When to Replace a Roof

Shingles - Roof Replacement Baltimore mdIt is extremely important that you know when it is time to get a replacement roof for your home. Too many homeowners ignore or aren’t aware of the warning signs, and it can mean serious problems if you do not take them seriously. A damaged or deteriorated roof makes for an unsafe home, so you will need to know when it is time to replace it.

When you are trying to determine whether or not your roof needs to be replaced, you will need to evaluate it from all angles, including:

The Top of the Roof

If you are trying to evaluate the state of your roof to determine whether or not it really needs to be replaced, you will want to start at the top. Be careful when going up on your roof; use a ladder and climb with both hands. Once you are on your roof, you will want to look for sagging areas in the roof as well as signs of water damage or leaking. If you find a lot of dark spots and trains, it most likely means that the roof is letting in rain from outside. Also, look for outside light coming through the roof into the house.

The Exterior

It is also important that you check out the exterior of the roof when trying to determine if you need a new one. You will want to do the following things when checking the exterior:

  • Visually inspect the roof for cracked or missing shingles
  • Look around the roof for any loose material or wear surrounding the chimneys, pipes, vents or anything else with exposure to the outside
  • See if there is an excessive amount of granules from the shingles (they resemble large grains of sand) in the gutters—this is a sign that there is a lot of wear to the roof.
  • Take a close look at the drainage to make sure all gutters and downspouts are securely fastened. You will also want to make sure that all drains are open so water is able to flow freely and exit as needed. All gutters and downspouts should be clear of debris as well.
  • Make sure that all vents for the dryer, kitchen and bath go outside of the house and not simply into the attic area.

Consider Simple Solutions First

If you find that there is water damage to your roof, do not simply assume that it needs to be replaced. Check to see if your roof can be repaired rather than replaced altogether. As long as the roof isn’t too old and if it was installed improperly to begin with, you may be able to get it repaired. Roof repairs always cost less than a roof replacement, so you will want to avoid it if at all possible.

The Material of your Roof

The material that your roof is made out of will be important in determining whether or not it needs to be replaced.

Cedar: Roofs that are made out of cedar tend to fall apart in dry climates when they are in need of repair. The average lifespan on these roofs is approximately 20 years.

Tile: If you have a tile roof, look for broken or cracked tiles. Do not walk on the roof though, as the tiles will break. Tile roofs can last as long as 100 years if properly maintained, but individual tiles can easily break. You can get the tiles on your roof fixed, but it is important to hire a specialist to do the work.

Concrete: You should never have to replace a concrete roof.

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