaks as soon as possible.
The are all sure fire ways to tell if you need a new roof or not.
Exterior Roof Check
Another way of checking to see if you need a new roof is to actually take a trip up onto your roof. Getting onto the roof should be
able can give you a good idea of the state of the exterior. Keep in mind that even an eight-foot drop can cause serious injuries, so
make sure your ladder is secure and that you are very, very careful while looking around. Also, avoid walking on your roof if it is
made out of easily damaged materials such as tile.
Look for Damage – Major damage to roofing materials should be fairly obvious. Shingles will split, crack and warp if they get too old,
while tile will break if it has been damaged by hail. If your roof is older and there is visible damage it is far easier to tell if you need a
Look for Moisture Problems – Mold and other moisture related problems could wreak just as much damage outside as in. A bad
shingle can allow moisture to sit instead of shedding it down the roof. Keep in mind that water will flow down, so you may have to
track the problem higher up.
Shingle Granules – As your shingles age they will shed more and more granules. If they are getting too old you will likely find
excessive amounts of granules in your gutters. This is a sure fire way to tell if you need a new roof sooner rather than later.
Look for Wear – Roofing materials around chimneys and vents can wear over time, so keep an eye out for any issues here.
Check Your Drainage – Your gutters and downspouts are an important component of your home and should be cleaned a few times
a year. Check to make sure they are securely attached and that water is flowing where it should be.
Each of these problems are signs that it may be time to think about getting a roof replacement.
What If You Find Roof Problems?
Ways to tell if you need a new roof. Just because you find signs of wear does not mean your roof necessarily needs to be
replaced. It may just need some repairs done to extend its life. A quality shingle roof should last at least 20 to 30 years, especially
with regular maintenance by knowledgeable professionals. If your roof is tile it should be good for quite a bit longer, even up to 100
years before replacement.
Typically an asphalt shingle roof that is architectural grade with last at least 30 years. An architectural shingle looks different than a
standard asphalt shingle which looks completely flat when looking from the ground. An architectural shingle has “depth” and most
would agree looks much better. These shingles are more expensive and rightly so given how much better they look and the extended
roof life they deliver.
Once you notice an issue, contact a roofing contractor to get an estimate on getting the repair work done. It is usually best to get a
few estimates to get an idea of what the cost will be and to feel out several contractors before you commit to one. Get references
from them and contact those references before you give the go ahead on the roofing repairs.
If it has been some time since you have examined your roof, or your roof is old enough where replacement is the only option, it is
best to bite the bullet and get the work done. There is no denying that having a whole new roof put on is expensive, but it is an
investment in your home.
It makes the home livable, prevents any further damage from the elements to other parts of the home and makes the property more
appealing should you choose to sell it. A new roof is considered by home appraisers in the appraisal process and will appeal to any
potential buyer who views your home.
If you are going to sell your home however, you may not necessarily want to go out and purchase a new roof. You may be thinking
why and the answer is simple. A roof does not have a very good rate of return when selling a home. A buyer is going to expect to
purchase a home that has a decent roof but it has been shown over and over again they will not pay extra just because your roof is
new. All things being equal a buyer will pay for more tangible things such as an updated kitchen or bath they can use and enjoy daily.
So for example if a new roof on your home is going to cost $10,000 you are more than likely going to be out of luck if you think that
adjusting your sale price upwards by $10,000 is going to be acceptable. More than likely you will not get anywhere near a 100
percent return on a roof and in fact far from it.
This is where your Realtor comes in to give you guidance. More than likely unless your roof is in dire need of replacement the advice
will be a wait and see approach. The buyer will more than likely do a home inspection in which the roof will be flagged. This will be
the point at which you can negotiate a home inspection settlement with the buyer that in many cases will end up being less than a
full replacement. Hopefully you were smart enough to hire a Realtor who has some negotiation skills as this is one of the points in a
real estate transaction where they are needed most.
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