If you’re just moving into a new house or you don’t know the last time your roof was replaced, you may be wondering how you will know when to replace the roof before leaks happen. If leaks are already happening, it’s time for roofing repairs or a new roof ASAP because water is coming in and creating destructive wood rot in the framework of your home.
If your roof is less than 15 years old and has some spotty deterioration or wear but nothing serious, a roof repair will probably solve the problem until your roof reaches the end of its lifespan. Depending on where you live, your roofing needs will be different than others so it's important to contact a roofing specialist for their opinion on your particular roofing situation.
Roofing Repair or Replacement Checklists
If your home is like most, you have 3-tab asphalt shingles. A 3-tab asphalt shingle roof usually needs to be replaced after about 15-20 years because often a new roof is a better use of your money than constant repairs at this point. Here are some quick roof inspection checklists for exterior and interior roof inspection to be done twice per year:
|Checking the Roof Exterior||Repair||Replace|
|Check the fascia board around your roof with a set of binoculars. If the board looks rotten or is peeling, it's probably in your best interest to get the roof replaced instead of repaired because it's likely that the whole underlying roof is in that condition.|
|Loose or exposed nails on your roof can cause leakage, so if you find these be sure to fix the problem and check the area for signs of damage.|
|Check for any signs of moisture, rot, mold or algae on your roof. Some mold can be mistaken for soot or tree droppings. Algae or mold could be a result of moisture being trapped in your shingles.|
|Check the condition of your shingles, are they bald, cracked or shedding an excessive amount of granules? Loss of granules is not a problem unless the asphalt mat of the shingles has become exposed. Check your shingles to see if they bend easily. If they’re still flexible, they still have some life left. If they break, it’s time to replace them. Worn, buckled or cracked shingles should be replaced.|
|Check the flashing around chimneys, vents, skylights or wall/roof junctions. Many roof leaks are caused by flashing deterioration. If your flashing is causing leaks or is visibly damaged, call a roofing specialist to help you assess the situation and replace or repair your flashing.|
|Check your roof line to see if it is sagging. If you see that it sags in the middle, you may have structural damage.|
|Check the Roof Interior (In Your Attic)||Repair||Replace|
|Look around for places in your attic where the roof might be sagging in your attic. If you find sagging, check with a roofing specialist to find out how bad it is and what they recommend.|
|It may seem obvious, but look for places letting in any outside light. These spots will need repairs.|
|Check for any signs of water damage (ceiling spots, dark trails etc.) in your attic and find out where it's coming from. If you see signs of wood rot on the inside, note that as well and speak to a roofing specialist.|
|Have a termite inspection done. Extensive insect damage can be all the reason you need to replace your roof.|
General Roof Maintenance Tips
- Tree acids can break down most roofing materials, so any area on your roof where trees hang overhead will decay faster than the rest of the roof and should be inspected more often.
- Harsh weather will also test your roof, so after a big windstorm or snowstorm you should do a quick inspection to see if anything has been damaged.
- It’s a good idea to go into your attic twice per year to check and see if any leaking is occurring, because the leaks will be evident here before you see it in your living space.
Proactive maintenance is key to extending the life of your roof. Want to learn more about roof construction and how to maintain yours?