Determining if a New Roof is Needed

Homeowners completing maintenance on their home often prioritize areas they use on a regular basis. In addition to what they see or use daily, homeowners also need to look up to ensure their roof is looking good and functioning properly.

With that in mind, the following are activities to carry out to determine if your home may need a new roof.

  • Examine your files to determine the last time the roof was replaced or reshingled. Knowing that information and the types of materials used will assist in determining whether the roof has viability remaining. For example, an asphalt shingle roof usually lasts 20 to 25 years, while shingles mounted on another layer of shingles is typically replaced after 20 years.
  • Before looking at your roof from outside, visit your attic. With a flashlight, look under the eaves to determine if you see light entering through the top of the house. In addition, be on the lookout for streaks or stains, as they indicate a roof leak.
  • Evaluate your home’s rooftop periodically to ensure it looks good, particularly after rain or snow storms. Shingles are designed to lie flat against the roof, so if there are areas with cracked, curled, bald, or buckling shingles, repairs are necessary. If there are many areas with these characteristics, it is likely a roof replacement is necessary.
  • Look in the gutters and downspouts for shingle granules. If you see a significant number of granules, that is a sign the shingles are reaching the conclusion of their lifecycle.
  • Evaluate the flashing and seals around vents, skylights, and chimneys for cracks or breaks, as they may cause leaks. In homes built before 1990, flashing is often comprised of roof cement or tar. Today, it is suggested that a metal flashing system be installed for increased permanence.
  • Inspect the roof surface for indications of trapped moisture, deteriorating boards, or drooping, especially at the roof’s lowest points A sagging roof is a clear indicator that replacement is necessary and it should be done soon to prevent additional home damage.
  • While having moss as part of your yard’s landscaping is appropriate, there are issues when it is found on the roof. Moss, as well as mold and fungi, may signify trapped moisture, which can destroy the structure. To remove moss that accumulates in a roof’s shaded corners, use a stiff brush, but be sure to correct the triggering issues.

Having some damaged shingles or a small leak does not mean it is necessary to install a new roof. If it was done correctly and the materials are less than 15 years old, repairs may be appropriate. A roof may organically come to the point where it no longer functions as it should without suffering a significant breakdown. It just may no longer look attractive and regular maintenance becomes tiresome.

Keep in mind that deferring roof replacement may lead to larger issues in the future. If you see the cautionary indicators outlined above, contact a professional to evaluate the roof and provide costs on doing a replacement.

For more information about whether you may need a new roof, visit our website or call Dimension Design-Build-Remodel at 262-402-6602 to arrange an appointment.