Your grass needs landscaping when it gets too tall. Your house needs paint when it looks dingy. Your windows need to be replaced if they show cracks. With some household repairs, when to tackle the task is obvious. Your roof, however, is a bit more subtle. How do you know when it’s time to reroof?
Inspections are key. It’s extremely important to inspect your roof at least twice a year, in order to prevent any unseen damage from becoming a disaster. Regular inspections will also help you to quickly recognize anything that seems different or odd about your roof. There are some basic things you can look out for that will tell you whether you have a happy, healthy roof, or whether you need to call in a roofing company for a roof repair.
Grab your binoculars, and find a good spot on your property where you have a clear, unobstructed view of the roof. Here’s what you’ll look out for:
Missing or broken shingles are an obvious sign of a problem. Empty spots could allow moisture to collect and puddle, eventually soaking through and becoming a leak. Don’t hesitate to have a roofing company come and check out potential leaks, as they’ll only get worse with time. Steep roofs tend to lose more shingles due to high winds.
Bare looking shingles (often darker looking than normal) are not good either. Grainy asphalt covers new shingles, but can be swept away by heavy winds and rain. If you notice quite a bit of the grainy asphalt in your rain gutters, something’s wrong and you may need some roofing repairs. Naked shingles are a source of another potential leak on your roof.
Shingles that appear to have curled or split are another sign that it may be time to reroof. If shingles are curling, they’re likely to be further damaged by heavy winds, leaving room for water to seep inside. Shingles can curl either upwards or downwards (causing a bump on their bottom edge) - either way, it’s a sign of trouble.
Any distortion in the shingles, such as a buckled vertical line, can indicate a problem. There are several causes of buckling, including using boards that are too thin when constructing the roof. Sagging centers or ridges can also be signals that it’s time to consider reroofing.
Pay special attention to any area where one surface meets another, such as near chimneys, vents, or wall joints. If you notice any cracks, dried out caulking or rusty metal, there’s a problem with the flashing. Again, this is a potential leak that may be cause for roofing repair.
Loose or exposed nails are not normal, and can also create space for leaks to sneak through.
There are also several important things to check for from inside the house:
If you notice any sagging between your rafters, it could mean that your roof decking will need replacing, along with other possible roof repairs.
Water damage is the most obvious sign that reroofing is in your future, and could indicate an existing leak or be a sign of inadequate roof ventilation. Check your attic after a rainy day to be sure there are no stains or wet spots from previously unseen leaks.
Depending on the climate you live in, the color of your roof, what direction your roof faces, and what kind of ventilation was built in, roofs can last anywhere from 10-25 years. Consistent roof inspections will help you know when it’s time to call a roofing company for roof repairs.