We don’t normally think about our roof. It’s out of site out of mind, so to speak…. until we start having issues and problems start to show up and by then it could be too late.
But, how do we identify the start of a problem? And once we do, how do we know if we need just a small repair or we need a new roof, a complete roof replacement?
The first thing to do is to add roof inspection to your yearly TO DO LIST!!! It’s highly recommended to do a roof inspection twice a year especially if your roof is more than 20 years old. Spring and fall are the best time to do it. You don’t need to hire an expert to do the inspections, just follow these simple steps:
- Start from the inside and then outside- the first place to look at is your attic, check for stains, streaks and beams of light coming through because if they go through so does the water, snow, and cold.
Once you are up there, you might as well make sure that your home is not also home to unwanted wildlife, such as raccoons and squirrels. They may be cute, but they can be destructive by ripping off shingles.
If you notice any problems call an expert so they can assess the extent of the damage. It might be a small leak, easy to patch or maybe not. It is better and cheaper to take preventive or corrective actions now rather then later.
The next step is to take a look outside and ask yourself these questions:
- Does it look old and worn?
- Do I see dark streaks?
- Do I see moss growth?
- Do I see any cracked shingles?
- Are there shingles curling?
- Am I missing a shingle?
- Are my neighbors are getting new roofs?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, don’t panic! Some of these issues are only cosmetic but still… they can cause damage later on and if neglected they might damage your roof to such an extent that you will need a new roof, a complete roof replacement.
Let’s examine the possible issues a bit closer.
Dark streaks and Moss growth– Airborne algae cause dark streaks on roof decks while moss can grow on roof surfaces than don’t get much sunlight. Is good to prevent and take care of these two problems because overtime in freezing climates can cause damage to the tops of the shingles.
Cracked Shingles – How many? Just a few? are they all over the place? If you see just a few cracked shingles on one side you would be able to replace them. If you saw cracked asphalt shingles in different areas along the roof then you should start thinking about replacing the roof in the next couple of years.
Curling Shingles – When the shingles are curling is a sign of weathering and indicates that bigger problems might start to appear, this is one of the more serious signs so you have to start saving for a new roof!
Missing Shingles – If your roof is missing a shingle or two it can be a matter of replacing them, however, it is worth mentioning that sometimes is hard to match the color of your old one. But if you start replacing many shingles, you are better off changing them all!!
Neighbors getting new roofs – It is common than most of the houses in the same neighborhood are built around the same time and have the same weather conditions, which here in Calgary can be quite harsh, so if they are old and rusty there is a chance yours is too!
In any case, if you are not sure if you need a new roof or not make sure you call an expert to assess your roof. After all, replacing an old, decaying roof is cheaper than replacing a water damaged wall or get mold into our house.