Having a working roof over your head is something we’ve always taken for granted but then it stops working, starts withering away and then it’s time to panic. When we started seeing water traces on our walls and ceilings or maybe finding a puddle of rainwater in a corner, we know that there’s something wrong up and above. Before you panic and start to scramble for whatever roof you can get your hands on, first you must slow down and make sure that the roof is really beyond repair. Here are a few things that will help you to decide between repair and replacement:
Understand the Lifespan of Your Roof
There’s a lifespan for everything, and your home’s roof is no exception. While you may have done all you can to keep the roof in its best shape, knowing when to let it go will save you from investing in unnecessary repairs that are neither effective nor feasible.
Generally, homeowners with an asphalt shingle roof can expect a replacement after 20 to 25 years of service. However, those with a metal roof can potentially enjoy it up to 100 years due to its vast durability and longevity.
Tell-Tale Signs for Replacement
While knowing the age of your roof may help some homeowners to solve the big problem, it’s always safe to do more probing especially when your roof is only a decade old. The best way to determine the condition of your roof is to do a quick surface inspection. Depending on your comfort level with height, you can inspect the roof from the ground up or get a ladder and see it upfront.
1) Curling Shingles
As shingles age, their corners begin to curl either downward or upward, creating gaps for moisture penetration. However, if the roof only has a few curling shingles, homeowners can forestall further curling by gluing down the curled section with a caulking gun and a dab of roofing sealant.
2) Buckling Shingles
According to Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, “Buckling is the result of asphalt shingles not laying flat due to the wrinkling of the roofing underlayment or the movement of the wood deck.” Because the shingles are no longer tightly settled next to each other, rainwater or melted snow may find their way into your home and wreak costly havoc. As with curling shingles, homeowners have the option to replace the affected shingles if there’s only a handful of them.
3) Missing Shingles
A roof with curling, buckling, and missing shingles is a roof that’s ready to go into retirement. Having missing shingles means that the shingles have been damaged to a level that they could no longer be securely attached to the roof. So it’s better to replace the roof at your earliest convenience to avoid further damages.
All in all, the severity of your shingle condition will ultimately affect your decision to forgo with either replacement or repair. As Good House Keeping points out, there’s a fine balance between repairing and replacing your roof. “You can keep patching until a bigger issue presents itself, but if a roof starts to look like a checkerboard, people often opt to replace the whole thing.”
Check the Roof Valley
Finally, if you can’t detect any visible signs of wear or tear in the roof, you should take a look at your roof’s valley — the place where two sides of the roof meet again. According to Ask The Builder.com, 95% of the leak can be eliminated by fixing the roof flashings. Homeowners should contact their roofing contractor and have them inspect the roof valley to see if it is the true culprit behind the distressing leakage.