Spotting a Major Problem Before it Happens-How to Know When it's Time for a New Roof!
Updated: Jan 14, 2020
I think we can all agree that the roof is the single most important part when it comes to protecting your home. After all isn’t that what keeps the water out?
If you’re like most homeowners, you’re most likely unsure when the right time to change your roof is. Aren’t you?
Sure it’s about twenty years old but, it has been faithful. You never had any leaks, never lost any shingles, can’t see any nails popping up, and there are no cracks as far as you can see right?
That’s the important part, “as far as you can see”, as some roofs you can’t see from the ground.
When the roof hits around twenty years old, I usually recommend getting an inspection done at least once a year, by a licensed contractor. But if you want to check yourself, here are some things that you can look for.
After years of weathering the shingles can begin to curl in two different ways: they can cup, which is when the shingle edges turn upwards; or they can claw, which is when the edges are still flat and the middle starts to come up.
Either way problems -such as leaking and ice damming- are right around the corner. It makes more sense to take care of this problem now before it causes a larger issue.
If your shingles are buckling, it is definitely cause for concern. It is another sign that leaks are on the way because the underlying wood is exposed to moisture, which in turn can cause it to start rotting and deteriorating. This can escalate rather quickly.
Missing shingles themselves aren’t a big problem as they can be easily replaced. However, matching them on an older roof is nearly impossible due to the weathering and fading over time.
Depending on how many shingles have come off, or how often it happens, some people opt to replace the entire roof because it is a clear sign that the roof is on its way out.
When you see cracked shingles on your roof, it is usually from the wind or a hail storm. These can also be replaced as needed. But, if the cracking isn’t just in one area and it is scattered throughout the roof, it may be time to replace the whole thing because it indicates there may be a structural issue causing a domino like effect.
The roof valley is where two points of your roof meet on a downward angle, where water and debris will accumulate naturally. If there are any missing or deteriorated shingles in the valley it will be a big problem -if it isn’t already. All the rain and melting snow flow through into the gutters. If there are any openings or compromised areas, you will have leaks sooner than later. Again, when that occurs, it can escalate rapidly.
Are there granules in the gutters?
After a roof is newly installed and there are granules in the gutters, there really is no cause to be alarmed, as these are just loose granules from the installation.
But, when the roof is older in age, that is the time to worry. The purpose of the granules in the shingles are protect them from the sun beating down on it. Without them the shingles bake and they deteriorate at a much faster rate. If the colors are inconsistent and spotty, it is most likely the granules have worn away. You can also check the ground where the leaders drain, the pipe that connects to your gutters, to see if there are any granules on the ground by the downspout or on the splashblock, if you have one.
Chimney flashing vs Tar or Roofing Cement
Flashing is the sheet metal that covers and protects where your chimney meets the roof instead of using tar or roofing cement, which isn't as reliable. If you don’t have a water-tight flashing system, this will be a problem. When you have tar or roofing cement, it isn’t something that survives over time like aluminum or copper would. Metal systems last as they don’t crack over the years.
Structural integrity of your Roof Deck
The roof deck is the part of the roof that connects to your joists and trusses, and is what you install weatherproofing and shingles upon. If you are ever walking the roof and you feel soft or spongy spots, this is a sign that the wood has been exposed to prolonged moisture. Alternatively, when you are in the attic you can look up and see if there are wet spots, staining or any evidence of water coming in. You can also check the insulation to see if is wet. Obviously make sure you can’t see daylight through the roof, as this is a sure-fire way to know you have serious roofing issues that need to be addressed as soon as possible.
Long Island Liberty Construction has decades of experience in all facets of roofing and home improvement. Your home is your castle and it should stay that way! Call us today or click here to schedule a free consultation with our trusted experts. We do it right the first time & importantly -affordably.