How Can I Tell if I Need a New Roof?

Posted by on Mar 18, 2013 in Expert Advice | 0 comments

The first question to ask is: how old is the roof? Under normal wear and tear situations a roof will usually last as long as its warranty period. “3 Tab” shingles will last 20 years, or so, while “Dimensional/Architectural” shingles will last 30 plus, years.

When a roof is leaking it does not necessarily mean that it should be replaced. Leaks commonly occur around flashings, vent pipes, heat stacks, chimneys, skylights, etc. and not the shingles themselves. Once the shingles fail (wear out) it is time to replace the roof. Until then repairs can usually be made to the area where the leak is occurring.

There are several factors that will prematurely shorten the life of a roof. The most common are:

Improper installation

Inadequate or insufficient ventilation

Hail damage

Wind damage

To check for shingle failure without getting on the roof look for the amount of granules that come off after a rain. Does the ground or the bottom of gutter downspouts have roof granules piling up? It is normal for some granules to come off of the shingles over the years, but if you see what seems to be an excessive amount you should have the roof inspected by a professional.

For the most part, hail damage cannot be seen from the ground. Climbing on the roof is necessary in order to get a close up, perpendicular view. Wind damage can be seen for the ground if the shingles have blown off, although wind may cause the shingles to become unsealed. In this case the roof will eventually leak although from the ground it will look normal. If you suspect hail or wind damage you should have a professional inspection.

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