When is the last time you did a visual inspection of your roof? If it has been awhile, now is the time to do it. With autumn on our doorstep, the cooler temperatures and wild weather will be here before you know it. Since most roof problems pop up because of leaks from snow, rain, and ice, this time of year is really perfect to make sure your roof isn’t going to give you any unexpected, and expensive problems.
Go outside and take a good look at your roof. What do you see? Are the shingles starting to break off? Is the roof sagging or discolored? Are there dark spots on the outside or ceiling cracks and discoloration on the inside? These can all be signs of a deteriorating roof. But how long is a roof actually supposed to last, and is a new roof worth the investment? Here are some things to think about when it comes to roof replacement.
How old is your roof? Roofs generally last about 20 years, and the reason I say generally is because the life of the roof depends on how it was installed and if it has proper insulation and ventilation. If a roof is done correctly, it can often last longer than 20 years. If you don’t know, it’s worth finding out, especially if you recently purchased your house or are thinking about purchasing one.
Are your shingles curling, splitting or falling off? This could be due to age and general wear and tear. If this is happening, your roof will be much more susceptible to leaks, which can cause major problems both inside and out, especially as the snow begins to pile up.
Do you see moss or mold growing on your roof? This is a problem that could be fixed with a simple roof cleaning, or it could be a sign that you have rotting wood and damaging moisture trapped under the shingles. A simple inspection will tell you if it’s a quick cosmetic fix or something more complex that needs to be repaired.
Many remodelers will do a roof inspection for free, so if you’re unsure about how your roof is holding up, consult with an expert. I always tell the homeowners how long I think their roof will last based on the current condition and the external environment. The number one reason roofs don’t last is because contractors will often shingle over the old roof which can lead to poor ventilation and premature roof aging and rot. I see it all the time. If you’re dealing with a good roofer, they will explain all the options available to you, so don’t be afraid to ask questions to ensure you’re getting the answers and solutions that make sense for your home.
Bob O’Donnell is the owner of O’Donnell Bros. Inc., a Bristol-based home improvement company established in 1975. To contact Bob for your remodeling needs, call O’Donnell Bros. Inc. at (860) 589-5155 or visit www.odonnellbros.com. Advice is for guidance only.