It’s safe to say that the general populous doesn’t spend much time inspecting their roof. But, by taking the time to give your roof a look-over, you can save yourself unnecessary time, money and headaches. Living in a place like Syracuse, the seasons can be prominent and harsh. This means your home can suffer from unexpected damage. By catching any problems before they become too costly, you can allow yourself more options. According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, homeowners should inspect their roof once in the spring and once in the fall, at the very least.
Before climbing onto the roof, a trip to the attic (if you have one) will be beneficial. There are four things to look for:
1) Places where the roof deck is sagging
2) Signs of water damage or leaking
3) Dark spots and trails
4) Places where outside lighting is showing through the roof
By pinpointing any areas of damage, you can provide a thorough assessment of the current state of your roof.
One you are finished inspecting the attic, the exterior is next. Specifically, you should be looking for cracked/missing shingles, loose material around penetrations (chimneys, pipes, etc.), shingle granules in the gutters and evidence of moisture, rot or mold. Also be aware that while a small leak may seem like a miniscule problem in the grand scheme of things, mold, fungi and bacteria can grow within 24-48 hours after it starts.
Once you have determined that you do have a roof problem, the next step is to figure out if you would like to repair it or just start over. If you do decide to replace it, you have the choice of just adding on top of what is already there or ripping up the old roof to start with a clean slate.
Replacing shingles due to wind or weather damage is relatively simple and cheap. The challenge becomes finding the right shade. Calling your contractor to find closely matching shingles is our best bet if you plan on selling your house in the near future.
If the damage exceeds ‘replacing a few shingles,’ partial re-roofing may be your next option. If the damage is contained to one side of the roof, partial re-roofing can save you thousands of dollars.
However, there are things to keep in mind when contemplating partial re-roofing:
1) If an asphalt roof already has two or more layers, the layers will have to be removed before the re-roofing can happen.
2) It is more expensive. While the overall number for a completely new roof may be higher, partial re-roofing is more expensive on a ‘cost per square foot’ basis.
If partial re-roofing isn’t an option or seems to create more problems for your home than solutions, a completely new roof is probably your best option. Due to the difference in price per square foot for partial and complete re-roofing, it may be less expensive to re-roof the entire thing at once rather than one now and the other later. Also, living in an area such as Buffalo can also make it easier to decide. Snow, high winds, and storm damage can wreck your roof. Replacing a roof that hasn’t been touched in 15-20 years with a new roof comprised of heavy duty shingles will save you money and hassle in the long run.
Keep in mind: Whatever you decide to do with your roof, a new roof will hopefully last you for years to come and in the long term, you’ll save yourself money and worry.