Stop for a second and think about your roof. It’s a common misconception that a new roof will last 20-30 years, no matter what. That is, of course, crazy. If someone sold you a car and told you not to give it another thought for two decades, you would laugh in their face. It’s not practical. A roof is like anything else. You need to inspect it regularly and catch damage and wear early. Here’s what you should be looking for.
The Easiest Place to Start is Outside
Your roof should look organized and strong. If a row of shingles drapes lower than the others—if any are torn or, flat out, missing—you should have an expert inspect those areas.
Hail damage can happen to any roof. Ultimately, it depends on the size of the hail and the roof’s overall wear at the time. If you see some dented shingles, even if it’s just on a small corner, it’s a bad sign.
Your shingles should stand up to the wind and rain without losing texture. Check the gutters for asphalt graduals. They look like large gains of sand the color of your roof.
Also pay special attention to the area around your vents and chimneys. The materials around the base should have no cracks or openings.
Don’t Forget the Inside
If you have an attic or perhaps a crawl space, take a flashlight up there and have a look. Sagging decking (the boards that make up the base surface of your roof) is a huge problem. It should be addressed immediately.
If you see dark spots or trails on the ceiling there is a strong chance you water/ice barrier is leaking somewhere. Damage like this puts you at risk for mold and rot.
The good news is no one of these things necessarily means your whole roof needs replacing. You may just need a minor repair. The key is catching the damage early. Call Wellington Home Improvements right away for a free estimate.
Your roof is important, and you worked hard to put it over your families heads. Do what you can to protect it.
When Replacing Your Roof
- Shop around – You really need to be careful who you hire. Some roofers don’t really care about customer satisfaction as roof replacements aren’t necessarily looked for repeat business.
- Strip away the old layer(s)? Most people may not know this, but you are allowed to have up to 2 layers of shingles on your roof. By choosing to to leave an existing layer of shingles on and installing the new right over the top has its pros and cons such as:
- You could save as much as $1,000 on the project cost.
- There would be less time needed to complete the project.
- You would greatly reduce the mess that comes with tearing off an existing roof.
- Your contractor will not be able to inspect the decking under the current shingles for possible damage. This could be a costly risk down the road if there were unforeseen issues.
- Don’t be afraid to look at top-shelf when picking out your shingles. In addition to being an excellent selling point if you ‘re looking to put your home on the market, but getting a shingle with a 50 year warranty could only add $300 – $500 to the total cost of your project. Also one may consider using copper flashing as it is one of the most durable metals for sealing joints on a roof. Copper could tack on an additional $1,000 to the project cost, but would be worth the investment.
- Pay attention to paperwork. Too many people try and cut corners by not pulling permits for the work to be done. Permits can be costly at times, but having a permit will help keep your contractor honest, and some warranties require it as well. Also, get a signed written contract. The contract will specify the materials to be used, the work to be performed, and most importantly the cost of the project.