When it comes to home improvements, we generally focus on the flooring, walls, interior finishing and many other minor and finer details without giving the roof a second thought. That is until they begin to leak and ruin everything!
What you may not realize is that by the time the roof is leaking and the damages, rot or cracks are more noticeable, the roofing and the underlying structures will have undergone extensive deterioration that will require costly replacement. You shouldn’t wait that long to make an intervention to repair or replace your roof.
It is advisable to carry out regular roof inspections with the help professional roofing contractors so as to detect and repair possible points of weakness or damages in time. Roof inspections should be carried out at least twice a year. However, you will not patch your roof indefinitely. In some cases, you may need to carry out a replacement altogether. Here are some critical signs that your roof needs a complete overhaul.
Look at the Paper Trail
When was the last time your roof was installed or replaced? When was the last reshingling done? To determine if your roofing needs some replacement, it is necessary to check out the warranty and whether it has expired. Warranties generally provide an approximate lifespan of the roof so if it has expired, you no longer have the luxury of a warranty or guarantee in case your roofing breaks down. Besides, the expiry of a warranty might be a signal that your roofing is past its use by date even if it is not yet showing the signs of deterioration. Most roofing warranties will cover anywhere from 20 to 30 years so if your roof has been around for that long, it might be time for a replacement.
However, not all roofing installations will age uniformly. Some will age at a faster rate than others depending on factors such as the local climate and maintenance. At the end of the day, you should always make the call on whether to replace your roof based on its current condition.
Inspect the Roof Shingles
If the shingles are in the best shape, they should be lying flat against the surface of the roof. Always inspect your shingles after a heavy storm in order to check if something is out of place. If you are finding a lot of cracks, buckling or damages, the roof may be in need of repair or a complete overhaul and replacement. Look at the gutters and if you notice granules of shingles and downspouts in the guttering, it could be a sign that your roofing is past its use by date and ready for replacement.
The purpose of the granules is to protect the roofing from the direct effect of sunshine. If they start falling off, the roof shingles will bake and begin deteriorating rapidly. Granules in the gutter generally indicate that the singles are coming to the end of their lifespan.
You can also replace your roof depending on your neighbour’s timeline. If you live in a development where most of the homes were built around the same time and your neighbours are beginning to replace their roofing, you should also follow suit.
The Roof is Sagging or Droopy
A sagging or droopy roof is generally a sign of rot in the roofing support structures. If you notice any sagging or dropping, replace the roof as soon as possible before it causes more serious damage to the structure of the home or even cause injuries when it collapses. You should also inspect the roof surface for any signs of rotting boards or trapped moisture which is generally a sign of rot. Check if the roof has sagging spots especially in its lowest points. When you notice any of these, you should make plans to replace the entire structure as the roofing is no longer structurally sound.
There are unwanted house plants or growth on your roofing
Some homeowners love the mould or moss growth on the roofing as it makes the home look a little dated but it could as well be an ominous sign that your roofing structure is rotting beneath. Moss, fungi and mould growth thrive where there is trapped moisture and where moisture is trapped in dead matter, there is likely to be some form of rot. Inspect the roof thoroughly for any underlying problems that might warrant roof repairs or replacement. If the mould or moss growth is localized over a small area, you can simply carry out repairs and roof restoration to get your roof in the best shape. However, if there is a patchwork of rot over a large surface area of the roof, then you will need to carry out a replacement.
Curling Roof Shingles
The curling of the roof shingles may be a sign that they are becoming weathered and you will soon begin experiencing a lot more problems such as roof leaks. The shingles can curl by cupping whereby they curl upwards or by clawing where the middle curls outwards while the edges remain flat. If the shingles are curling more aggressively, you may need to replace your roof in five to ten years.
Roof Shingles are Missing
Generally, a few missing roof shingles should be easy to replace. However, this is not always practical. Finding a single or a few roof shingles that will match the old shingles is next to impossible. The colour of the granules in the older shingles will have changed considerably after several years due to the weathering and even changes in manufacturing standards. You can’t keep on patching the shingles so if the damages are recurring, it might be better to replace the entire roof.
Sunlight is Streaming into Your Attic
Is sunshine getting in through the roof into your attic? It might be time to replace your roofing. If the sun’s rays can get through, so will rain and cold air. Inspect the roof for any water stains. If you can spot these, too, it is only matter of time before you begin grappling with a seriously leaking roof. Call a professional roofing expert to evaluate the extent of the roof damage and recommend where you need to re-roof entirely or need simple repairs.
Generally, before you decide on whether to replace the roofing or simply patch up the damaged areas, you will need to evaluate the cost and benefit of each. If the damage is recurring or so serious that you will spend a considerable amount of money to fix it, start planning for a replacement. You can also look at the age factor of the roofing and decide whether it needs replacing.