Replacing the roof on your home is probably not at the top of your to do list, but waiting too long can lead to a laundry list of other problems. After the string of winter storms we’ve had in New England this year, which is ok since we were spared the year before, now is the time to start thinking about replacing your roof.
So what are some signs that it might be time to replace your roof?
If you know how old your roof is, that’s a great start. In Massachusetts, roofs typically last around 25 years₁, depending on the type of roof and shingles that were used. Storm damage or improperly installed roofs can affect the lifespan so make sure you have your roof installed by a licensed contractor with experience in roofing.
If you don’t know how old your roof is there are other more obvious reasons that your roof needs replacing. Take a look at the ceiling inside your house for discolored “water” spots or rings. Sagging areas of the ceiling or chipping paint spots can also be signs of water damage. If you have access to your attic, you can also look for dark spots on the wood rafters. Be sure to check around skylights for leaks, which doesn’t necessarily mean your roof needs replacing, but this is a common area for water to find its way in.
Water can find a path into your house on one area of the roof, but show up inside the house somewhere else. It’s not always obvious where a leak is originating from. If you’re trying to find the source on your own, you might not be successful.
Another way to see the condition of your roof is to take a visual inspection of it. You don’t have to go up on the roof for this inspection; you can just look from the ground. Look for missing pieces, breaks, or curling shingles. If you can’t see the roof from the ground, or if you can’t see enough detail, it is best to have a professional come and take a look at it for you.
Asphalt shingles that are missing most of the granules on them, or finding a lot of granules in your gutters, is another sure sign that the shingles are worn down and may need replacing.
Strip the roof or add a layer?
Most town and state building codes only allow for up to two layers of shingles. If you are already having problems with your roof and you only have one layer of shingles, it’s probably a better idea to strip the old shingles off in order to inspect the roof surface. If the layer of shingles is cracked, buckled, missing pieces, or is in generally bad shape, stripping the roof is also recommended.
1 – http://www.ehow.com/info_12011886_average-life-asphalt-shingle-roof.html