Roof replacement can be expensive. It is, without a doubt, a major decision. Sometimes it is best to remain proactive and replace before problems occur. However, it can become an emergency if “Mother Nature” interferes, and even a newer roof might need replacement or repair.
Homeowners’ insurance should always be maintained for natural occurrences. Of course, there is no predicting of these events, but a roof needs to be inspected when nature brings “surprises” such as heavy snow, rain, hail, or even high winds.
Roofs are Crucial Elements in Homes
It protects homes from water damage, snow, rain, and even cutting winds. Some roofs can last up to 30 years or more, depending on the materials and workmanship. Cheap is not always best, with lesser materials lasting a shorter period.
Of course, workmanship always counts, and a poor installation can lead to many problems. No matter what state, a roofer must be licensed and certified. Licensing and certification can vary slightly depending on the area. In PA, though, the Department of Labor and Industry has specific guidelines.
While some roofers can shun the requirements and offer cheaper labor, chances are a homeowner is left with a nightmare either immediately or eventually. Licensed and certified roofers use care and caution to keep their licenses/certifications.
How to Tell When a Roof Needs Replacement?
There are telltale signs. Some are subtle, while others are obvious. A qualified roofer should regularly inspect a roof, especially in PA, with the heat and cold periods. Temperatures can fluctuate wildly in PA.
Walking the roof is an excellent first step.
This will show any “pitting” or holes in a roof. Pitting or holes will eventually allow water to seep into the top and underlayer of a roof. Any lifting of the upper layer of a roof at the edges is also a bad sign. Cracks, of course, should never be overlooked.
- Viewing a roof from ground level
A competent roofing company can see if there are any sagging gutters or loose drain pipes. This allows seepage back into a roof. Proper gutters and drain pipes are a necessary requirement for the health of a roof. If a roof looks uneven in any spots, a roofing contractor can generally spot this from the ground.
Any chimney malalignment, weak spots in the fascia, and flashing can sometimes be viewed from the ground if torn or lifted. It is best to replace a roof at the first sign of issues of any type, as roofs deteriorate quickly once problems arise.
- Inside viewing of attics and crawl spaces
Any moisture or leakage, brown spots, or even mold can indicate a bad roof, and a roofer will generally do an inside inspection. The worst scenario is when walls are wet inside a home, which indicates extensive seepage. This can cause ceiling collapse or even electrical problems.
A good roofer will also know that a ventilated attic can prevent issues from overheating. Attics and crawl spaces are inspected thoroughly.
Inspection of roof flashing
Roof flashing is the underlayer of every roof. It must be expertly installed under a roof and around all chimneys and edges. It must be airtight, absolutely waterproof, and fit the type of roof installed. Roof flashing is a waterproof metal that does lend waterproofing qualities under a roof.
According to Forbes Home, a Roof is Mechanical
Just like an HVAC system, it needs maintenance and constant monitoring. This should be done routinely, but especially after a weather issue, such as excessive heat or cold. Snowstorms and torrential rains can also impact a roof, as can hail. The older the roof, the less it stands up to “Mother Nature.”
Weather does play a big part in the life of a roof as heat makes roofs contract while cold makes them brittle. Unbeknownst to many residential property owners, roofs heat up and cool down daily. The warmth from an attic can heat up an attic during the day, as can the sun. Conversely, at night, the roof cools down.
This causes ice dams which can impact sidewalks and be dangerous but also impacts the roofing. Ice dams can weigh hundreds of pounds and affect the integrity of roof eaves.
Consultation with a Qualified Roofer
Before replacement, a homeowner must take into consideration many factors. The budget they have in mind, the roof’s state, and the roof’s age. Some roofers can suggest a temporary fix by patching holes, cracks, and gaps.
Roofing materials can make all the difference in price and how well a roof holds up over the years. There are many choices, from asphalt to metals, such as copper and zinc. Wood shakes, and shingles are also choices, as are concrete, slate, and tile. However, although more expensive, metal roofs last a long time on average.
A good roofer will be honest as all types of roofing can take different styles of application, different underlayers, and even different types of nails. Some roofers are better at one type than another, which is an important consideration. Asphalt roofing is one of the most popular choices.
Choosing a Roofer with Gutter Experience
No matter what type of roof is chosen, poorly installed gutters and drain pipes can ruin even a new roof with water being backed up. So it is important to choose a company that can furnish both roof installation and gutters and drain pipes with accuracy.
In addition, asphalt roofing is always a popular choice because of its prices and dependability. StormTech Roofers of West Chester, PA, serves Chester County in PA with the finest roof and gutter installation.