Posted on: 24 July 2015
Your roof should last you about one or two decades, and you can help extend the life of your roof by making minor repairs as necessary. If your roof is old and damaged, you can often make a determination yourself as to whether it can be repaired or if you have to spring for a more costly replacement, but in either case, expedience is key--a damaged roof left untreated can quickly start to cause damage to the rest of your house.
How Much Of The Roof Is Affected?
If most of your roof is still holding up well, this is a good sign. A few broken, flapping or missing shingles can be replaced without too much trouble, providing they have been caught early.
If you notice that you're missing a large number of shingles, or that many of your shingles are flapping up on windy days, your roof may be reaching the end of its life. It's still possible to replace all the damaged and unfastened shingles, but if it's affecting more than a quarter of your roof's total area, or if you're seeing damage on entire rows, it's probably better to tear up all the old shingles and install new ones. Large sections of missing or broken shingles can quickly result in damage to the roof below, whereas small sections aren't as prone to allowing widespread damage.
How Long Has The Damage Gone Untreated?
Even with an older roof, if you catch shingle problems quickly enough, you can have it safely repaired before the flashing and underlayment are damaged by the weather. If the weather has been dry and sunny recently, that's also a good sign, as it means the roof under the shingles has no water damage.
If you suspect that the problem has been going on for at least a few weeks, you should investigate the possibility of weather damage. There is still a chance that your roof is safe, but if you haven't been able to replace your missing shingles as quickly as you wanted, especially if the weather has been bad, you should proceed with caution and call a professional to investigate.
Is There Any Structural Damage Or Rot?
To judge the situation of your roof, you should look at it both from the outside and inside. To start, look at your roof from across the street or the end of your driveway to see if there is any visible warping, sagging, buckling or leaning. Focus on the ridge and hips; if you see any warping in your eaves, for example, they can be replaced separately, so look at your roof structure from the top down.
Once you've taken a look at your roof from all sides, go up to your attic and look at the underside of the roof. Once again, start from the top and work your way down. Look for signs of wood rot or any buckling or sagging in the wood. Also look for any damp areas or signs of mold. If you have damp areas without mold, it's likely it hasn't been wet for long, so you can look into repairs before it gets any worse.
If you have any questions, call a roofer to get a professional opinion.Share