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Is it Time for a New Roof?

Seven Key Signs to Look For

With the warmer months rolling in, it’s time to get to all those home improvement tasks that you’ve been waiting all winter to tackle.  And, if you’ve been thinking about gutter guard installation for your home improvement this year, one of the most important bits of prep work is to take a look at your roof.

It can be easy to overlook issues with your roof until the problem builds to epic proportions.  You don’t want to spring a leak before you know it’s time to beef up your roof protection. And, if you skip steps and install gutter leaf protection before you’re ready, you can be in for a costly and time intensive repair process.  So, here are the seven key indicators that you need a new roof:

1. Check Inside First

It might be tempting to go outside first when checking the integrity of your roof.  But, contrary to expectation, the first place you’ll see problems is in the interior.  So, pop on up to the attic with a flashlight and shine a light up under the eaves. Look for stains, streaks, moist spots, or discoloration.  You’ll also want to keep an eye out for beams of light shining through during the day. Any of these are signs of a leaky roof.

2. Check Your Paperwork

If you have your records in order, you should be able to look back and see how long it’s been since your roof was reshingled or replaced.  This’ll give you a good idea if you’re due for an upgrade. Pay attention to the material as well. For example, you can expect to get 20-25 years out of a typical asphalt shingle roof.  If you’re working with a new roof installed over existing shingles, then 20 years is about as much as you can hope for without maintenance.

3. Check the Shingles

Now it’s time to get out the ladder and hop up on the roof.  Remember that if you have already installed gutter guards, you’ll need to be careful with the ladder placement to avoid damaging them.  Once you’re up top, make sure the shingles are lying flat. Look out for buckling, damaged, or cracked shingles.  If you see any of these signs, then it’s time to replace the problem areas. Also check the downspouts and gutters for shingle granules, as this can indicate that your entire roof is due for replacement.

4. Inspect Your Flashing

Any chimneys, skylights, or vents incorporated in your roof create seams.  Flashing is the seal around these seams, and it’s one of the easiest problem areas to catch if you make frequent inspections.  Flashing helps to protect the seams from weather and rain damage. If your home is older, then your flashing may consist of tar or roofing cement.  Check for any cracks or breaks, and make sure to upgrade the flashing promptly if you find them. If you want a bit more durability, you can upgrade to metal flashing.  This will add years to your roof and reduce maintenance needs.

5. Is Your Roof Sagging?

If you find dips, droops, or sags in your roof, that’s a sure sign of water damage or other challenges to the integrity of your roof.  Make sure to check these areas for rotting boards or trapped moisture, especially at the lowest points.

6. Moss, Mold, or Mildew

Areas of your roof that are shades all year round are potential trouble spots for unhealthy growth.  Take a peek under overhanding trees or eaves. If you see any darkened areas, they could spell trouble for your roof because they collect excess moisture.  If you catch it early, you can head off any problems by cleaning the area with a stiff brush. If it’s been there for some time, make sure to address any underlying rot or stored moisture first.

7. Don’t Freak Out!

A small leak or a few damaged shingles doesn’t automatically mean that you have to spring for a new roof.  Especially if your roof is less than 15 or 20 years old, then repairs and minor maintenance might be the way to go.  But, if you’re not sure, you can always reach out to a licensed, experienced contractor for a professional opinion.

If you have any questions about roofing upgrades or gutter protection, feel free to contact us. At MKG, we stand ready to offer experienced roofing advice and solutions.

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