Do I Need a New Roof?
The circumstances surrounding a new roof can be daunting and especially frightening for your bank account. However, the case may be that your roof does not need to be replaced, but that it needs to be cleaned! Just because your roof looks as though it is deteriorating does not necessarily mean that it in fact is. You may be able to conserve and extend the life of your roof at a fraction of the cost. Before you consider calling a roofing company for a quote ranging in the thousands of dollars, answer these questions to find out if you could save thousands and avoid shelling out money for a new roof by scheduling a roof cleaning. If you're wondering how to tell if you need a new roof, try aswering the following.
What is the age of your current roof?
When you get a roof, shingle manufacturers typically provide a 30-year product warranty on roofs with asphalt or fiberglass shingles. In fact for the past few decades, the most common roof warranty comes in the form a 30-50 year manufacturer's warranty. If your roof was installed more than 30 years ago (and you have not had a roof cleaning or inspection in the past 10 years), it is a good idea to consider getting a new roof. If your roof is less than 25 years old, chances are very likely that your roof is in good shape and should be for at least another 5 years. 5 years will buy you a lot of time to plan and save for a new roof, but looking into a roof cleaning could extend that time window and give you even more time to ease the burden of affording a new roof.
If your roof happens to be under 12 years old and you are having issues, you should contact your roofer or the manufacturer of your shingles to discuss potential product faults. In the past 12 years, there has been a significant increase in manufacturers giving lifetime product warranties. So if you think there is a problem with your relatively new roof, you may get a fix free of charge.
Is my roof damaged or just dirty?
If you've got water stains in your ceiling or buckets set up around your home collecting dripping water during rainstorms, it's definitely time to talk about getting a new roof. When you go outside and take a look at the appearance of your roof from the street, do you see black streaks running down your roof? Contrary to popular belief, that is not tar or asphalt melting and running out from the shingles. Roof shingles are engineered so that tar and asphalt do not come out of the shingles. Shingles are made to withstand the hottest of temperatures in the blazing sun. The black streaks are actually a bacteria known as gloeocapsa magma, which is a photosynthesizing bacteria that resembles algae and is commonly found on roofs. Though these black streaks of roof plant life may not indicate damage present in your roof currently, they can cause long term damage and shorten the life span of your roof. Other forms of damaging plant life include moss, lichen, and mold. All of this plant life that cause black streaks or green roof can be removed safely and preserve the life of your roof by contacting a local roof cleaning contractor. Not only does this basic roof maintenance increase the life of your roof, it leaves your roof looking brand new and greatly increasing your curb appeal.
Is there extensive granular loss?
Asphalt shingles are covered in granules that are pasted to the shingle to protect it from UV damage. Over time, asphalt shingles will lose granules due to weather, the seasons, or any other number of factors. These granules will collect in the bottom of your gutters and make for a rough mess to clean and even potentially combine with debris to clog your gutters. When you go to clean your gutters (if you clean your own), be sure to check for unusual amounts of black or brown granules and look at your roof while you're up there. Granular loss itself is not necessarily cause for a new roof. If too many granules are lost on a shingle, UV rays from the sun will cause the shingle to curl and crack. If you have cumulative granular loss on your shingles so severe that you can see the fiberglass mat underneath the shingles, it is highly recommended you consider a new roof. If you're unable to see through to any black mat on your roof, your granule loss should be fine. In fact if you hire a reputable roof cleaner, they should include a free roof inspection and gutter cleaning to evaluate the health of your granules and clear any of that pesky black stuff from your gutters for you!
Are there a lot of missing shingles?
If after a big storm you notice a couple missing shingles, there is no need to worry about getting a new roof. Just because a few shingles are missing from your roof is not cause to start the road toward replacing a roof. A strong storm can blow off brand new shingles. Shingles are repaired all of the time due to storm damage and does not break the bank in terms of repair costs. Missing shingles can cause roof leaks and if you notice one, you should immediately contact your insurance company and schedule a repair. If notice several leaks in your roof, then it is likely time to consider a new roof.
Alternative to a new roof
Asphalt shingles are rated on average to last 30 years. Despite the manufacturers 30 year recommendation, people are replacing their roofs too frequently when often all they need is a good cleaning and some minor repair work. We often hear erroneous recommendations to replace a roof every 8 to 12 years, even though the shingles are rated to last 30. It is possible to get the product life expectancy of your roof simply by having it cleaned every 5 years for a fraction of the cost of a new roof. Stay educated on how best to maintain the looks and value of your home.