Picture an umbrella – it can be used to protect us from sunlight, rain, snow and even wind. One day your umbrella is starting to bend, the edges are not saying on the frame, there are a few pinholes in the fabric, or the handle is coming loose. You see it is wearing and not protecting you as well anymore, so it is time to replace it right? Now, think about your homes umbrella – aka the roof. Yes, it is supposed to have a 20- or 30-year lifespan, but just like an umbrella the roof sees different scenarios that may cause it to age faster, just like our hand-held umbrella. But we don’t see our roof through those same eyes unless we see the dreaded stain on the interior ceiling of our home. So how do we check it and verify that it is operating properly and is doing its job?
Well, head on outside, and take a good look at your roof (from a safe level – please do not take any unnecessary risks to inspect your roof). Take some pictures and zoom in on areas. We have shared the list below to start the process to determine if you need to find a quality roofing company to come in for assistance, whether repair or replacement.
- Shingles – this is the first place to look. Are the shingles broken, stained, curling or severely faded?
- Are there any missing shingles? (Sometimes a storm can tear or remove a shingle and that is a simple repair not a full replacement.)
- Can you see any of the flashing (black or sometimes metal) around your roof penetrations bent or lifting up? Can you tell there are any gaps between the roof or the structure coming through the roof?
- Can you see exposed nails popping up anywhere?
- Is there sagging (or bowing) in any sections or areas of the roof? This could be a sign of a problem with the roof decking – whether a leak or something else. It is best to get it checked out by an expert.
- Are there lots of granules in the gutters or at the bottom of the downspouts? (If you just started to see these granules, do not panic you are probably halfway through the life of the shingle.)
- Is there moss covering the shingles? This is not a sign that a replacement is required, but do not pressure wash the roof as this will dislodge the granules so use a 1:1 bleach and water mixture to spray on the moss. – ONLY IF DONE SAFELY. Moss is not an indication of failure, but it can cause deterioration faster, especially if mechanical cleaning is performed at any time (anything that could remove the granules).
- Now step into your attic or pop your head into the attic space with a flashlight. First – look at the roof without a light on (during the day). Do you see any light coming through? If so, if daylight can penetrate, so can rain. Next shine your flashlight around and look for staining. Do you see any single spots or large spots? If it is just one or a small spot, a repair can be made. If more prevalent, then that is a sign the roof may need to be replaced.
If you answered yes to any of these questions – do not panic. Your roof is not necessarily in need of replacement. If you answered yes to 2 or more of these questions then take this information and contact your roofing company or a reputable roofer in your area to review your findings and depending on the findings provide an inspection to determine the extent of the service needed (repair or replacement). If you are in the Northern Virginia area, please contact us at Treetop Remodeling to discuss options. We are here for you!
The Treetop Remodeling Team