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How to Tell if You Need a New Roof

If you think its time for a new roof – it probably is. Roofs last about 12 to 20 years, but environmental factors play a part in a roof’s longevity. Lots of sun, hail, and wind take their toll. If you are the second or third owner of a home, you may not be quite sure how long the roof has been on it and if it was installed properly. Remember, the time to get a new roof is before something drastic happens.

The sales associates at Marling Lumber and HomeWorks can walk you through the maze of color and style options – and even talk to you about a metal roof if that’s what you are interested in. You can take home roofing samples and think about the colors you want – or get a list of addresses of homes that are roofed in colors and shingles that interest you. 

First things first – let's learn how to tell if you need a new roof?

Step Back and Take a Look

Are the shingle edges curled up or cupped? Are they cracked? Is cracking or cupping especially noticeable in the valleys on the roof? This is an indication the shingles are starting to fail and failure in the valley areas is a sure sign you are going to have leaking. The shingles in the valley areas guide the water flow down to the gutters. You want water in the gutters, not in the attic!

Do the shingles lift up in certain areas when the wind blows? Are there shingles missing? Is the gutter filled with granules from the shingles? Are there streaks of dirt and algae on the roof? These can be cleaned off but scrubbing them means you will be taking some of the granules from the shingles off, too and compromising the integrity of the roof.

Is there moss growing on the roof? Some people think moss on the roof adds character and charm. It also adds a layer of vegetation that holds moisture on the roof and over time with freezing and thawing will crack and split the shingles.

What’s Going on in the Neighborhood?

If you live in a subdivision or residential area where all the homes were built about the same time, are the neighbors starting to replace their roofs? Then replacing yours isn’t a matter of keeping up with the Jones’ but more like making sure you don’t have a leaky roof.

If you had a wind or hail storm and a number of houses experienced damage, you need to have your roof inspected to see if it needs to be replaced. The weather event may have just damaged spots, and then you have the decision to make about whether or not to fix the spots or replace the whole roof. Two things to remember, its harder than you think to mix and mingle new and old shingles together and get a look that’s acceptable.

And, the general rule of thumb is if more than 35% of the roof is damaged – get a new one. If you have only one layer of shingles on the roof, building codes allow you to put a second over it. That will cut your costs somewhat. But a tear off means you will be able to see the entire roof deck and make sure there is not structural damage to the house. A tear off is messy and you’re going to need to protect your landscaping.

OK, I Need a New Roof

If you are putting on a new roof, get the best that you can afford because it pays off in the long run. Check the manufacturer’s warranties and educate yourself on the colors and styles. Drive around and look at the roofs in the neighborhood, sometimes a color you weren’t thinking about may look really attractive.

Look at the manufacturers websites – some of the big shingle manufacturers include:

Do put in your zip code if it asks you to – some of the shingle colors are rated for certain areas of the country. If you think you need a new roof, drop by a Marling location and start checking out your options.

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