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Do I Need a New Roof? 10 Things to Look for Before Re-Roofing Your Home!

Is your roof damaged or advancing in age?

If so, you may need an entirely new roof. Your first act should be to call a residential roof contractor. This individual can come out to your home to assess your roof, any damage that may exist, and give you a roofing estimate for repairs or complete replacement.

Don’t automatically assume that roofing problems mean you’ll be facing an exorbitant bill. Some roofing problems are easily fixed while others can be solved with an affordable roof replacement. Either way, you should know what to look for.

These roofing problems are clear signs your roof needs replacement. However, nuances exist, so read them over carefully. While you’re at it, call around to some professional roofing services so that you can get the estimates you need, and the home protection you deserve.

1. Curled Shingle Edges or Cupped Shingle Tabs

Professional roofing services always look at the quality of your roof when it comes to determining if you need a replacement. Part of any roofing estimate is going to involve examining the roof shingles themselves. In particular, the roofing company representative is looking for shingles that are warped. This warping can be caused by excessive sun and weather exposure and is characterized by an upturn or curling of the shingle at the edges.

The shingle tabs may be cupped, which may not be easy for an untrained person to notice. Cupped shingle tabs can threaten the integrity of your roof, as can curled shingles, both leading to leaks and other problems.

A few shingles that are warped can sometimes be replaced, but if too many shingles are damaged, a new roof will be necessary.

2. Other Shingle Damage

Roofing shingles are meant to withstand years of heavy sunlight and weather, even significant storms. This durability is made possible by the method in which the shingles are created. The granules you see on an asphalt shingle, for example, are proof of this special formulation that gives the shingles their strength. The granules rubbing off can lead to a bald appearance. You may not even notice that the shingles are becoming bald. You may only know the shingles are failing when you find the granules building up in your home’s gutters.

Even if the shingles retain their granules, the integrity of the shingles themselves can fail. The shingle tiles can begin to crack due to age or damage, allowing problems to occur.  

Metal roof installation

4. Dark Shingle Streaks

The appearance of these streaks by themselves are not necessary cause for alarm but the problem can turn serious if left to worsen. The dark streaks along the roof tiles are caused by airborne algae that is more or less harmless but looks unsightly.

The algae tend to grow on roof surfaces that don’t get adequate sunlight and that are constructed in cool and moist climates. The algae growth is more of a cosmetic eyesore than anything but again, it’s overtime when the problem can occur. The algae tend to hold moisture near the surface of the roof, which in times of freezing weather can cause damage to the shingle granules that give them their durability and strength. The algae can be eliminated by merely brushing it off, but care should be taken not to damage any shingle surfaces. If the shingle damage has become severe, replacing your roof with a new one might be a worthy alternative.

5. Flashing Cracks or Breaks

A roof inspection will always include the flashing around vents, chimneys, and skylights. This flashing is designed to seal the seams of the roof from rain and inclement weather. The new roof construction crew likely took steps to ensure the flashing was watertight. Over time and with damage from falling branches and other debris, the flashing can crack, or form breaks that allow moisture to enter your attic, and eventually the interior of your home.

Some older homes have roofs where the flashing is made of cement or tar. If that’s the case, you may want to upgrade to a metal flashing system, which can give your roof extra durability. Upgrading to a new roof can include metal flashing for ultimate home protection.

6. Droopy or Sagging Roof

Roofs are not supposed to bend inwards. This concave warping of the roof shingles and underlying materials is a sure sign that your roof needs to be replaced. The drooping can be caused by rotting boards, excess moisture escaping into the home over time, and damage that has been allowed to worsen. Replacing your roof will provide better protection to your home, will increase your home’s value, and look better when compared to all the other homes on the block.

7. Missing Shingles and Daylight Through the Roof Boards

A roofing inspector will walk on your roof to see how the shingles and materials feel underfoot. Are the shingles firm and resilient or do they feel spongy, like you’re bouncing along on a trampoline? This easing of the integrity of your roof is caused by moisture, which can be caused by missing shingles.

