One of the most important components that protects your home is the roof and if you have been in your property, there will come a point when it needs replacing or even repairing.
You will no doubt want to search out a suitable roofing company who can give you their expert opinion and advise you of all of your available options. In the meantime, there are also some checks and ideas you can follow in order to get an idea whether you might be needing to repair or replace your roof.
Inspect twice a year
It normally works out to be far more cost effective if you inspect your roof on a regular basis and arrange to put right any minor fixes as you find them, rather than face a larger repair bill later on when the problem becomes worse.
Arrange to take a look inside your roof as well as outside at least twice a year, in the spring and before the winter season are good times to carry out your inspection.
Start on the inside and head to the attic with a flashlight.
Take a look around and see if you notice any areas where the roof deck is noticeably sagging in comparison to other areas.
Take the time to inspect for any signs of water damage or leaks and note any dark spots and trails that need attention.
Also look for any areas where the outside light is showing through the roof that are not where the property is being allowed to breathe.
Inspecting your roof on the outside
The first thing to say about inspecting your roof on the outside is that you should take great care in gaining access to the roof and make sure you don’t take any risks with using a ladder to gain access.
There is a fair amount you can see with a pair of binoculars from the ground, so be sensible and only climb where it is safe to get a better view or a closer look at a potential problem.
The first thing to do outside is to carry out a visual inspection to note any visible cracks or tears and also look for any bald or missing shingles. Visually scan the roof for any signs of loose material or wear around vulnerable areas such as your chimney, vent pipes or other areas where the roof has been penetrated to make way for extremities.
Check your gutters
It is always a good idea to keep your gutters clear so that the rain can run away efficiently and inspecting your guttering will also allow you to spot any signs of excessive amounts of shingle granules building up.
These granules resemble large grains of sand and if there is a buildup in your guttering, this is often a classic sign of advanced wear and tear and requires an inspection by your roofer to see how long you have got with your current roof covering.
Also look around for any signs of excess moisture and be aware that water will often travel down to its lowest point possible before it drips, so try to follow the trail upwards to see where the source of the problem is.
If your roof has obvious signs of water damage, the age of the roof can make a big difference as to whether you have to repair or replace.
As a general guide, a roof which is less than about 15 years old can often be repaired successfully, provided it was installed professionally in the first place.
The key to dealing with roof problems such as leaks is to be proactive and don’t delay any necessary repairs, as this will often mean you spend less in the long run.
Repair or replace?
Although there is a list of common problems when it comes to roofing, it is still often a case of treating each individual case on its own merits when it comes to deciding whether it would be better to repair or replace.
In the majority of cases where some major repairs are necessary, a new roof is often the best option but a repair is obviously going to be cheaper, in the short term at least.
Take professional advice from a roofer, as the materials your roof is made from is also an influential factor. Asphalt shingles are fairly easy to replace and it would be less expensive to re-roof than if you have metal roofing for example.
Inspect your roof regularly and when it comes to keeping a roof over your head, remember that it is almost always better to deal with any problems immediately.
Andrew Gardiner is an entrepreneurial business owner who graduated from Westminster College. Mr. Gardiner, has more than ten years experience in the building industry and specializes in roofing, re-roofing and repair of residential, commercial and industrial premises. Mr. Gardiner currently resides in Brisbane Australia.