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How to Know if You Need a New Roof

Your roof is the most vulnerable part of your home, and it’s also the most important. With a faulty roof, you are exposed to the weather. So, take time to make sure you are checking in on your roof. 

The first thing you should do when considering the condition of your roof is to find out how old it is. Most experts would agree that a properly installed roof can last anywhere between twenty and thirty years. With that said, if your roof is nearing its twentieth year, it’s time to start doing some essential check-ups. 

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends that you inspect your roof at least two times a year, from the interior and the exterior during the spring and fall. Below is a list of vital checkpoints both inside and outside of your home. Read on to learn how to know if you need a new roof.

Interior check:

Places where the roof deck is sagging

A sagging roof is typically an indication of a structural issue. There could be a problem with the decking in the attic or, worse, with the supports in the foundation. If you see depression, call in an expert as soon as you can. To identify the severity of the droop, use your hand or a broom to prod at the sagging spot lightly. If the place feels soft, wet and easily indented with the broom, you know you have moisture weakening the structure of your roof. 

Dark spots and trails

If you see dark stains or streaks from the interior of your roof or running down your interior walls, then you’re roof is leaking and moisture is staining the inside of your home. Whether or not the leak is active is harder to tell. If your dark spot is wet to the touch, the leak is active. Similarly, if there is visible water dripping, your roof is leaking. If your spot is dried up or you can’t tell, keep an eye on it while it rains. If the spot gets darker and expands, it’s active! Vigorous leaks require the attention of professionals.  

Outside light showing through 

While in your attic, a telling sign of roof damage is light seeping in. This step is best done during the day when it’s sunny. If light can get in, so can rain, cold air, and snow. This may seem obvious, but the light can be very faint and often overlooked. Take your time checking the attic; it’s one of the most important steps. If you see any sunlight leakage, you should call your local roofer immediately. 

Exterior check:

Damaged Flashing

Check out the flashing on your roof. Flashing is the metal parts that are between asphalt shingles and features like chimneys, pipes vents and over penetrations. Make sure your flashing doesn’t have any dents, cracks or rust. This is particularly important because usually if your roof is leaking, the source is going to be found around the flashing. 

Damaged shingles

If the rocky granules from your shingles are accumulating in the gutter, your roof is at the beginning of the end. As the granules wear away, your roof will weaken. This weakness makes shingles curl back and even fall off. Your shingles should lay flat over one another, any sign of curling or cracking shingles means maintenance is needed. Shingles are the front line of defense for your roof, so you must maintain them to protect the roof from further, irreversible damage. 

Rotting and algae growth

Water is your roof’s number one enemy. Specifically, the roof decking, because it’s made from wood, it is incredibly susceptible to rotting and water damage. Water can puddle on from an overflowing gutter, torn flashing and concaves on your roof; that’s why it is crucial to keep your roof free from any debris. When water remains on the roof for extended periods, algae can form and begin to rot away your roof, making it more susceptible to leaks. Algae and rot tend to be a dark green color and it particularly easy to spot. 

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