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How do you know if you need a new roof?

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Do I need a new roof?

It’s one thing to need a front door replacement. It’s a whole other ball of wax to need a roof replacement. It is a big financial decision, and that’s why it can be easy to put off until the last minute.

However, putting it off until the last minute is not recommended.

Evidence that you need to repair or replace your roof is sometimes subtle and happens over time.  

One thing is certain: if you wait until your ceiling starts to turn weird colors or there’s water dripping on your head, you’ve waited too long. By the time roof damage shows itself inside your home, you’ve missed your chance to simply replace your roof. Now you’re going to need to fix the rest of your house, too.

That’s why it’s important to practice regular roof maintenance and look for signs of damage. If you’re seeing any of these five signs, it’s quite possible that you need a roof replacement.

How do you know if you need a new roof? 5 things to consider

Roofing warranty

1. Shingle Condition

Missing or damaged shingles can allow water to penetrate into the sheathing layers and lead to rot.

Look for uneven shingle lines, curled, loose or torn shingles.  If you see your roof sagging, it’s a pretty clear sign the under layer is rotting.

2. Gutters

Gutters play a significant role in keeping water off of your roof and preventing moisture damage to your home.  Your roof sheds rainwater to the gutters, so looking closely at your gutters can give you some insight into the health of your roof.

When cleaning the gutters (at least twice per year) look for asphalt granules or pieces of roofing material. This could indicate a deteriorating roof.

Read more: What do you really know about your home’s gutter system?

3. Flashing

Flashing, with the help of underlayment, keeps water from getting underneath your shingles.

Keep your eyes peeled for rusted or missing flashing around chimneys, vent pipes and at the valley between roof parts. This could allow water to seep into your attic over time.

Read more: What is the purpose of flashing on a roof?

4. Double Layering

The cheapest (and worst) way to replace a roof is to place a second layer of roofing material over the first one. This is also known as a “nail over,” pictured below.

Double layering is not the way to replace your roof.

We run into these types of roofing jobs often. Placing a second layer of shingles over an already rotten sheathing will shorten the life of a roof and cost you much more when you need a replacement, since two layers of roofing material need to be removed.

Not only does this add a significant amount of weight to your home – it’s almost like having two roofs – but the additional shingle layers will also absorb more heat and can cause premature deterioration.  

In the end, you cannot know the full extent of roof damage unless you remove all roof material down to the sheathing.

5. Age

If your roof was installed properly with good materials, you can expect 12-15 years of life (unless it is subjected to storm damage).  If a roof is nearing the end of its useful life, it’s probably time to consider replacement.

Remember, roof damage only gets worse with time.

Aside from the subtle to not-so-subtle signs of damage we talked about, there’s one more reason you might consider getting a roof replacement. That reason? You’re selling your home.

tips for selling your home

A compromised roof can complicate a housing sale very quickly.  Even in a brisk “seller’s market,” a damaged roof makes the home less desirable to buyers.

Read more: A new roof can be one of the best tips for selling your home – Part 1

Your first thought may be to sell the house as is and let the buyer worry about it.  Most of the time, this strategy will cost you a lot of money.

  • Buyers want more than the price of the roof for a discount.
  • Lenders don’t want to extend a mortgage on a house with roof damage.
  • Insurance companies inspect homes and deny coverage to houses with bad roofs.

Bottom line: Unless you’re willing to take significantly less than your home is worth AND limit buyers to those who offer cash, a good roof is required to sell your home.

Need a roof replacement?

When you need a new roof, contact Long Roofing at 844-602-LONG or visit us online to request an estimate. Make sure you ask us about our 50-year, no-nonsense roofing warranty, too. We build trust and peace of mind into every Long Roof.

This post was originally published on Aug. 19, 2014 and was updated on March 6, 2018 for content  and clarity.

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