As a homeowner, you're often faced with renovations and repairs, some of which come as a surprise. You might be wondering: how can I tell if I need to repair or renovate a part of my home? The answer isn't always straightforward. However, the roof is one part of your home that can be an easy thing to monitor.
The roof over your head isn't merely responsible for keeping the elements out--it's also a massive factor in your energy costs. Keeping your roof in good shape, and investing time/inspecting it, is a great way to keep costs down long-term.
The general assumption among homeowners is that, as long as your roof isn't leaking, everything is fine. We tend to look at the roof as a permanent and impenetrable part of our homes, but depending on where you live, it may get quite the beating year-round. From damage caused by the elements to natural aging, there are a host of issues to keep your eye out for when it comes to the structural integrity of your roof.
Read these ten signs to see if your roof may need replacing, repair, or (at the very least) an inspection.
Cracked, Damaged, or Missing Shingles
Sagging Areas of the Roof
Excess Debris or Shingle Sediment in the Gutter
Light Leaks or Water Leaks in the Attic
Increasing Energy Costs
Damaged Chimney Flashing
Moss or Algae Growing on the Roof
Old Age: 25 Years or More!
Cracked shingles are one of the most common signs that you should repair your roof, but it can be difficult to assess since we don't get a close up look at them daily. Over time, as shingles are exposed to wind, hail, water, and snow, shingles can begin to crack and allow moisture to enter your home; this can lead to an array of other costly issues if not taken care of quickly.
While cracked shingles are a common issue, missing shingles is an even more significant concern. Not only do cracked shingles amplify the risk of moisture entering your home, but they look unsightly and can cause your home's property value to decrease.
If you see that your roof's shingles are curling, it's time to make some repairs, especially before winter. There are a handful of reasons why your roof's shingles are curling--from improper installation to attic ventilation to old age. No matter the reason, proactively fixing curling shingles is a great way to identify and repair potential long-term problems and costs.
If your roof is sagging, you should immediately call a contractor for inspection, since it's a sign of a more significant issue. When you look at your roof, there should be no warped or sagging areas. If you notice that an area of your roof is sagging, you can also check your attic... do you see anything suspicious there? If there are any dips, bumps, or sagging areas inside your attic, it's time to call a contractor.
Checking your gutters for shingle debris and sediment is an essential part of managing your roof. If you have asphalt shingles and you begin seeing debris or sediment buildup in your gutters, that may be a sign that it's time to call an inspector. Most of the time, shingle sediment washes into your gutters after heavy weather (like snow or rainstorms.) However, shingle sediment may appear when your roof is getting older.
This one is relatively straightforward: if you see any light coming through your roof into your attic, it's highly likely that you have a crack in your ceiling. This issue needs to be handled immediately--especially before winter or rainy seasons. Light leaks are often connected with water leaks in your attic, which can end up causing water damage throughout your home.
Damaged gutters may not seem like an issue, but they are a huge sign of your roof's health. Without proper gutters, your roof may not be diverting water away from your home as it should be. If water gets trapped along the drain pipes near your roof, it could wear away and cause the wood to rot. This can cause water to enter your home, leading to mold and mildew growth, but could also allow pests a perfect home.
One sign that your roof may be damaged or have cracks is a slow increase in your energy bills. A well-kept roof can keep your cooling and heating bills low. On the other hand, a roof that is older, or experiencing wear & tear, can easily send your energy costs skyrocketing. There are plenty of energy-efficient options for your roof, but the most important one is ensuring that your roof is in great shape and doesn't have any cracks or damage.
When homeowners think about their roofs, they often ignore the health of their chimney. Whenever you inspect your roof, be sure to take a look at your chimney flashing. Chimney flashing is the piece of metal that seals your chimney to the roof. Cracked, damaged, or missing chimney flashing can lead to water damage, so it's something to handle immediately. If the damage on your chimney flashing is minor, you can fix it yourself. However, if the chimney flashing is falling off or is missing large pieces, it may be time to call a HomeProMatch roofing contractor.
Moss and algae are common issues for homeowners in humid areas of the United States. Before you call an inspector to see if the algae and moss are a more significant problem, you CAN clean these spots off of your roof with a 50:50 mix of laundry strength liquid chlorine bleach and water. If you do decide to clean the algae/moss off by yourself, be careful--these natural elements can make your roof slippery.
Finding natural growth on your roof such as moss and algae, doesn't mean you need to make massive repairs or that your home has water damage. Instead, it's something you should observe and handle proactively.
Depending on the material that you've chosen for your roof, the typical lifespan is anywhere from 20-35 years before you need to consider repairs/replacement. If your roof is over 25 years old, it may be time to call an inspector and ensure everything is in tip-top shape.