Is It Time For a New Roof?
The decision to repair or replace a roof can be tricky. With a better understanding of the benefits of a new roof versus a repaired roof, you can be confident in your choice to reroof or simply repair.
The first key to maintaining the integrity of your roof is to inspect your roof regularly. Early detection is very important for either replacement or repair decisions. A faulty roof will likely increase the damage, cost, and stress associated with the roofing project. We recommend you conduct a bi-annual roof check-up of your home in the spring and fall. You should begin your inspection on the inside of the home and move to the outside. The signs of problems from the outside will vary depending on the material used during construction. For example, wood roofs in need of repair or replacement will either split from dry weather or show mold, mildew, or moss if caused by moisture. A concrete ceiling should not show any signs of disrepair, so any visible cracking or issues found should be corrected immediately. If you see anything suspicious with your roof, you want to us to provide a professional inspection.
New Roof vs. Roofing Repairs
In determining whether you should re-roof or repair, you want to consider all of the factors that should influence the decision: cost, efficiency, cost, your needs, and cost. First, you do not want to assume that the cheapest solution to fixing your roof is going to be repair. Sometimes, roof replacement cost can be more economical in the long run. You are already paying a crew to set-up and work on your house so you might want to consider having them complete the entire roof. Ultimately, you will want to think about what kind of repairs would be required for your roof and then decide what you need at that moment.
Roof repairs can be a reasonable solution for a roof with isolated or minimal damage. If the damage to the roof is a few isolated missing shingles, then that is an easy repair, particularly if the replacement shingles match the current shingles. Mismatched shingles however are not only an eye sore…they can flag to others, especially a home inspector that you have an untrustworthy roof and it can hurt the value of your home. If the repairs are on a single side of the roof, then you could reasonably consider a repair as most contractors will offer an estimate per side of the roof. The costs associated with repairing versus replacing a roof will also be dependent on the material of the roof. For example, an asphalt roof may require several layers of asphalt be removed before any section of the roof may be repaired so a re-roof may be significantly more cost-effective than a repair. You really should consult with a roofing professional before determining a course of action appropriate for your roof.
Clues For Self-Inspection
A roof in need of repair or replacement will show multiple signs that you should never ignore.
The interior check should be a thorough inspection of the highest ceilings in your home, often times in a crawl or attic space. Take a flashlight and get as close to the ceiling as you can safely to look for the following cues:
- Roof deck is sagging: This is a sure sign that your roof is not doing its job. Roof deck sagging is a cue that your home has experienced long-term water damage and needs professional attention.
- Signs of water damage or leaking: Water damage can exist on the ceiling, along the walls, or in the insulation of your attic. You will want to do a visual and manual check. Any wetness felt or seen during your inspection requires a professional’s attention.
- Dark spots or discoloration: Dark (or sometimes white) staining on the inside of your attic can be a sign that your roof has experienced long-term leakage. You will want to consult a professional immediately as long term leaks in your roof can become quite costly. You will want to solve this problem quickly.
- Outside light showing through the roof. Check to see if light is coming in through the roof boards. If you can see any amount of light, then you can be certain that water will find a similar path into your home.
The exterior inspection of your home can be a bit more tricky. You should only complete as much of the inspection as you feel you can safely accomplish. Pay attention to everything at the top of your home including eaves, gutters, and shingles can all display signs of wear and aging. If you are unable to do a thorough inspection, then you may want to invest in having one of Diamond Hill Builders experts climb onto the house to examine the integrity of your roof. The following cues are signs that your roof needs attention:
- Crack, torn, bald, or missing shingles: The conditions of your shingles can be very telling as to the condition of your roof. Missing shingles can be a sign of harsh weather in which winds have pulled up several shingles or can be symptomatic of bigger issues.
- Loose material or wear around chimneys, pipes, vents, or other penetrations: This inspection can be both preventative and evaluative. Loose fittings can be the cause or the symptom of larger roofing issues.
- Shingle granules in the gutter: An excessive number of granules looking like dark sand in your gutter can be a sign that your roof has experienced advanced wear and is need of replacement.
- Signs of moisture, mold, or rot: These may include soft spots in the roof or discoloration under missing or damaged shingles. You want to be careful when doing this kind of inspection because the damage caused by missing or destroyed shingles may not be limited to the roof exposed to the elements. Water will likely follow path to lower points before doing the damage to the sub-roof.