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Over Your Head: 6 Reasons to Hire a Roofing Contractor
by Tom Grant on Mar 14, 2014
The roof on your house is one of the most critical components that needs to be kept in top shape if you want to avoid potential damage to your property and some expensive repairs bills too.
The problem that many homeowners have is that they either don’t know that much about the roof structure and what problems to look out for and the other issue is gaining access, as it is not always safe or advisable to climb a ladder to carry out an inspection.
What to look for
To decide whether you need roof replacement advice, there are some things you can do yourself to evaluate the current condition of your roof and determine if you need to call in a roofing contractor for further assistance.
Your priority should be safety and many roofing contractors therefore suggest and advise that you carry out an inspection from ground level rather than climbing up a ladder. You can use a pair of binoculars to get a closer look and spot any potential damage or issues that might need addressing.
When you inspecting your roof, if you notice small piles of black or gray granules gathering in your gutters or collecting in your downspouts then this is a reliable indication that the roof’s shingles are in need of repair and most probably will need replacing altogether.
If you are able to safely gain access to the unfinished section of the attic in your home then you should arrange to take a look at the underside of your roof decking and try to identify if there are any visible signs of water staining, which is an indication that there is a leak somewhere in the roof that is allowing water in.
Arrange to check for any loose or missing shingles, especially after there has been a storm or heavy snow. The elements can cause the nails that fix your shingles to the roof deck to come out and this will result in loose or even missing shingles.
You might notice that some shingles are giving the impression that they are sitting above the flat surface of the rest of the roof and this may well be an indication of damage, particularly after an event like a hail storm.
It might also be a sign that you have inadequate attic ventilation, which means that if the attic temperature climbs above 120 degrees the shingles can blister, causing similar looking damage to how the shingles might look after hail.
Problems with the flashing
A common problem with many roofs is the potential for cracked or worn flashing around the protrusions on your roof such as the chimney or vent stack. Any point where the roof shingles either meet or abut protrusions has a far greater capacity to cause leaks through either failed flashing or caulking, which needs to be resolved urgently to prevent further water damage.
Repair or replace?
If your roof is showing definite signs of wear and tear and not withstanding the common problems already listed which can be repaired, it may prove more beneficial in the long run to consider a replacement roof, especially if roofing repairs are becoming more frequent.
If your roof is aged at least 20 years or more, it is worth considering your options and calling in a roofing contractor to assess the cost of replacing your roof and keeping your property in excellent condition and protected from the elements.
Mark Ward is a home inspector with a heart for homeowners. When not checking wires and crawling through attics, he often writes about practical ways for homeowners to take care of their homes, from plumbing to stair railings to insulation.
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