Time to Get a New Roof?

Author: Mark Di Vincenzo

Is your roof looking a little rough around the edges? Then it might be time to replace it.

Replacing your roof can cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars, so you don’t want to get a new one unless it’s absolutely necessary, and if your roof is keeping rainwater out of your house, it may not be.

There are a number of ways to determine whether you need a new roof.

To begin, before you buy your house, ask the owner or the real estate agent representing the seller, when the roof was installed. Knowing the age of the roof will help you figure out when it needs to be replaced.

Asphalt shingles – the most common roof type – need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years, depending on the climate. Slate shingles can last for 50 years or more, and most metal roofs come with lifetime warranties.

Because asphalt shingles are by far the most common, we’ll focus on when it’s time to replace an asphalt roof.

  • Check for a buildup of shingle granules in your gutters when you clean them. If they’re covering the “floor” of your gutters, it may be time to start looking for a good roofing contractor.
  • When your roof appears to be sagging or dipping it almost always means water has gotten under the shingles and underlayment and has caused the wood decking to rot. Sadly, that probably means it’s time to replace the roof.
  • It’s also time for a new roof when lots of your shingles are torn, split or curling. They tear easily when they get old and brittle.
  • When your roof is covered with moss and algae, it needs replacement. This happens more often with cedar shakes, but it can also happen with asphalt shingles, especially in areas of the roof that don’t get a lot of sun. Moss holds a lot of moisture, causing rot. And moss roots can work their way into a wood deck and structure.
  • Aging shingles lose their width, shrinking from the sides and allowing rainwater to more easily get under the shingles. When the spacing between your shingles is more than a quarter of an inch, it’s time to get a new roof.
  • As for a leaking roof, it doesn’t necessarily mean the whole thing needs to be replaced. It may mean that, but it also may mean you only need to have it repaired where water is entering your house. Some roof leaks, for example, are actually just flashing leaks. Without good, tight flashings around chimneys, vents, skylights and wall/roof junctions, water can enter a house and damage walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems.

Still not sure whether you need a new roof or not? Check online or ask your friends and neighbors about a roofing contractor you can trust and get his opinion. Expect to pay no more than $300 for an inspection, while an estimate on the replacement cost should be free. That’s a good thing, because replacing your roof won’t be cheap.

Have you replaced your roof recently? Tell us about your experience with your roofer on EiEi Home.

For more blogs and articles on home improvement, renovation and décor visit us at EiEi Home.

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