How to determine if you need a new roof

If you’re worried about some leaking into your home from your roof, and you’re wondering if you should replace it, hopefully these tips will help you determine if the time is right.  The National Roofers Contracting Association (NRCA) recommends inspecting your roof at least two times a year from both the inside and the outside.  This will be one of the first signs to let you know if a replacement is necessary.

First of all, certain types of roofs may not ever need to be replaced.  Find out what your roof is made out of.  Concrete is a roof that will never have to be replaced.  If you have a tile roof, individual tiles can crack or break and need to be replaced, but the entire roof should last at least 100 years.  Cedar roofs should last about 20 years and can get mossy in wet climates and split in dry ones.  Wooden shakes should be checked for any kind of termite damage or damage from other wood-eating bugs.

istock_000000837354xsmallAnd just because you see water leaking, don’t jump to the conclusion that the whole thing needs to be placed.  If a roof is less than 20 years old, there’s a good chance you can just fix the trouble spot instead of the whole top.  I had a client that had water leaking into her master bedroom closet after every heavy rainfall.  There was one bad spot on the roof, but the problem was fixed for only $100.  Call a contractor or roofing specialist to determine if it’s a problem that can be fixed without replacing the entire thing.

So, when you’re doing your regular bi-annual inspection, you’ll want to walk around the interior of your home first.  Check for any water damage (light brown or warped spots in the ceiling) or leaking, dark spots (could be mold from moisture), and outside light showing through your roof.  You’ll want to make sure to get into the attic, also, to do this inspection. 

On the outside, look for cracked, broken, or missing shingles.  One big sign of advanced wear is shingle granules (what looks to be like large grains of sand) in the gutters.  Check for water damage and mold .  While you’re at it, make sure all downspouts and gutters are clear and free of debris. 

Make sure to contact a licensed contractor for all repairs and replacements.  If you need more tips, be sure to check out this article. Visit me online for any more advice.