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How to Check If You Need a New Roof

Your roof is probably the most important structure of our house but is often also the most neglected. Few homeowners check the integrity of their roofs, but inspecting yours regularly is the best way to prevent costly repairs down the line. Another reason you should prioritize the maintenance of your roof is that the condition can be an important factor in the pricing when you decide to sell your home.

It’s safest to recruit a professional roofing contractor to undertake an inspection. Try these tips to keep on top of things. It’s better to pick up a small problem before it causes severe damage to your walls or damp.

Check in spring and autumn for telltale signs of damage. Things to look out for include sagging, an indication that there’s been leaking or water damage, or signs of dark spots or water trails. Damp, in particular, can wreak havoc on your family’s health, so you want to get rid of it as soon as you can. High moisture conditions enable moulds to establish themselves in your roof or walls, and this can cause allergies or illness in your family. 

An easy way to check for obvious problems is to climb into your attic and check if there is any exterior light showing through the roof. Obviously this is something that must be done during daylight hours. Take all necessary safety precautions and use a headlamp, so your hands are kept free to ensure your stability. Use the beam from the light to check for signs of dampness in the attic space.

When you check the exterior of the roof, you want to look for issues such as damaged flashing, missing tiles, and any rotting or buckling. Algae growth may also indicate that there is a leak somewhere. Key areas to inspect are around chimneys, vents, skylights, or pipes. While you’re up there, check on the integrity of your gutters. Blocked gutters can lead to flooding if there is a torrential downpour. Make sure the downspouts are secure and free of debris too.

Another thing to be mindful of is asbestos. Older homes can often have roof tiles or sheeting that is made of asbestos. Of course any roofing materials constructed of asbestos require professional removal by a qualified roofing contractor who specializes in hazardous materials.

If you’ve picked up roof damage, don’t assume you need to replace the entire roof. If your roof was correctly installed within the past 20 years, it’s likely you’ll be able to repair the damaged areas and avoid investing in a brand new one. A licensed roofing contractor will be able to inspect the damage and advise you of your options.

If you do need a new roof, consider the factors that led to the damage of your roof. This will help you choose a more appropriate roofing material for your home that can tolerate the climate and weather challenges in the future.

If you live in an area where bush fires are frequent, explore roofing options that are fire resistant, for example. Wood and asphalt tiles are not good options. In this scenario, slate, tiles, and metal roofing will be a worthwhile and safe investment because they’ll help prevent fire damage. You’ll need to get expert advice on the material you use because although slate and tile are very attractive materials for roofs, certain homes won’t have frames that can support the weight of this type of roofing.

The takeaway message for homeowners is to check roofing regularly. Don’t wait until you discover water pouring through your roof when a storm hits. You can begin to protect your home by being more observant. If you discover issues, it doesn’t automatically mean you’ll need to replace the structure. In all likelihood, you’ll be able to do repairs rather than rebuild. Of course, if the condition is poor, and you’d like to upgrade to a roof that’s more energy efficient and attractive, these are factors that’ll help you make the decision to rebuild or simply repair. Either way knowing your roof is in the best condition possible will give you peace of mind.

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