Updating your home with new siding, installing new energy-efficient windows, and giving your exterior a fresh coat of paint are great ways to increase curb appeal. However, a new roof not only freshens up the exterior, it’s also the most important part of your home’s weatherproofing and insulation system. Read on for early signs that your roof is in need of replacement.
Just because your roof has never leaked before does not mean the original installation went smoothly. In fact, problems caused by poor installation often don’t show up for five or ten years.
In addition to noticeable leaks, there are other signs that indicate your roof needs attention.
Watch out for the following:
Is your roof 15 years or older?
Depending on the type of roof you have, your roof could last far longer than 15 years. However, it is around this time that many roofs start to decay, so it is important to pay careful attention.
- Are there missing or torn shingles?
Missing or torn shingles expose the roof to water damage and rot, and make nearby shingles more susceptible to being blown away. Old shingles will curl, split and lose their waterproofing effectiveness. These weakened shingles are more likely to be blown away by wind gusts.
- Is there rusted or missing flashing?
Flashing is the metal that surrounds chimneys, skylights and vent pipes and often is found in the valleys where roof sections meet. Rusted or missing flashing can often result in leaks.
- What condition are your gutters and downspouts in?
Check gutters, downspouts and splash pans for evidence of decay. Broken pieces of paint and scraps of roofing may be visible, indicating damage.
- Are your interior walls and ceilings deteriorating?
Indoors, look for discolored plasterboard or cracked paint and peeling wallpaper. All of these can indicate a leak that you may not have yet discovered.
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If you determine that your roof is beyond repair and you need a new one, be sure to do some homework. You have two basic options: you can replace your existing roof, which means tearing it off, or you can have new roofing put on directly over the old material. With this second method, new membrane is placed over the existing roof and the material is installed.
More than ever, homeowners are frustrated by poor performing products, especially when a new roof costs between $5,000 and $10,000 and lasts only 12 to 15 years. In some cases, it is a troublesome brand of materials. More often, however, inadequate attic ventilation is the culprit.
When it comes to ventilation, more is always better. Choices are many in ventilation. The turbine ventilators are a good product, however the aesthetics are poor and they can become a maintenance headache as they get older. Dormer vents are another way to go. They are simple and can be installed out of sight at the rear of the building.
Proper ventilation in your new roof may be the difference between a successful, long-lived roof or a complete failure in a very short period of time. Considering the high cost of re-roofing the average home, a few hundred dollars for additional ventilation should be considered a very wise investment indeed.