How to Tell When Your Roof Needs Replacing

How to Tell When Your Roof Needs Replacing
There are a few things every homeowner can watch out for so they know when their roof needs to be attended to. (Dreamstime/TNS)
Tribune News Service

By Kaitlyn Keegan From Hartford Courant

When most homeowners start considering renovation projects, they think about redoing the kitchen, painting the bedroom, or updating a bathroom.

They don’t consider their roof.

Out of sight and out of mind for many homeowners, your roof keeps everything below it safe and sound. It should be paid more attention than it usually is.

During the early days of the pandemic—especially while the real estate market was very hot—supply chain issues, labor shortages, and pricing increases deterred homeowners from replacing their roof or siding or windows, Jim Carroll of JP Carroll Construction said. Some of that has begun to slow, however some shortages remain and prices are still higher than before the pandemic.

Along with buying a new home, many homeowners forego a roof inspection during the home buying process.

“In a hot real estate market, homebuyers may be tempted to remove any conditions from their offer to purchase, including a roof inspection, so their bid wins the house,” Carroll said. “However, hiring a roofing professional provides essential information about the property’s value, such as whether a potential new home’s roof needs repairs or a replacement.”

Carroll also said many insurance companies need information on the roof before they quote a homeowner’s policy. This affects your coverage and premium based on the age of the roof and when it was last inspected.

In many cases, homeowners don’t pay attention to the roof until it leaks.

“Even then, repairs are often put off until the problem is too great to be ignored,” Carroll said. “Roof leaks are more than just annoyances that must be remedied. They can be the cause of severe internal structure damage and can also contribute to the occurrence of mold and mildew which can cause indoor air quality problems.”

There are a few things every homeowner can watch out for so they know when their roof needs to be attended to.

Watch Out After Storms

Summertime can bring about some of the most severe storms, fires, hail, and floods. According to Carroll, nearly 1 in 3 Americans experienced a weather disaster of some kind in the summer of 2021 and the trend is expected to continue. Fall is also the ideal time to plan ahead for winter storms that can bring about ice dams and freezing temperatures.

Clean Your Gutters And Downspouts

Check your gutters and downspouts frequently to ensure that water is running off your roof and away from your home, especially away from the foundation. A full or clogged gutter, Carroll explained, may cause water to back up onto your roof and into your attic. This can cause a gutter to fall from excessive weight if it’s too backed up.

Trim Troublesome Trees

Don’t overlook leaning branches, Carroll said. Trees too close to your roof can scratch and gouge the roof. This can damage or puncture your shingles.

Make Sure The Roof Can Breathe

Without proper ventilation, heat and moisture can cause sheathing and rafting to rot, he said. Roofing materials can also buckle and insulation can lose its effectiveness. This can cause the entire roof to be ineffective. A new roof can have several different methods installed to help your roof breathe depending on the type of house you have. This could be ridge vents or fixing soffits.

Keep An Eye On Your Attic

No one likes to crawl up into the attic. Most attics you have to climb a ladder to get into. However, keeping an eye on your attic is crucial to your roof and house’s health. Check after heavy rains and winds and look for water stains, weak shingles or rusting nails.

Check For Shingle Damage

Shingles are damaged in many ways. They can come off, lose granules, curl or loosen. Shingles are exposed to everyday wear and tear from the elements. When the roof loses shingles, it causes the roof and interior space to be vulnerable to water seepage and rot. Some of these can be repaired while too much damage will be the sign it’s time for a new roof.

If You Need A New Roof, Get Multiple Quotes

Carroll suggests getting at least two quotes so homeowners can determine the best combination of quality and price. Roofs last decades on your house and you want to think long term and not just cheap when choosing a contractor.

Copyright 2022 Hartford Courant. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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