How to Tell if You Need a New Roof

New Roof

The last thing a homeowner wants to see is a wet attic — or water stains on the ceiling if there is no attic in the house. Signs of water incursion inevitably signal a roof problem, often a severe one.

Water signs offer a “gentle reminder” that you need to either call your local roofer or do a search among roofing contractors if you don’t already have an established relationship with one.

While you’re hunting for a residential roofing business near you, read our pointers about how to tell whether you need a new roof or just roof repair.

Signs You Might Need a New Roof

Besides seeing evidence of water on your home’s topmost ceiling, there are other signs that your roof could be in trouble. For these, you need to climb up on the roof to check. But if this doesn’t appeal to you, call your roofing pros.

Know the Age of Your Roof

If you have had a new roof installed since owning your house, you likely still have the paperwork from when the work was done. Check it for the date and any warranties. If it’s been 20 years or more, schedule an inspection.

Check the Shingles

Shingles are your roof’s top layer, and they protect your home from the elements. But shingles don’t last forever. At 25 years, you would be lucky if they are still holding up.

Check your shingles for wear such as curling edges, buckling, loosening, tears, cracks, or “bald spots” (areas with missing granules). If you can see what’s underneath, that is also a sign of failing shingles.

Check for Moisture and Rot

Signs of moisture on roofing materials include dark stains. Moisture can also show up as mold, moss or algae growth, pooled water, and corroded metal. Also, look for rotting wood — such as in the decking or framing.

There are at least as many signs of roof moisture inside the house. Examples are wet attic insulation, warped floorboards, and interior wall stains (often followed by mold).

Check the Flashing

Your roof must have some sheet metal wrapped around vents, skylights, and chimneys. It’s called “flashing,” and it seals the roof’s seams from rain, hail, ice, and other harsh weather conditions.

But flashing needs to be re-caulked at intervals to ensure that water doesn’t seep in through the joints. Your roofing contractors can help with this minor project.

Check the Valleys

A roof’s valley is where two sloped roof pieces meet at the bottom. Unfortunately, this is a troublesome area you need to keep a close eye on.

Water pools there, snow collects there, and ice forms there. Thermal expansion can occur in warm weather, damaging the seams. Something similar happens with ice dams in the winter.

Check the Edges

You can spot all sorts of damage at your roof’s edges. These areas are where you’ll find the drip edge, gutters, eaves, fascia, and soffits.

These parts are subject to clogging and back-ups due to everything from fallen leaves to bird or wasp nests. You should examine, clean, and perform small repairs to these areas as needed.

In fact, if you see damage in or on any part of your roof, you need roof repair at the very least. When the roofers arrive to do the repair, request a full inspection. Be sure to ask them if it’s time for a new roof.

Why Have a Professional Roof Inspection?

We recommend an annual roof inspection by professional roofers — better yet, a maintenance plan. You’ll still need to keep an eye on your roof, especially after major storms, but roofers will go into much greater depth.

We also recommend having your roof inspection done in the fall. It’s usually not too hot then, and there’s still time to do roof repairs, even a roof replacement before the cold winter arrives.

Roofers generally divide their roof inspection checklists into four broad areas:

  • A structural inspection
  • A material inspection
  • An interior inspection
  • A workmanship inspection

We’ll tell you right away if we think roof repair or a roof replacement is in order.

The Types of Roofing We Install

Living in the Northeast, summers are mild and winters cold and snowy. That’s why we offer the following residential roofing materials. They best meet most of our clients’ needs.

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the affordable “workhorse” members of the shingle family. They hold up well, sometimes lasting as long as 30 years.

These shingles come in a variety of textures and colors. So there’s sure to be a good match for your home.

Metal Shingles

Metal is a very durable and long-lasting shingle material, and metal shingles can match other roofing material types in their looks.

Many people resist installing metal shingles due to their price. But we think their longevity and durability make up for the initial cost.

EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)

EPDM is a durable synthetic rubber roofing membrane, often simply referred to as a “rubber roof.”

In Upstate New York, EPDM is popular with businesses and homeowners alike. This inexpensive roofing material is known for its resistance to both the hot sun and the harsh winters. Thus, it’s an ideal choice for flat or low-slope roofs.

Sheet Metal

Sheet metal roofing is easily recyclable once it’s seen better days — though you might be around long enough to outlast it.

This roofing material is meant for cold weather since it resists virtually all types of wind and precipitation. If you want a roof that mostly takes care of itself, this is it. Just don’t forget the annual maintenance!

Your New Roof

So, was it worth it? Your new roof, that is. Getting a whole new roof is a serious undertaking — one you’ll only do twice, maybe three times during your lifetime.

The process can be quite stressful financially and because of the need to spend days with people walking around up above you. You wonder, “what if one of them falls through or over the edge?”

There’s no need for concern, though, when you work with the best roofers like us. We’re Wolcott Roofing. A roofing company based in Warsaw, NY, we serve Western New York, the Greater Rochester area, and beyond.

We do roofing well. Contact us about your roof.

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