When it comes to home renovation projects such as roofing, most homeowners like to employ a “get it and forget it” strategy: pay the roofing contractor, put up with your home being a mess for a few days, and then you don’t have to worry about that old roof, leaky pipe, pesky flooring, or whatever the problem was for a good long time.
Unfortunately, when the time comes time to hire a contractor for large improvement projects like roof replacement, it’s important to stay on top of things.
Here’s how you can tell whether you need a new roof or just a simple repair
The Symptom: Moss or algae growing on the shingles.
The Treatment: It’s up to you! The presence of green lichens or algae growing on shingles is something to be expected as a roof ages and is exposed to regular environmental conditions such as rain. If you have the money to spend and really can’t stand the look of it, you can go ahead and replace the roof, but it’s not a necessity. Those little guys won’t cause any damage that’s not cosmetic.
The Symptom: You’re finding chunks, crumbs, or granules in your gutter.
The Treatment: Wait it out. These granules come from the shingles’ protective outer coat wearing away. The first time you notice these granules, it’s safe to assume their lifespan is about half over. Keep your eye out for other warning signs, but you don’t need to run out and try and find a roofing contractor the second you start noticing these granules. Just be aware that it may be time to start saving up for roofing repairs or replacement.
The Symptom: There’s a bare patch on the roof where some of the shingles are missing.
The Treatment: This could be an indication of the entire roof failing, or it could just be a result of wind damage located to one spot. Get up on your roof and check out the other shingles, then go into your attic and inspect the roof decking. This will tell you whether you can patch up the bald spot or if it’s a smarter move to replace the whole roof.
The Symptom: Shingles are either lifting up at the edges or buckling in the middle.
The Treatment: Unfortunately, this usually warrants a new roof. Your shingles are hanging on for dear life and have been exposed to one too many windy or sunny day. Again, take a look at the roof decking in your attic to see whether there is any moisture damage, rotting, or weakening, and you can start to plan budgeting for the roof replacement depending on how bad the internal damage is.
The Symptom: Only one patch of shingles is damaged, but your current shingles are laid over an older layer.
The Treatment: In this case, it’s usually financially smarter to peel up both layers and install a brand new roof, even if only a small layer is damaged. This is because most state laws prohibit having more than two layers of shingles on your roof, so the next time you need to replace your roof, you’ll inevitably have to scrape off both layers. Might as well think about getting that done now!