A roof may not have had any problems, but it is getting up there in age. Asphalt shingled roof can last 15 to 30 years, depending on where you live and extreme weather conditions. The roof should be inspected twice a year. Once during the hottest part of the year and the coldest. You may even want to do a quick look after a bad storm that may have caused wind or hail damage. Use a ladder to look at the roof but don’t walk on it. Walking on a roof can cause damage to the roofing materials and shorten the lifespan of the roof. For your safety, hire a roofing company to do an annual inspection. Many roofing companies like 3JM Exteriors will inspect your roof at no cost. They can tell you if you need a roof replacement or just minor repairs.
If you keep your roof in good shape by replacing shingles as needed, you may get the maximum life span from your roof. Below are some warning signs to look for that will tell you if your roof needs to be repaired or replaced.
What to look for:
The shingles’ edges have curled:
This can be caused by poor attic ventilation allowing moisture to get trapped and cause mold to form if the previous roof replacement was placed over the top of the last roof. The shingles on the top later will not be secure and could be wind-damaged.
Cracks in the shingles:
Cracking is usually the result of the roof’s age and exposure to weather. Deep cracks can allow water to seep under the shingles and damage the wood base.
Moss growing on the shingles:
Moss can damage the shingles on a roof. The moss holds in moisture and keeps the room damp. It can lift the edges of shingles and make them vulnerable in a windstorm. The moss needs to be removed with care so that shingles are not damaged.
Shingles improperly installed can come loose in a windstorm and blow away. Replace the shingles as soon as possible before damage is done.
Algae spores are airborne. When they grow on the roof, they create dark spots. Though it may not look nice, algae will not harm the roof. However, it could cause the protective UV granules to dry out and come off after a period of time.
Exposed nails can rust and allow leaks over time. The nails may not have been appropriately placed to secure the shingles.
Granule loss happens over time. Once the singles are at the end of their lifecycle, there may be extreme granule loss.
Signs of water damage or leaking:
Check your roof if you start seeing spots on the interior ceilings. Do not ignore a leaking roof. It can do significant damage to your ceiling, walls and even allow mold to grow in the walls and causing health issues. Call a professional roofing company immediately.
Storm damage, wind, or hail:
- Always check your roof if there was severe wind or hailstorm in your area.
- Once the storm has passed, do a quick inspection to determine if any shingles came off.
- Look to see if there are small dents in the shingles from the hail.
- Use a ladder to look without actually getting on the roof to avoid damaging the roof. If you can see any damage, call a roofer to do a proper inspection.
- Call your insurance company first. They may have a preferred inspector that is part of your insurance coverage.
Neighbors are getting new roofs:
If the homes in your neighborhood were built around the same time and you notice that your neighbors are getting new roofs, you may want to have yours inspected to determine if you need a roof replacement.
- Keep the trees around the house trimmed and remove any overhanging branches.
- Keep the gutters cleaned out. Clogged gutters will keep the water from draining and could back up under the roof and leak into the house.
What happens if the roof is not replaced?
Regular repairs should be done as needed. Routinely inspect the roof for any damage, especially after a bad storm. Sometimes just a shingle or two may need to be replaced. If your roof is coming to the end of its lifecycle, it is best to have it replaced before you start seeing significant problems.
- Water damage from leaks can damage the walls and ceilings inside your house. Once water damage is inside, you are looking at costly repairs to replace the ceiling or walls.
- Structural damage to the roof, ceiling, and walls can be caused by a leaking roof if not addressed as soon as possible. The wood on the roof and in the walls will rot over time and could collapse. Termites like moist areas as well.
- You or your family could have health problems from mold that grows from moisture from a leaking roof.
- Your homeowner’s insurance company may not insure your home if the roof is over 20 years old. If your roof is damaged, they may only reimburse its depreciated value instead of reimbursing for a roof replacement.
- Your utility bills may go up if your roof allows in cold air during the winter and heat in the summer. Your furnace and AC will work harder to keep your home comfortable.
A roof is not something you should ignore. Taking care of minor repairs now can save you extensive repairs later. It can even affect your health if leaking water allows mold to develop in the walls due to leaks from the roof. If your roof is showing signs of age, replacing sooner than later will save you money.
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