Do you need a new roof this summer? Ask yourself these 7 questions

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In the Northeast, the summer is roofing season. Without buildups of ice or harsh winter storms, roofers are free to do the majority of the business in the hottest months. Although you don’t have to get onto that hot roof under the August sun like roofers do, you can still reevaluate your roof and decide if it’s time for any repairs or replacement this summer. 

Here are a few questions that you can ask yourself to help you decide whether you need roof repairs or replacement. If you suspect that you may be in need of help or a second set of eyes, contact a roofing and exterior design expert who can walk you through the process. 

1. Are your shingles bald, curling, cracked or missing? 
Missing shingles are a telltale sign of a roof in need of repairs. However, it doesn’t always mean that you need to have your roof replaced. If a shingle or two are gone because of a particularly windy storm, then you may only need these shingles replaced to protect your home. However, missing shingles may also be a sign of more serious damage. Contact your exterior design expert for help figuring out which applies to your roof. 

Shingles that are balding, cracking or curling are likely past their prime. This can signal the damage that the whole roof is experiencing and tell you that they need to be replaced. Without these shingles in perfect condition, they won’t function properly, allowing water to get into your home and wreak havoc. 

If you don’t know the age of your roof, you can use other homes made at the same time as a reference point. For example, if your neighbor gets a new roof, you might want one too. 

Damaged shingles are an easy way to tell if a roof needs repairs.

2. How old is your roof? 
The age of your roof is a great way to tell if you need repairs. The type of material that your roof is made with plays a major roll in its life expectancy. If your roof is more than 20 years old, make sure it is thoroughly inspected regularly to prevent leaks, mold and more serious (and expensive) collapses.

3. Are there stains and streaks?
Black or greenish streaks on your roof indicates the presence of mold or algae. These growths may cause some damage to your roof on their own, but they’re most serious because they’re indicative of moisture. If you see these streaks, call in the experts to help you get to the root of the problem. 

“Black or greenish streaks on your roof indicates the presence of mold or algae.”

4. Have you had gutter issues or ice dams?
Whether it’s built up ice in the winter or leaves in the fall, if your gutters can’t drain properly it puts your roof at serious risk. As the water builds up in the gutters it can be pushed under the shingles and start leaking into the house. Not only does this weaken your roof, but it can create water damage and grow mold.

If you remember having problems with ice or leaves this past winter or fall, now is a good time to check on these areas to see if these issues may have created problems that you didn’t notice at the time. Additionally, you can take efforts to reduce your likelihood to get ice dams and improve your gutters at the same time.

5. Is there flashing or valley damage? 
The flashing around your chimney or a pipe is designed to keep water from getting into the gap between the roof and the item. If there’s damage here, it’s an easy way for water to get into your home. Similarly, the valleys where water flows to drain off your roof handle the largest volume of rain and snow. If there’s damage in these high traffic areas, you’re bound to run into issues. 

Check your flashing along with the rest of your roof.

7. Are your walls or siding damaged?6. Is there a leak or light coming into your attic? 
Your roof inspection shouldn’t just be from the exterior. Take a look at your attic too. There may be a small leak that you didn’t spot and that’s poised to cause some damage to the rest of your home. Or you might be able to see some sunlight through your attic’s roof. These are both signs of a roof that needs work done. 

Peeling paint? Moldy siding? Discolored walls? These are all signs of leaks that may be coming from your roof. Contact an expert to figure out where the water is coming from. It might be a gutter or drainage issue as well. 

This summer take the time to ask yourself these tough questions and visually inspect your roof to see if its the right time for repairs or replacement. 

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