Do I Need A New Roof.

How to Tell if Your Roof Needs to be Replaced

Replacing the roof on your home is a major expense costing thousands of dollars. It is something you generally know needs to be done someday but preferably at your convenience rather than in an emergency because leaking water is damaging your home! Here are some quick inspections you can perform yourself to help determine if it's time to think about replacing your current roof.

The first and most obvious indicator of knowing when your roof needs to be replaced is if your roof is leaking. Oddly, some people don't even know their roof has a small leak until it has been leaking for months, and finally drips down through the ceiling of their living space. It's a good idea to periodically take a flashlight and peer up into the crawlspace or attic during a rain storm and see if there is any water damage. If you catch it early, it won't cause as much damage. Once the leak comes through to the living space, then you're looking at thousands of dollars in damage to your home, rather than hundreds.

Take a walk around the outside of your home. A good roof is solid and attractive with no dips, weaknesses or missing shingles. Do the shingles look brittle, bubbled, or curled? Are there any loose or crooked shingles? It is also important to note the condition of the fascia board. (Usually a board coming down vertically 4-8 inches on the roof edges) If this is rotten, peeling, or warping, then it's safe to say that the roof is in about the same shape as the board, and it's time to think about replacing it all.

From the exterior of your home, you can usually see signs of wear. If there are any tree branches rubbing against the roof, it is important to keep them trimmed back, as the branches can wear away your roof. Slate or tile type roofs won't wear away as quickly, but depending on the size of the branches, some damage will be caused eventually. Shade also keeps your roof damp for longer periods, which speeds the weathering of roof materials. If you have a roof-mounted HVAC unit, make sure the drain is working properly and not leaking onto your roof; as over time that constant water can damage roofing materials and cause a leak.

The age and life span (quality) of the roofing are other factors to consider. When was the roof last replaced? If there is a corner damaged you might repair just that corner, but if it's been 20 years then it might be a better use of dollars to get a new roof on the whole house.

If the design or materials of the roof are inferior, the roof might not even last the expected 15-20 years and may show signs of home distress much earlier. Obviously, storm damage, fire or other damage to the roof will also cause roofs to fail before their life expectancy is up. This part of your home protects the rest of the home and contents. If you need a new roof get a quality one and hopefully it'll be the last one you'll ever need!

If you are still in doubt, it is probably best to speak to a professional roofer to find out if the roof is repairable or needs a full replacement.