Keeping a roof over our heads is a basic human need, but many people spend sleepless nights worrying about whether that roof is leaking. How can a homeowner know for certain whether it’s time to replace their roof?
Roofing contractors and home inspectors recommend that you inspect your asphalt-shingled roof twice each year – spring and fall. This can be done at the same time that you clean out your gutters.
Start by grabbing a flashlight and visiting your attic. Look for sagging in the roof deck, signs of water penetration, especially around chimneys or in valleys, dark spots or trails and outside light showing. Also look for mould. If you see any of these telltale signs, your roof needs help.
Now, take a tour of the outside of your house. It’s safer to inspect your roof from the ground rather than using a ladder, unless you have appropriate safety equipment. Look for missing or broken shingles, or curling or cupping shingles. These will show up first on the south-facing side of your roof where the sun beats down. Missing or broken shingles may be storm damage that can be repaired rather than having to replace the entire roof. Check your eavestrough downspouts for any loose granules that have come off your shingles. Once these start to appear, it’s a sure sign that the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan, depending on your area’s weather conditions and the quality of the current shingles.
Look carefully at the flashing around your chimney, vents and any roof valleys. Rusting flashing and cracking sealants can let water penetrate and cause leaks inside your home. This is also a good time to inspect the seals around your windows and doors, as well.
If you see evidence of your roof’s age, it might be time to call a few roofing contractors for some estimates. You need to protect that roof over your head and get a good night’s sleep.