The author, a roofing nj - based professional, reviews how to determine when your roof needs replacement and the best time to do it.
Every homeowner knows that if it remains “home sweet home” long enough, one of the bigger maintenance costs of a house will be to replace the roof. The elements wreak their havoc on the protection over our heads and the reality is that roofs eventually wear out. Barring excessive harsh weather extremes or fire, the average life of most roofs is about twenty years. Here’s a quick checklist on how to read the warning signs that your home’s roof may need to be replaced:
–Visual changes in shingles
1. Shingle Appearance: If shingles are cracked or damaged they can’t do their job, which is to protect the roof’s interior from moisture. Check the inside of your attic for peeks of light coming in from the roof. This could indicate rotted areas and you should call a specialist for an in-depth inspection. There may be more damage that isn’t apparent.
2. Shingle Color: If there’s discoloration from moss or algae, you should be able to see a greenish or graying tint on the roof’s exterior. Both tend to grow where there’s an abundance of moisture and it follows that where there’s moisture, there may be a leak or two, or three.
–Shingle pieces in the drainage system
If there are a lot of little shingle pieces in your roof’s drainage system, it’s a good red flag that the roof is aging. Whether wind damage or simply an overall deterioration is degrading more than a few of them, your risk for extensive damage goes up as the number of damaged shingles increases.
–Your heating or cooling bills skyrocket
If you notice a significant increase in your monthly heating or cooling charges, it could be from damage or deterioration of an older roof. A leak that allows more cold air than usual into the house results in a higher than normal heating bill.
–You see sag
If you stand outside the house and can see sags or buckles in the roof lines or edges, there can be substantial damage in the roof, either from insects, moisture, aging or any combination of the three.
If you’ve noted one or more of these signs, your roof may be damaged and/or need replacing. It’s important to enlist the help of a qualified professional to determine whether the issues are minor and can be repaired, or whether the roof should be replaced. Sometimes putting off repairs for too long can cost even more than putting in a completely new roof, so take action when you first notice changes.