“A good roof, depending on type of shingles and the craftsmanship, can last from twenty to forty years,” says Larry Gephardt Roofing Contractor. There are many factors that can determine when you actually need a roof replacement. Living in a very warm climate to a very cold one where ice damming can occur; or experiencing damage due to a tornado, hail or other weather event; even poor roof installation and/or using poor quality materials can affect when your roof will need to be replaced.
Good homeowners know the current condition of the roof on their house.
“It’s important for a homeowner to be aware of any problems with their roof before leaks, or pests, can harm their home,” says Gephardt, “Let’s face it; the roof is designed to protect the integrity of your home from the elements. As a result, its one of the things protecting your investment against the obvious things such as snow and ice, rain, heat, hail, high winds, and even severe weather including tornados. Any signs that your roof is not functioning properly should be looked into immediately.”
Be Aware! Symptoms of Roof Problems
If any of the following occur, Gephardt recommends that you have your roof inspected immediately. Chances are there are some issues with the integrity of your roof.
- High heating and cooling costs – If you have very high heating and cooling bills there may be issues with the integrity and/or insulation of the roof;
- Ice damming – This usually occurs as a the result of poor insulation;
- Staining on your interior walls – Those stains are most likely a result of a roof problem;
- Musty smells – Dampness and that damp smell is coming from somewhere and should not be left unattended;
- Carpenter ants – if any pests are in your home, the roof should always be checked;
- Previous unfixed hail damage – Damaged shingles will result in roofing problems;
- Damaged flashing—Damaged flashing on your roof allows the seepage of water into your home causing mold and mildew, stained ceilings and walls, rotting wood, electrical shorts and other very destructive outcomes;
- Damaged gutters and downspouts—The improper flow of water can contribute to wet basements, foundation damage and ice dams in winter.
- Dark, “dirty-looking” areas on your roof — This could be a result of environmental pollutants, vegetation, fungus or alga or a loss of granules due to the age of the shingles.
Why It’s Important To Pay Attention
“Our goal is always to help protect homes with a long term solution,” says Gephardt. “Since your roof is the first line of defense against the elements, and there are plenty of those in Wisconsin, being aware of your roofs condition is important for protecting your home and its value.”
Staying Aware: Symptoms of Roof Problems
Leakage in attic after wind-driven rain or after ice build-up
Possible cause: Leaky or inadequate shingle underlayment or deteriorated flashing
Possible cause: Inadequate shingle underlayment allows water from ice dams to leak into attic
Blistering and/or peeling of interior and/or exterior paint
Possible cause: Excessive temperature or high humidity due to poor attic ventilation
Stains on interior ceilings and walls or mold and mildew growth
Possible cause: Inadequate or faulty shingle underlayment allowing leakage or inadequate ventilation
Decay of roof shingles, sheathing, and/or siding
Possible cause: Poor attic ventilation
Other issues to be aware of:
- Excessive energy costs may be a result of insufficient attic ventilation causing heating/cooling system to run excessively. In warm weather, inadequate ventilation traps hot air in the attic, causing air conditioning systems to work harder, or leaves your home’s interior hotter and less comfortable. In both hot and cold weather, insufficient attic ventilation may cause moisture in the attic to become trapped and condense on the rafters. This condensed moisture can drip down onto the insulation and reduce its effectiveness. Excessive energy costs can result.