How to Know When Your Roof Needs to Be Replaced

A new roof protects the house from the elements and improves its curb appeal. It also adds value, and it’s something potential buyers want to see.

A droopy, sagging roof is a sign that trapped moisture has rotted boards underneath. This is a serious problem that can cause interior water damage.

Damaged Shingles

Whether it’s from a storm or simply aging, your roof is likely to experience some level of damage at one time or another. It may not be a huge deal, but the best course of action is to replace damaged shingles as soon as possible.

To do this, you’ll need a hammer and a flat pry bar to loosen the nails holding each individual shingle in place. Then, remove the nail and slide a fresh shingle in its place, being careful to line it up with the shingle courses above it and ensure that it’s securely fastened.

When you’re finished, camouflage the repair by sprinkling on a few of the granules that have washed away from the shingle. This will make the repaired area look natural and blend in with the rest of the roof.

Small Holes

A roof covering your head is a basic human need, so it’s important to fix any holes you see in your house’s ceiling. Even if you don’t have any water dripping through the hole, leaving it alone can lead to mold and mildew. These are health hazards, especially for anyone in your household with breathing problems or a compromised immune system. They can also attract pesky animals into the home, causing further damage.

To replace small holes, a person needs to climb onto the roof (always following roof safety guidelines such as having a friend spot you or climbing when it’s not rainy or snowy). Then, new plywood sheets need to be cut to size and nailed to the framing using liquid nails. Tar paper then goes over the plywood patch, and it’s covered with roofing cement to ensure long-term adhesion.

Ice Dams

Ice dams can lead to roof leaks, and they can damage shingles and gutters. Homeowners who have ice dams should consider hiring a professional to remove them before they cause more damage. Homeowners should also consider a roof replacement as soon as they notice ice dams.

Many homeowners attempt to remove ice dams themselves, but attempting to hammer or chip at them is bad for the roof and dangerous. A better option is to spray a de-icing product that will melt the ice but not damage the shingles or gutters. Homeowners should also avoid distributing salt around the house, as it can do more harm than good. Lastly, homeowners should check to see if their insurance covers damages caused by ice dams. This will help them determine the best way to pay for a new roof.

Black Streaks

The black splotches that show up on roofs are often misinterpreted as dirt or mold but they are actually dark stains caused by blue-green algae called gloeocapsa magma. These spores are airborne and they find their way to shaded asphalt shingles where they soak up sunlight for photosynthesis and munch on the limestone filler in shingles.

Over time this can damage the shingles and erode the UV protection granules. It can also corrode the flashings and gutters.

While you can try to clean the moss and black streaks with caustic chemicals like bleach they will eventually return. Streaks can make a newer roof look run down and they may reduce the value of your home. They can also promote rot and mold. They can even cause a home to have a musty smell and this will turn off many potential buyers.

Old Age

Over time, the layers that hold together shingles wear down and begin to come apart. This is a clear sign that your roof is getting old and needs to be replaced. If your shingles are beginning to curl, you should consider replacing them right away because this can make your roof vulnerable to leaks and other forms of damage. It’s also important to replace shingles that are missing granules. When granules are missing, your roof’s insulation will be affected and could lead to soaring energy bills at home.

An old roof can also allow pests like rodents and cockroaches to nest inside the attic. This can cause structural damage to your home, as well as unwanted moisture that leads to rot and mold. In addition, these pests can also spread diseases that may include leptospirosis and typhoid fever.