A roof is one of the most important structural components of your home. Without it, the walls and floor of your house would be exposed to heat, cold, rain and snow. Not to mention, you and your belongings would be out in the cold, so to speak.
Your roof provides important protection for building materials that make up your house. It prevents leaking, and a properly installed roof moves water and snow into gutters and off of the structure safely and efficiently. It also regulates the climate of your house, keeping the indoor temperature steady and reducing utility costs.
Getting a new roof when your old one is worn out will also prevent more costly structural problems down the line. But how do you know when it’s time to replace the roof?
Signs it’s time to replace the roof
A wood or asphalt shingle roof generally lasts 20 – 30 years. But a roof’s life expectancy fluctuates depending on where you live, whether your roof has one or two layers of shingles, and if it’s properly ventilated.
Roof damage from weather, storms and sun exposure can shorten a roof’s life expectancy. Shingles curling or cracking are also a sign of age or damage. If you find shingle granules in the gutter, or if your roof appears patchy or discolored, the shingles are breaking down. Moss and algae can be warning signs that your roof is retaining moisture, which will also wear down your shingles over time.
Moisture in the decking or insulation can cause the roof decking to weaken. Ice and water shields — rubber membranes used to prevent leaks at the eaves and valleys in the event of ice buildup — will keep your decking in good shape. If you go into your attic and see original shingles on the underside of your roof, you need new plywood decking.
Does a leak mean you need a new roof? Not necessarily; your roof might just require a repair. But given that a small leak can indicate larger problems, it’s worth getting it checked out. Leaks can be caused by improperly sealed roof valleys, cracked flashing or vent booting, or broken shingles.
Missing shingles are easy to see. You’ll notice bald spots on your roof, and you might find shingles in your gutters or on the ground. If shingles are damaged or missing in the valleys of your roof, your roof needs attention. Valleys allow snow and rain to flow into gutters. If the valley is damaged or weak, you’ll likely experience roof leaks in the future.
How to find the right contractor
Check their process
Before you hire a contractor, learn how they work. Can they give you an estimate of how long a roof replacement will take? Do you know what they’ll need — like access to your driveway or electrical outlets? Any experienced contractor can give you the play-by-play of roof replacement. You should feel confident that they will do a thorough job to the highest industry standards.
Ask for the name of a previous client or look at their website for testimonials. Find out if potential contractors are certified with any major roofing companies. TruGuard is an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Contractor, which means we went through a rigorous screening and training process. Owens Corning stands behind our ability to properly install their product while providing great customer service.
Ask for explanations
A good contractor won’t keep you in the dark. Ask why they are recommending a total roof replacement. Find out why a roof repair alone isn’t feasible, or if it is, how long a repair will last until you really do need a new roof.
Get a warranty
Is the roof warrantied? This is important! You should also consider the responsiveness of a potential contractor. If they don’t take a relationship with you seriously at the beginning of the process, they definitely won’t be responsive when you call to request a repair under warranty. Every TruGuard project comes with a manufacturer and workmanship warranty. And if at any point you experience trouble with a TruGuard project, we will take care of it immediately.
If you have questions about the condition your roof is in, give us a call. We’ll help you make the right decision about a new roof.
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