With winter nearly upon us, it is important that you ensure that your roof is up to the task of protecting your Ann Arbor home no matter what kind of weather the coming months bring. If you have an aging roof that is showing signs of wear, you may want to consider having it replaced before winter arrives in order to protect your home against potential water damage. Yet, how will you know when your roof is in need of replacement and that it’s time to call a roofing contractor in Ann Arbor Michigan?
Unless they notice a leak in their roof, most homeowners may not know when they should consider having their roof replaced. However, knowing how to spot a failing roof before it starts leaking can be critical in preventing costly structural damage to your home. To help get you started, here is a look at a few of the clearest signs that your roof is in need of replacing.
Consider Your Roof’s Age
One of the clearest indicators that it may be time to consider having your roof replaced in the near future is your roof’s age. While asphalt roof technology has come a long way, and these roofs are designed with strength and durability in mind, asphalt shingle roofs will still need to be replaced every 20-25 years. If your roof is over 20 years old, then you should start planning to have it replaced in the near future in order to avoid any problems.
Even if your roof appears fine from the ground, it is likely that it has begun to lose its structural integrity, and you could be putting your home at risk by trusting in your aging roof as another winter approaches. Of course, how long your roof actually lasts will depend on a variety of factors including how well your roof has been taken care of, whether it was installed properly, and if there is another layer of shingles under your current roof. If you are unsure of your roof’s age or the condition it is in, then you may want to consider having it professionally inspected before winter arrives.
Your Neighbors Are Getting New Roofs
In many cases, you may not know when exactly your roof was installed. If you are not the first owner of your home and it has had the same roof since you moved in, then your only reference for how old your roof is may be the amount of time that you have lived in your home. However, you may be able to get a good idea of how old your roof is, and whether or not it may be time to have it replaced, by paying attention to what your neighbors are doing.
If all of the homes in your neighborhood were built around the same time, then it is likely that their roofs will age in a similar fashion and will need to be replaced around the same time (assuming they used similar roofing materials). If you notice that everyone on your street has begun to have their roofs replaced, then it is likely that a roof replacement is in your near future as well.
How Does Your Roof Look?
If you are unsure whether or not your roof needs to be replaced, simply going outside and looking at your roof can give you a better idea of whether you may need to start planning to have your roof replaced. Has your roof begun to look old, worn out, or faded? If your roof looks like it is showing signs of aging, then it is likely that it needs to be replaced. Even if your roof is still structurally sound, if it looks outdated and unappealing to you, having it replaced can give your entire home a facelift. Of course, in order to get a better idea of the condition that your roof is in, you will need to go up onto your roof to take a close look for signs of damage. As you inspect your roof, here are a few visual signs that you can look out for indicating that your roof needs replacing.
- Shingles Are Curling, Buckling, or Cracking: One of the clearest signs that your roof is aging and will soon need to be replaced is if your shingles have begun to curl, buckle, or crack. In particular, you will want to look at the shingles on the slopes of your home that get the most direct sunlight, as this part of your roof will likely begin to show signs of damage first. While discovering a couple of curling or cracked shingles may not be an immediate cause for concern, if the problem seems widespread then it is likely that your shingles are past their life expectancy. Over time, your shingles will begin to become brittle and more prone to cracking or buckling. If problems with your roof’s shingles are widespread, then your roof has most likely failed and will need to be replaced.
- Many Shingles Are Missing: When inspecting your roof, you should also look to see if any shingles are missing. If there is a severe storm, it is common for asphalt shingles to become damaged or even be knocked off of your roof. If you notice that a few shingles have gone missing after a particularly powerful storm, then this may not be cause for concern as you can likely have these shingles replaced. However, if you have a large number of shingles missing on your roof and/or shingles seem to fall off of your roof at random (even when there hasn’t been a storm), then this is likely a sign that your roof is failing. While you can try replacing missing shingles, you may be fighting a losing battle if your roof sheds shingles frequently, and you will likely save time and money by having your roof replaced.
- Look for Granules in Your Gutters: You should also look for signs that your asphalt shingles have been shedding granules. If your roof’s shingles look bald, or you have started discovering shingle granules in your gutters and/or on the ground around your home, this is a clear indicator that your roof is aging. While it is normal for asphalt roofs to begin shedding granules about halfway through their lifespan, this granule loss should be minimal in an otherwise healthy roof. However, if granule loss has become severe enough that you are discovering large piles of granules in your gutters or around your home, then it is likely that your roof needs to be replaced. Do not ignore granule loss in an asphalt roof, as these granules play a vital role in protecting your shingles from the sun. without these granules, your roof will start to deteriorate even faster and will lose its structural integrity.
Inspecting your roof close up for signs of damage can be a great way to determine if your roof needs to be replaced. However, it is important that you wait for the right conditions before going onto your roof. Make sure that your roof is dry and that it has not rained recently in order to ensure the best traction. If you do not feel comfortable going on your roof, it may be best to have your roof professionally inspected.
Check The Underside of Your Roof
Another way to check your roof for signs of aging is to inspect the underside of your roof from inside your attic. Once you are inside of your attic, the first thing that you should do is turn off any lights in your attic (or the flashlight that you brought with you) and look to see if you can see sunlight streaming through cracks, holes, or separations in your roof boards. While this may not seem like a big deal, the fact is that if there are big enough openings in your roof for sunlight to get through, then water can get through as well, which can cause serious damage. You will then want to consider having your roof inspected by a roofing contractor, as it may be time to have your roof replaced.
Look for Moisture in Your Attic
While you are in your attic, you should also look for signs of moisture and water damage. Even if you do not see any gaps in your roof boards, you will still want to check to make sure that no moisture is entering your attic. If you find signs that there has been water in your attic, such as insulation in your attic that feels waterlogged, then your roof is no longer watertight and will likely need to be replaced. This is not a problem to take lightly as a leaking roof can cause costly structural damage to your home.
With winter approaching, it is important that you know what condition your roof is in so that you can prepare to have it repaired or replaced before heavy winter storms arrive. If you are unsure whether or not your aging roof needs to be replaced, contact us to schedule to have one of our expert contractors inspect your roof.