March 22, 2017 11:20 AM
A guest article contributed by NTRCA member Malarkey Roofing Products.
A solid roof is crucial to the health of your home. Not only will it keep your family safe, but it’s your home’s first line of defense against other serious and costly issues.
Unfortunately, most people don’t think about their roof until something goes awry, like a leak or broken roof shingles. Don’t wait until water comes pouring through your roof!
Here are 5 things to look for that might indicate it is time to repair or replace your roof.
- Curling Shingles and Shingle Grits
Inspection can offer insight into the condition of your roof. We recommend looking for curling shingles first.
Shingles can curl in two main ways:
- Cupping occurs when the roof shingles turn upwards.
- Clawing happens when the edges stay flat and the middle starts to come up.
Both types of curling are signs of weathering and indicate potential problems or leaks. We encourage you to keep an eye on your rooftop to make sure it’s in tip top shape, especially following a heavy rain or windstorm.
Roof shingles should lie flat against the roof. Cracked shingles are typically a result of wind damage. If you find patches that are cracked, damaged, or buckling, then it may be time to make some repairs.
While you can make repairs and replacement, it’s important to note that architectural roofing shingles will vary in color. It’s just about impossible to get a new shingle to match the color of an old one because the granule colors will change over the years due to weathering. You can keep patching until a bigger issue presents itself, but your roof will look a bit patchy and you may want to consider replacing the entire roof.
While you are inspecting your roof, you may want to look into your gutters or downspouts for shingle grit. Shingle granules in your gutters are a sign that your roof is losing a lot of granules and it may be at the end of its useful life.
- Age of Roof Shingles
Check your home improvement records to see how long ago the roof was replaced or re-shingled. Depending on the weather conditions, your roof should last around 20 to 25 years. Knowing when a roof was installed can offer insight into how much life it has left.
- Signs of Water Damage
The first place we recommend looking for water damage is in your attic. Grab a flashlight and climb up under the eaves. Look for beams of light coming through the top of the house or stains and streaks, which are indications of water damage and could signal a leaky roof.
Signs of water damage can also show up on the ceiling and along the walls within your home. Water damage can add up to thousands of dollars in damage. If you do have signs of water damage, it’s important to enlist the help of a roofing professional immediately to prevent further damage.
- Roof Shingles Covered with Moss or Algae
When your roof shingles begin to be covered with moss or algae, it can look unsightly. Many homeowners choose to replace their roof because they don’t like the aesthetic. Fortunately, there are many new shingles that are algae resistant.
You may be tempted to power wash your roof or scrape away the green mildew, however, you should resist the temptation. You could damage your architectural roofing shingles and chip off all the granules, which could in turn make your shingles useless. If the algae situation is controllable and you really want to remove them, consider a wash that’s one part bleach and one part water. Zinc strips can also be installed at roof peaks and will eventually eliminate the problem.
- Sagging Roof
A droopy or sagging roof is one that definitely needs replacing before further damages occur to your home. Check the surface for signs of moisture or rotting boards in the sagging spots. A sagging roof is a good indication of a structural issue. There could be a problem with the attic or foundation. It’s important to take care of sagging roof problems as soon as possible before they sprout into larger issues.
What If I Need to Replace My Roof?
There are many factors to consider when replacing your home’s roof, including materials, size of the roof, shape and pitch of the roof and cost. Architectural roofing shingles are a bit more expensive than regular asphalt shingles because of their high quality materials and stunning three-dimensional appearance.
Your roof is what keeps you warm and dry. When it’s time to get a new one installed, seek the help of a roofing professional to get the best value out of your investment.