Having a roof overhead sounds like a great way to keep you and your family protected, but continued safety comes at a cost. Depending on the materials used to construct your roof, the average lifespan is anywhere from a brief ten years for rubber toppings to long-lasting concrete at 50 years. More commonly used are asphalt shingles, which can run 15 to 30 years.
Whatever kind of roof you have, the longevity depends on a few factors, including weather conditions, attic ventilation, roof color, and routine maintenance. But remember that even a new roof may need repair or complete replacement should fate work against you. Wondering if your roof’s got your covered? Hiring a roofing professional to inspect your property is the safest bet, but there are some warning signs that can tip you off as to whether or not a new roof is ahead.
1. Granules in the Gutter
To increase durability and reduce UV ray damage, manufactures began adding granules to asphalt fiberglass shingles. Normal exposure to the elements may cause the shingles to lose their granules over time; however, a storm, for example, can cause a greater loss than normal wear and tear. Small amounts of granules in your gutters or coming from your downspouts may be no big deal, but larger quantities may mean a repair or complete roof replacement is needed.
2. Keeping Up with the Jones’
You don’t need to buy a new car every time your neighbor pulls up in a shiny new ride. But if you live in a development where your homes were built around the same time and your neighbors are replacing their roofs, it might be a good indicator that your time is coming.
3. Visible to the Eye
Without even pulling out the giant ladder, what you see of your roof from street level can let you know if work is needed. Bald spots from missing granules, shingles with curled edges or cracking, missing shingles, deep stains, and the roof simply looking old and dated are good indicators that bigger problems may need to be addressed.
4. Moss Can Equal Moisture
While moss tends to grow on the exterior of homes in areas with less direct sunlight, the green fuzzy grime can be more than a cosmetic concern. Without the sun to dry out the area, moisture can get trapped, which overtime can reduce the life of your roof more rapidly than can happen under average conditions.
5. Water Damage
One big benefit of a roof is it keeping water out of your home. If you notice damp or soft spots on your ceiling or mold or mildew in attic spaces, it could be a sign that water is leaking in. Even the smallest of spots–think the size of a nail hole–can lead to big damage to your roof and potentially your home if not mended.
6. Saggy Spots
If you roof appears to be sinking in some areas, you may have a moisture problem already underway. Other sagging causes can be structural in nature, where the joists no longer support the roof or the roof is holding too much weight thanks to snow and ice settling up top. Because your roof may not be structurally sound, meaning it may not be able to support your weight, it’s best to contact a professional to assess the damage and repairs involved.
North Shore Homeworks and Red’s Roofing Servicing Chicago and Chicago’s North Shore
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