How can I tell if my home needs a new roof?
For homeowners, a new roof is probably one of the largest home maintenance expenses you will experience. So, how do you know if you really need a new roof? There are several signs you can look for in determining whether or not that time has come.
The most obvious sign of roof failure is continuous and growing leaks. Less obvious, but just as incriminating, are changes in the texture or color of your shingles. If you have asphalt shingles, a sure sign of failure, is edges that are curling and becoming brittle. New shingles are pliable and bend to a degree. If you fold the edge of shingle and it snaps off in your hand, the shingle is most likely starting to fail. Likewise, if your roof is faded or appears faded, this may warrant further investigation.
Depending on the climate in which you live, your roof will experience varying "stresses" that affect its longevity.
Another sign of deteriorating shingles becomes apparent when cleaning out your gutters. If you find large amounts of asphalt particles and debris in your gutters or around the perimeter of your house your roof may be starting to fail.
With the rise of heating costs, everyone is taking measures to keep the heating bill as low as possible. Many people are making sure to properly insulate their homes, caulk their windows, and set the thermostat a little lower than normal. Did you know that a large amount of your home's heat goes right through the roof? If your roof is failing, you can be sure your heating costs will increase. Replacing your roof will help to insulate your home, thereby reducing your heating expenses in the winter.
Most shingled roofs have a life expectancy of 15-25 years depending on climate, shingle color, weight of the shingle, pitch of the roof, and even how well your attic is ventilated. Most roofing companies will provide you with a free roof evaluation along with an estimate for replacement. If you feel it is time to make the investment in a new roof, make sure you get at least three quotes from reputable contractors. Compare all quotes side by side as shingle types and warranties vary. And remember, the cheapest bid is not always the best when replacing something as important as your home's roof.
After your new roof is installed be sure to notify your homeowners insurance company. In some states and with some companies surcharges and discounts may apply depending on the age of your roof.
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