Your roof is perhaps one of the most important parts of your home. It covers and protects the rest of the house from the weather, and keeps you warm in the Winter, cool in the Summer. However a roof doesn’t last forever, and depending on the materials used and how well it was installed, can last around ten years or more before having to be replaced. The whole idea is that you should replace the roof before you start having too many problems, before it starts leaking, or is coming apart.
There are some tips you can use to see if your roof is in need of replacing. The first thing you want to do is go around the outside of the house, looking at the roof to see if anything is amiss. One of the first things to watch for is a buckling of the roof. This is caused from a number of things, not enough ventilation, or vents that have been installed properly. Another cause is from the previous roofers just laying new shingles without removing the old ones. While you are walking the perimeter, also check the ground for any pieces of shingles that have broken or blown off. If you find a lot, then this is also a sure sign that your roof needs replacing.
Get a ladder so you can get a closer look at the roof itself. If you notice any discoloration in the shingles, or rotting shingles. Discoloration can mean that there is algae and moss growing, which is cause by moisture being caught in your roofing materials. This may mean that the materials were not properly treated for moisture resistance, or the roof just wasn’t laid properly. Rotting shingles are signs that the roof is old and has started to deteriorate. If you can see rot, chances are very likely that there are also places that is also rotting where you can’t see.
It is also a good idea to have a termite inspection done for your roof. Areas between the shingles and the insulation is where you will most likely find termites breeding, but only a licensed specialist can determine this. If they don’t find a problem, it is a good idea to have them come back every five years or so to make sure there isn’t a problem.
These are just a few of the examples of a roof needing to be replaced. You have to consider the cost of just repairing the roof, or having it completely replaced. If your roof if more than ten or fifteen years old, replacement may be more cost effective than roof repairs. If you plan to sell your home in the future, replacement may also be a good idea, since having a newer roof, one that is warrantied is a good selling point to potential buyers.
If you are buying a home, the roof is something that an inspector should check as part of his walk through. If you are in need of a roof replacement, you need to call around and find a company that will come out and provide free estimates of the costs, as well as how long it will take to replace the roof. Many good contractors can have the old roofing materials taken off and a new one put on in less than a week, and will remove the old debris.