Your roof is one of the most important components of your home – second only to the foundation. And if you suspect it’s been damaged or fallen into disrepair, it’s critical that you act swiftly to correct the underlying issues.
6 Signs Your Roof Needs Some TLC
Is your roof damaged and/or deteriorating? Some signs are quite obvious, while others aren’t as clear. Let’s examine each in further detail to give you an idea of when you need to take action.
- Curled or Cracked Shingles
As shingles age, they begin to lose their shape and form. If your shingles are cracked, curled, or missing, this is an indicator that they’re past their useful life. It might be a few right now, but the rest will soon follow.
- Excessive Granules in Gutters
Granules are the rough, sand-like material on asphalt shingles that provide protection for the asphalt core of the shingle. Granules are designed to protect the interior of the shingle (and the roof) from the sun’s damaging rays.
A new roof will shed some granules in the days and weeks after installation. This is a normal process (as some of the granules were likely loosened during the install process). But if it’s years down the road and you’re still finding excessive granules in the gutters, this is a sign that your roof is deteriorating at an accelerated rate.
- Leaks in Attic or Ceiling
If you’re experiencing any sort of leak in your attic or ceiling, it’s important that you trace it back to the original point of entry. And in most cases, it’s going to be somewhere on the roof. (The most common locations include in and around vents, pipes, chimneys, or anywhere there’s flashing.) An isolated leak isn’t a huge issue. It can be identified and fixed. But multiple leaks in different locations over a period of time indicates that the roof is no longer providing the proper protection.
Does your ceiling appear to be sagging? This could be a sign of water damage in the attic (meaning there’s some sort of leak coming from above). Sagging typically happens when water has dripped and pooled in the same area for so long that the ceiling has actually begun to warp under the added weight.
- Visible Gaps and/or Damage
Sometimes you don’t need to do much investigation to determine there’s an issue. If you notice visible gaps in and around your roof – including near soffits – this is a clear sign that you need to hire a contractor and assess the damage. You should visibly inspect your roof every few months, as well as immediately after any heavy storms and winds.
- 25+ Years Old
While age alone isn’t a reason to replace a roof, it’s something to take into account when considering some of the aforementioned factors. The average roof isn’t going to make it much past 25 years old. If your roof was installed 26 or 27 years ago and is experiencing issues, you may need more than a repair. A replacement could be in order.
Hiring the Right Roofing Contractor
Knowing you need a roof repair or replacement is one thing. But before you pick up the phone and call the first number you find on Google, make sure you’re reaching out to the right contractor.
There are plenty of cheap services and handymen who will offer to repair or replace your roof, but they’re rarely cut out for the job. When hiring a roofing contractor, look for a company that’s local, has a long history in the area, and has a clear process. They should offer a free consultation, examine the issues on-site, provide clear and comprehensive estimates, and offer generous and extended warranties (both manufacturer and workmanship).
It’s also smart to ask around for referrals, read online reviews and testimonials, and check to ensure the contractor is licensed and insured by all of the appropriate groups.
At the end of the day, cost shouldn’t be the primary factor. Yes, you need to stay within a reasonable budget, but you must understand that a cheaper up-front bill might lead to a much more expensive long-term cost. You’re going to pay one way or another. You might as well spend now so that you can enjoy the benefits of a high-quality roof for decades to come.