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Monday, 27 May 2019
Agent Resource Center
This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

How to Tell Your Roof Needs Replacing

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 07 May 2019 09:05
How to Know Your Roof Needs to Be Replaced How to Know Your Roof Needs to Be Replaced

How Do I Know that My Roof Needs Replacing?

Lots of homeowners wonder how to know if they should be considering a roof replacement. Of course, this is with good reason. The roof of your home is an integral part of the dwelling, and expensive to replace when you need to do so. Roof replacement does cost a lot of money, and if you are a homeowner, the cost is probably at the back of your mind.

Many homeowners end up taking out a home equity loan to pay for it, but there are other options as well. Savvy homeowners put away funds each month so they will have an emergency fund available to tap when problems come up. Having enough funds available to replace your roof would certainly qualify.

When it comes to roof replacement, there are more and more options every day. Maybe you will decide not to go with the traditional asphalt shingles and go with something more hip like a metal roof or terracotta?

Whatever you decide, it's smart to inspect your roof regularly. When you start seeing daylight coming through into your attic, a roof repair may be too late. If you don't want to inspect your roof, you can always ask a local roofing contractor to help you out. It is a good idea to do so anyway.

A roofing contractor can help you to clean your roof and will spot any problems that may exist.

External Signs that You May Have a Roofing Problem

Lots of folks wonder what are the signs you need a new roof? There must be ways to tell if you're going to need a roof replacement - right? There are sure are! Red flags are moss and algae growing on or in between the shingles. This is a sign that the roof has not been looked after and you should budget for a new roof at some point in the future.

Also, check for granules in the gutters. When shingles start to break down, they will start to deposit granules. Quite often the gutters are where they end up. This is another red flag that you may have a roof problem.

Curled shingles are another issue you should look out for. When you are buying a new home, inspecting the roof is always a critical aspect. If you hire a professional home inspector, they will be able to tell you the condition of the roof.

In some areas of the country, roofs don't last as long as others due to harsh weather conditions.  This has caused some folks to move away from traditional asphalt shingles and invest in other kinds of roofing materials.

The Age of Roof Does Matter

A shingle or asphalt roof will have a limited life span. You are perhaps looking at about 20 years with a non-architectural grade shingle. Architectural shingles will last longer. The ratings on these shingles typically go from thirty to fifty years.

An architectural roofing shingle is also more visibly appealing. It has a layered look to it, while a non-architectural shingle looks flat.

When you buy a new home, always make sure that you know the approximate age of the roof and the likely time frame to replacement.

A home inspector who knows his job will look for things like broken and missing shingles. As a homeowner, you should become your own home inspector and annually check your property. Make up a checklist of things that you should inspect.

As far as your roof is concerned, these are the points you need to check every year:

  • Broken or cracked shingles
  • Missing shingles
  • Moss and algae – a roofing service will know how to clean your roof
  • Granules in the gutter
  • Daylight coming in through the attic
  • Leaking skylights – could be a sign water is not draining off the roof
  • A sagging roof

It is also possible that if your area has experienced bad hail storms you might have a roofing problem and not even know it. Hail is a common nuisance for roofs. The real issue with hail damage is that is is hard to tell with the naked eye. You'll need a roofing specialist to tell you.

Some Final Roofing Points to Ponder

Many homeowners don't pay much attention to their roof until they really need to. Ignoring your roof does not make any sense at all. Your home is nothing without your roof. After all, owning a home is often called "having a roof over your head," and you should not lose sight of that.

On the other hand, there are some homeowners who "think" they know what they are doing and don't! For example, you should never power wash your roof. Have you ever seen one of your neighbors up on a ladder with a power washer trying to get off moss and mildew? I have! Doing this could potentially damage your roof.

Self-inflicted damage of that kind will probably not be covered by insurance either. To help clean your roof correctly, there is a range of preventative treatments available. Solutions specifically made to clean off a roof can be found at a Home Depot or Lowe's. A local roofing contractor could point you in the right direction as well.

New exciting roofing materials are both more environmentally friendly and sustainable. If you would like to cut down on your heating bills, your roof is the best place to start. Remember that heat rises. Most of the heat that we generate escapes through the roof thanks to poor insulation or roofing materials.

A lack of insulation will also increase the odds you will be trying to remove ice dams in the winter time.

A new roof using new types of roofing materials could save you money in the long run. It may even cost you less than you think. At the same time, it will make your home look great and more up to date. A point worth bearing in mind when you come to sell your home.

Will I Get My Money Back Replacing The Roof?

If you are not planning on selling your home then the return on investment with your roof probably isn't even a consideration. If it needs to be replaced you do it. When it comes to selling though a roof probably isn't the best investment. The decision whether to replace should hinge on what you' ll get back. If the roof replacement is going to cost ten-thousand, it should be at least ten-thousand right?

Unless you have leaks all over the place, many agents will recommend you not do anything with your roof. It will get flagged at the inspection and you will deal with it then. You might be able to work out an acceptable seller's concession with the buyer. In fact, if it is a strong seller's market the buyer may agree to pay for a portion of it.

It is hard to justify spending thousands of dollars unless you are getting every dollar back unless it is preventing the sale from happening.

What About Replacing My Roof Because I Want Solar Panels?

The decision to purchase solar panels should be something that is given quite a bit of thought. It is really foolish to put solar panels on your home unless you plan on staying there for a while. While you can save a lot of money over the long term, you won't be able to recapture the cost when selling immediately.

For example, if the solar panels cost twenty five thousand, don't expect you will get twenty five thousand back. You might and you might not. See what you need to know about selling a house with solar panels and the return on investment. If you end up putting the panels on the front of your house this may be a major turn-off. It could prevent buyers from paying top dollar. You should consider speaking with a local real estate agent before installing solar.

One of the considerations with a solar panel system is the age of the roof. The roof should be very new when installing solar power. What's the point of putting solar panels on an old roof? That would cause a major future problem to deal with. Lots of people are buying homes with solar power because they love the idea of going green. It saves you money, energy and helps the environment.

There is a lot of research that should be done when buying or selling a home with solar panels.

Final thoughts

The roof is a major component in a home. It is something that you should constantly monitor as it ages. If you take great care of your roof it will tend to last longer than if you don't. Make sure you always consult professionals before tackling problems.

Other Realty Times Articles Worth Reading

Read these articles for helpful advice and tips when buying or selling a home.

About the author: Bill Gassett is a nationally recognized Real Estate leader who has been helping people buy and sell Metrowest Massachusetts real estate for the past thirty-two plus years. Bill has been one of the top RE/MAX Realtors in New England for the past decade.

In 2018 he was the #1 RE/MAX real estate agent in Massachusetts. His real estate advice has been featured on, CNBC, RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, RESAAS, Credit Sesame and others.

Bill covers real estate sales in the following Massachusetts communities: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Natick, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.

Reach out for his advice anytime.

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Bill Gassett

One of the top RE/MAX agents in New England over the last decade plus. Providing exceptional real estate services to buyers and sellers in the Metrowest Massachusetts area including the following communities: Ashland, Bellingham, Douglas, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Holliston, Hopkinton, Hopedale, Medway, Mendon, Milford, Millbury, Millville, Northborough, Northbridge, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Sutton, Wayland, Westborough, Whitinsville, Worcester, Upton and Uxbridge MA.

See my real estate website at Maximum Real Estate Exposure - one of the most visited real estate sites in Massachusetts.

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