Sometimes, it’s obvious you need a new roof—like when water starts dripping from the ceiling and onto your kitchen table.
But in many situations, the question of roof repair vs. replacement is a difficult one. Even if you’re following best practices to inspect your roof twice a year, you may not know what to look out for.
Fortunately, we’ve put together a simple guide on everything you should know about when to replace a roof—so read on to learn how to diagnose yours.
Your Roofing Materials Are Old
Depending on the materials used, your roof may have reached its expiration date.
Roofs made of clay or metal can last from 50 to 100 years, but more popular asphalt roofs often need to be replaced every 15 to 20 years.
If you aren’t sure how old your roof is, you may want to get a new one when your neighbors start getting theirs: homes built around the same time often need roof replacement around the same time. Otherwise, it can help to reach out to an expert like the team of Ragsdale Roofing and Innovations LLC. A roofing contractor will be able to approximate the structure’s remaining lifespan, helping you decide on roof repair or replacement.
Your Roof Has Suffered Structural Damage
It’s every homeowner’s worst nightmare: roof damage from a natural disaster or falling tree. When severe damage like this happens, especially when the damage extends to over 30% of your roof, there’s no need to debate on roof repair and replacement. Buy a new roof to ensure structural stability and avoid the potential safety hazard of an unfinished roof.
Alternatively, you might be seeing a leaky attic, or you may notice a visible sag. While you don’t need to worry about imminent danger here, you should take care of these issues before they can impact the rest of your home’s structure.
Your Shingles Are Warping or Degraded
Often a sign of an older roof, warped or curling shingles are a bad sign. These changes happen as a result of weather damage, and they can be a precursor to roof leaks and other major issues.
Even if you don’t notice visible warping, be sure to check for shingle granules when you clean your gutters as well. These granules help keep the sun from baking your asphalt shingles, and when they wear away over time and with severe weather, it leaves your roof less protected.
You’re Worried About Cosmetic Issues
Structural issues are key signs that replacement is needed, but some homeowners worry just as much about cosmetic issues.
For example, while it’s not uncommon to replace a missing shingle during basic roof repair, you should question this patch job if your roof begins looking like a checkerboard. For the sake of visual consistency, you may want to simply replace the entire roof.
In addition, moss and algae growth—an easy fix, in some cases—can be overwhelming and unsightly. If you’re washing your roof frequently, a replacement can keep this growth at bay.
Know When to Replace a Roof
Whenever you do a roof inspection or gutter cleaning, it can help to keep these signs in mind to know when to replace a roof. Even your untrained eye can catch some of the biggest structural and cosmetic issues, and working with a roofing contractor can help catch anything you miss. Be sure to add regular roof inspections to your homeowner to-do list!
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