A roofing professional giving an estimate will also enter your attic and peer upwards through the floorboards. If flashes of light can be seen through the roof boards, moisture can also find its way inside. As we have established, moisture quickly weakens roofing materials, can lead to wet insulation, and structural damage to your home. Before it comes to any of that, consider having a new roofing system installed.

8. Poor Energy Efficiency

This is a roof problem that all too often goes undiagnosed. Ask yourself this: Have your energy bills begun to steadily rise over the past couple of years, particularly during the wintertime? Those extra charges during the colder months could be the result of a poorly insulated roof. While most homeowners focus on insulating their windows and doors to decrease their energy bills, it is the roof that often gets neglected, and that often proves to be the culprit. A residential roofing service professional will guide you to an affordable solution. Maybe your shingles have lost the asphalt, thus preventing them from being able to shield against the heat. Now, the roof is baking in even more heat, which can cause your air conditioning system to run more.

If replacing your roof on account of higher energy costs makes you pause to reflect, do this. Weigh the cost of a new roof against the cost of your power bill and roof repairs. Chances are, a new roof wins that contest by a mile, and will give you much greater and longer peace of mind.

9. Weakened Roof Decking

A roof inspection must include the base of your roof, which is known as decking. Roof decking acts as a support for all the layers of roofing material that will be added on top, such as the underlayment, flashing, and shingles.

If your roof becomes damaged and harm befalls the decking, you may find you also have damage to other parts of your roof, leading to leaks, which in turn can turn to wood rot. If your decking becomes too weak over time from excess moisture to the point where it can no longer sustain the weight of your roof, you could see severe consequences, such as the collapse of your entire roofing system.

10. Questionable Workmanship

Your roof inspector may identify areas where the work on your roof could have been performed better. Shoddy workmanship is an unfortunate reality but one you can guard against by choosing professional roofing services that come highly recommended via word of mouth and online reviews.

This sloppy roof work is identified by patches or tiles that fit together awkwardly, which can in turn threaten the integrity of your roof. If you notice multiple layers on your roof, you can bet that corners were cut when the original roof construction was performed.

Roof Drone Inspection

What Happens if You Don’t Replace Your Roof?

Now that you know what to look for, and what your roofing inspector may find, it’s time to talk about the cost of not replacing your roof. Roof replacement can set you back a bit and the price is often enough to dissuade a family from calling around to one or more professional roofing services. However, once you do the math, you will see that replacing your roof is less costly overall than dealing with the damages that can occur if your roof fails.

So you get a leak? So what, right? You’ll put a bucket underneath and get to it when you can. While that plan can save you money in the short-term, the long-term damage could be immeasurable. Many roof leaks cannot be detected with the naked eye. If you see a leak inside your home, chances are there are already thousands of dollars’ worth of water damage hidden behind your walls and ceilings.

The average cost of water damage is $100,000 per one inch of water. This amount seems steep until you consider the costs associated with a leak. You may have to have water removed from your home and all the old materials will need to be discarded. Then you’ll need to replace all that was lost, on top of ordering a new roof.

Protecting your home from water damage starts with a quality new roof. Finding professional roofers who can maintain and replace your roof can translate to immense savings over the lifetime of your roof, while easing your mind.

Don’t Panic, Call for a Roofing Estimate

If right now you are eyeing your roof problems and nodding along with this list, you may feel that re-roofing your home is your only option. However, just because you may have a few damaged shingles, some moss growing where it shouldn’t, or a leaky spot, don’t automatically assume that you need an entirely new roof.

If your roof has been installed correctly and is younger than fifteen or twenty years old, you may be able to get by with repairs rather than a full roof replacement. When faced with this situation, the smart move is to call several commercial roofing services in your area. Ask if they offer free roof inspection and affordable roofing replacements. Re-roofing your home may be necessary, or you may simply need a few repairs, but getting the peace of mind that comes with a no-nonsense estimate is worth all the money in the world. Plus, you will be doing your part to further protect your home, and your family that lives inside.

At Direct Metal Roofing, Inc. in Brevard County, Florida, we can answer your questions and help you decide if a new roof may be necessary. Call (321) 307-8464 to receive a free roof inspection and estimate.

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