How To Tell If You Need A New Roof ~Part 1

October 1, 2015

How Do I Know I 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 in place.

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.  Here are a few signs that it may be time to think about getting a roof replacement.

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 new roof.

· 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.


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