For such an important part of your home, it's something that most people really don't think about until they have to.
And deciding whether or not it's time to replace your roof is a choice you want to make before the need becomes urgent.
With many exterior home improvement projects, it can be fairly easy to figure out when it's time to replace or repair a given element; you can see splinters and missing boards on your wood deck, a driveway that's cracked or crumbling, or old windows that are drafty, icing over, or even deteriorating.
It's important to take a few steps to make sure that your roof is doing its primary job; protecting your home. Experts recommend a roof inspection be performed no less than twice a year to help identify any issues.
A roof that needs replacing can lead to serious damage both outside and inside of your home, and can have a negative effect on your home's energy efficiency and overall comfort. So is it time to replace your roof? Here are some ways that can help you make a determination.
Experts recommend a roof inspection be performed no less than twice a year to help identify any issues.
1. The age of the roof. The rule of thumb is two decades: After 20 years, most old roofs will be in need of replacement. Another factor is whether or not the old roof was removed and you only have one layer of shingles, and if it is properly ventilated. If the roof was installed over another layer (or several layers), and it's older than 20 years, it's likely time to consider going from replacing shingles to replacing the roof itself.
2. The eyeball test. Standing in your yard or from the street, see if there is significant roofing wear or disrepair, streaking on the shingles, or clearly worn areas. Pay special attention to the roof valleys - this is where snow and rain flow into the gutters, and is one of the most important areas of your roof.
From a closer vantage point, check if shingles are curled, broken, or stained, or if shingle granules start appearing in your yard or gutters. All are signs it may be time to replace your roof.
3. The paint condition - inside and out. What shape is the exterior paint in, specifically around the roofline? Inside your home, inspect the walls, in particular where the ceiling
and walls meet. Both inside and outside of your home, if you see peeling, flaking, or discolored areas of paint, your roof likely needs immediate attention.
4. The attic. While you're inspecting for potential issues inside your home, head up to the attic - in particular after a significant rainstorm or as snow melts. Check for any signs of moisture. And when the sun is out, look for any "light leaks" from the inside of your attic (a dark attic should be just that - dark. Also take a look to see if the roof's support beams are bowed, sagging, or showing signs of moisture damage. All can be signs that it's time to consider replacing your roof.
5. The energy bill. A rising energy bill may very well be linked to your roof; it's a crucial part of preventing heat and cold from coming into your home, and heat and cold escaping from your home. It is literally your home's all-season "blanket" - and the insulation it provides directly affects your home's energy efficiency. If your bills are up, and/or you've noticed you're less comfortable in your home, take a few moments to inspect the roof.
Learn more about roofing options, and how a new roof can help keep you and your home protected from the elements.