4 Roof Red Flags

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Homeowners often wonder how they can tell it's time they get a new roof, especially if they have recently bought the home. Here is a look at four signs that tell you that you might need to replace your roof.

1. How Old Is The Current Roof?

In general, if a roof is over 20 years old, it's definitely time to start planning for a new one. Most shingle manufacturers give only a limited warranty. Unfortunately, the health of your shingles is not the only factor that matters.

For example, your roof may be leaking, and the underlying structure may be in desperate need of attention. Or, the current roof may be an overlay rather than a single layer of shingles. An overlay is when the previous roofing materials aren't torn off and new shingles are put down over the existing roof.

2. What Shape Are Your Shingles In?

Are your shingles dried out? Are they curling? Do the shingles have any surface texture left on them, or are they bare, with the majority of their granules missing? Take a look in your rain gutters and check to see if they are lined with gritty shingle granules. If your shingles aren't looking too good, it's time for a new roof.

Take a close look at the valleys and the perimeter of the roof. Is the roof completely missing shingles in these areas? In climates that receive a lot of snow, ice can build up in the valleys. When the ice thaws and slides off the roof, it is not uncommon for it to take shingles with it. The weight of the ice can also rip the gutters off, further damaging the shingles, the underlayment, and even the decking.

3. How Does the Decking Look?

Head up to your attic during the day and do a roof inspection from inside your home. Do you see any signs of animal activity? Bats, bees, insects, and rodents often find their way into your home via weak spots in the roof. Do you see any sunlight streaming in where it shouldn't be? If so, these are definite signs it's time for a new roof.

4. What Shape Is the Flashing In?

Your chimney, roof vents, and any other openings in the roof should have sheet metal running around the perimeter. This protects water from entering at the opening, which can cause the decking to rot. If the flashing is missing or it is only tar, there's a good chance the roof decking underneath is decayed.

For more information, contact a roofing contractor.