Admitting you need to replace your roof is a big financial decision! That’s why it can be easy to put it off until the last minute. Here’s what the last minute looks like.
Replace your roof when you see any of these 3 signs:
Evidence that you need to repair or replace your roof is sometimes subtle and happens over time. One thing is certain: if you wait until your ceiling starts to turn weird colors or there’s water dripping on your head, you are have waited too long. By the time roof damage shows itself inside your home, you’ve missed your chance to simply replace your roof. Now you’re going to need to fix the rest of your house, too.
That’s why the first critical sign in our list is actually a collection of subtle evidence of roof damage.
1. Subtle roof damage
Look for these signs at least twice per year to identify problems before they becomes more expensive. Roof damage only gets worse with time!
- Shingle condition: Missing or damaged shingles can allow water to penetrate into the sheathing layers and lead to rot. Look for uneven shingle lines, curled, loose or torn shingles. If you see your roof sagging, it’s a pretty clear sign the under layer is rotting.
- Gutters: When cleaning the gutters (at least twice per year) look for asphalt granules or pieces of roofing material to indicate a deteriorating roof. Read more: What do you really know about your home’s gutter system?
- Flashing: Rusted or missing flashing around chimneys, vent pipes and at the valley between roof parts will allow water to seep into your attic over time. Read more: Why roof flashing is the unsung hero of your home
- The calendar. That’s right — if the roof was installed properly with good materials, you can expect 20-25 years of life unless you get storm damage. If a roof is nearing the end of its useful life, it is probably time to consider replacement.
2. Double Layering
The cheapest way to replace a roof is to place a second layer of roofing material over the first one. While you may save some cash by (temporarily) avoiding a roof replacement, there are many reasons to think twice before going this route.
First, you really don’t know the full extent of roof damage unless you remove all roof material down to the sheathing. Placing a second layer of shingles over an already rotten sheathing will shorten the life of your new roof and cost you much more in the long run. Besides, removing two layers of roofing material will drive up the cost when you decide to replace your roof in the future.
That’s not all. Consider:
“Apart from the problems that can go unnoticed during the actual shingle-over, there are long term effects to consider, as well,” note the roofers at The Roofing Dog in Champaign, Illinois. “For instance, instead of just one roof on your home, you now basically have two. That’s a lot of weight, putting added stress on the roof decking. Also, two layers of shingles are going to attract a lot more heat than just one layer, which can lead to the shingles prematurely deteriorating. What about all that dark algae growth and bacteria on the original layer of shingles? Now all of that is trapped under a second layer of shingles, again having the potential to shorten the lifespan of the top layer of shingles.”
Concludes The Roofing Dog: “If you haven’t noticed yet, we are not fans of shingle overs at all.”
Keep in mind that with the overlay you cannot install an ice barrier that must adhere to wood decking. Check with your insurance company about any restrictions on coverage, too.
3. You’re Selling Your Home
Selling your home is a sign you need to replace your roof? Oh, yes. A compromised roof can complicate a housing sale very quickly. Even in a brisk “seller’s market,” a damaged roof makes the home less desirable to buyers.
Your first thought may be to sell the house as is and let the buyer worry about it. Most of the time, the strategy will cost you a lot of money.
- Buyers want more than the price of the roof for a discount. .
- Lenders don’t want to extend a mortgage on a house with roof damage.
- Insurance companies inspect homes and deny coverage to houses with bad roofs
Bottom line: Unless you are willing to take significantly less than your home is worth AND limit buyers to those who offer cash, a good roof is required to sell your home.*
Need a roof replacement?
When you need a new roof in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Maryland, Charlotte, North Carolina or Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, contact Long Roofing at 1-866-328-1187. You can also visit us online to get a price, schedule a free, in-home consultation or find answers to any home roofing questions. Make sure you ask us about our 50-year, no-nonsense roofing warranty, too.
Long Fence & Home provides roofing, windows and doors in the Washington, D.C. metro area, continuing its proud, 70-year tradition of excellence.
This post was originally published on Aug. 19, 2014 and was updated on Feb. 13, 2017 for content and clarity.