10 Ways to Tell If You Need a New Roof

So, what should you look for when inspecting for roof repair?

Roof repair and re-installation specialists at Ace Roofing share an expert’s point of view to help property owners determine if their roofing problems are a sign that replacement is inevitable, or if some simple roof repair will do the job.

Do You Need a New Roof?

According to Ace, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends doing a roof inspection at least two times a year — spring and fall. The best place to begin is inside the home — grab a flashlight and make a trip to the attic.

Here are four things to look for on the inside:
1) Places where the roof deck is sagging
2) Signs of water damage or leaking
3) Dark spots and trails
4) Outside light showing through the roof.

Exterior Check

When looking at the exterior of the roof, pay attention to such things as damaged flashing, missing shingles, curling, blistering, buckling, rotting and algae growth (which occurs most often in humid climates and appears as dark or greenish stains).

The HomeTeam Inspection Service offers these roof repair tips on what to check for on the outside:

5) Visually inspect the roof for cracked, torn, bald or missing shingles.
6) Scan the roof for loose material or wear around chimneys, vents, pipes or other penetrations.
7) Watch out for an excessive amount of shingle granules (they look like large grains of sand) in the gutters — this is a sign of advanced wear.
8) Check for signs of moisture, rot or mold. Note that wet spots may not be directly under your faulty shingle; water can travel down to its lowest spot before it drips. Mold, fungi and bacteria can grow quickly — within 24 to 48 hours of a water-related problem.
9) Examine the drainage, and make sure gutters and downspouts are securely attached. Also ensure all drains are open and allow water to exit, and all gutters and downspouts are free of debris.
10) Check that all bath, kitchen and dryer vents go entirely outside of your home, not just into the attic space.

What is the Roof Made Of?

Dean Bennett, president of Dean Bennett Design and Construction, Inc. in Castle Rock, Colorado, says determining when you need roof repair, or a new roof, also depends on roofing material as well as the part of the country in which you live. With that in mind, he offers tips on the following roofing materials:

CEDAR: A cedar roof in need of repair or replacement will split and fall apart in dry climates. In moist climates, it will get mossy. The lifespan of a cedar roof is about 20 years.
TILE: “Look for broken or cracked tiles,” Bennett says, “but don’t walk on the roof to do so or the tiles will break. Tile roofs can last up to 100 years, but individual tiles can break. They can be replaced, but only by a specialist.”
CONCRETE: should never need replacing.
If the roof was made with wooden shakes, watch out for damage from termites, carpenter ants and/or other wood-boring pests.

Check the Simplest Solution First

If the roof has water damage, don’t jump the gun and assume the need to start all over with a brand new roof. The California Contractors State License Board says that if a roof was properly installed and is less than than 15 to 20 years old, roof repair can suffice rather than replacement.

Ace Roofing & Sons, a locally owned and operated Georgia company, specializes in roof repair and re-installation of residential and commercial roofs.

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