Your roof plays an essential role in keeping your family, your home, and all of your belongings safe and sound. Although you might not give it a second thought on a day-to-day basis, it is important to remember your roof! Take some time, several times a year, to look for signs of wear and tear and perform regular roof maintenance.
How can you tell if a roof needs to be replaced? How long is a roof good for? What are some signs of a sick roof?
Read on for answers to all these questions and more!
1. Do Your Shingles Seem Shabby?
Next time you go outside, check out the shingles on your roof. Are they in decent shape, or are they looking a little shabby?
If they are peeling, cracking, warped, curled, or buckled, you will need to get the roofing professionals over to your home right away.
Another telltale sign that your shingles are in poor shape is if there are granules missing. Look for bare or discolored spots on the shingles. In addition, check the areas around your downspouts, where loose granules may accumulate after being washed off the roof.
2. How Long Is a Roof Good For?
This depends on what type of roofing material is topping your home; there are several different types, all with their individual longevity.
Regular old asphalt shingles generally last between 15 and 25 years. Architectural shingles, a premium variety, can last a little longer — more like 30 years.
Wood shingles, also called shakes, also boast about a 30-year lifespan. However, they require much more upkeep than their asphalt counterparts. Many people feel that their good looks are worth the maintenance, however.
Metal roofs offer more advantages than you may realize, including longevity of up to 70 years. Also on the higher end of the spectrum are clay tile and slate tile roofs, which have been known to hold up for 50 and 100 years, respectively.
3. Does the Flashing Look Faulty?
Flashing is the protective material that surrounds chimneys, vents, skylights, and any other element that constitutes a break in the roofing material. In many cases it is made from roofing tar or cement; in others, it’s made from metal.
Either way, if you see cracks, holes, slippage, or any other issues, have it and the rest of the roof evaluated.
4. What Does the Attic Say?
Ask your attic what kind of shape the roof is in! You can do that by heading up there and looking for light shining in through the underside of the roof. You may also see stains, streaks, or even moisture.
All of these are bad signs that point to the need for a roof repair, at the very least, and possibly a replacement.
5. Rot Equals Replacement, Right?
You betcha. Unless you catch it very early, rot in the roofing materials is going to wreak havoc with its overall condition. Almost certainly a roof with extensive rot will lead to a new roof for you, like it or not.
If the roof is visibly droopy or sagging, say sayonara to it and call the roofers.
6. Who Is Boss, You or the Moss?
Moss is another sign that things up on your housetop are no good, boss. While moss certainly has its uses and its appeal down on the ground, on the roof, it’s a sign that there is moisture sticking around.
You should clean off any moss you see on the roof. But don’t think that’s enough to do the job. It’s also necessary to investigate the underlying problems.
7. Do You See Mold or Algae?
Similarly, mold, mildew, and algae are also surefire indicators that your roof is experiencing moist conditions that it can’t seem to shake off, for whatever reason. Although mold travels via airborne spores, it only takes hold when it lands upon housing material or another surface that stays damp.
Mold can easily spread to the inside of your house, and once you see it there, the problem is pretty widespread. So keep an eye on things. If you see algae, take care of it immediately, and check to see if the roof is holding water or moisture.
8. Heating Bills Too High?
In warm seasons or climates, a leaky roof is going to let out the cool, conditioned air; come wintertime, of course, the warmth you pay so dearly for will escape right out of the top of the house.
If you’ve noticed that suddenly your energy bills seem sky high, and nothing else about your usage habits has changed, check into the roof’s condition.
9. Do You Want One?
Lastly, there is no earthly reason you can’t have a roof replacement just because you want one! Maybe you are interested in getting solar panels installed, or you like the look of a tiled roof. Perhaps you just want to hear the pitter-patter of rain on your metal roof! It’s certainly a lovely sound.
A new roof can definitely increase not just the curb appeal of your home, but also its market value. So this could be an investment to consider if you’re on the fence about replacement now, but want to sell in a few years.
Some people also choose to spring for a long-lasting roof such as a slate tiled one, as a gift for their future selves or for their children. Are you planning on leaving your home to your offspring, and relatively sure they’ll want to live there themselves? Why not gift them with a beautiful roof that they will literally never need to worry about?
When It Is Time for a New Roof
There’s no getting around the fact that a new roof is a big expense, as well as a big project that will probably disrupt your life for a couple of weeks. But it will be necessary to fix any of these problems. And you will have peace of mind, knowing you won’t have to ask “how long is a roof good for?” again anytime soon!
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