Most homeowners figure they need a new roof after they spot a leak in their ceiling. This leak could be due to many different roofing problems. But, what factors really determine whether a roof repair will solve the problem or the house needs a roof replacement?
Here are some tips to help you determine if you need a new roof
- Roof age
How old is your existing asphalt shingle roof? Most experts agree that a typical roof should last between 20 and 25 years. If the roof was installed over another layer or several layers of shingles and/or it is more than 20 years old, chances are you need a new one.
- Shingles curling and buckling
Shingles that are curled or buckling are another sign that you may need a new roof. Look at the sides of your home that get direct sunlight and if you notice that the shingles on that side are curling and losing granules, it could mean the shingles are past their life expectancy. Another quick way to check the state of your roof is to take a look in your gutters. If there are asphalt particles trapped by the gutter guards, it is safe to assume that there are some chipped shingles that have to be replaced. Uneven color on parts of the roof might also mean that the asphalt has eroded.
Look in your gutters to see whether they are loaded up with shingle granules. Roofs tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle. Inconsistent or darker color on some parts of the roof is another sign the granules have worn away.
- Roof valleys
If your shingles are falling apart or missing in this area, it’s a definite sign you need a new roof. Valleys are one of the most important areas of your roof. Snow and rain flow through valleys and into gutters. If the valley is compromised, you could be susceptible to roof leaks.
- Missing shingles
Missing shingles are not just unsightly, but could be an indication of deeper problems that might be plaguing a structure. For buildings over 20 years old, missing roof shingles are a sign that an inspection is in order.
- Chimney flashing
This is another area to be concerned about. If your flashing consists of roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with a metal flashing system; a long term, water tight solution.
- Daylight through the roof boards
Check your attic to see if there is any daylight coming through the roof boards, and look for moisture in the insulation. Either of those means you should take a closer look from up top. If you notice a spongy feel or trampoline bounce when walking on your roof, it means the underlying decking is weakened from moisture and it’s time to get a professional out there.
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