A good roof should protect a house for many years, but even the best roof doesn’t last forever. When water starts leaking through the ceiling, homeowners have to decide whether it’s better to repair the roof or replace it. The wrong decision could end up wasting a lot of money, but the following tips from Erie Construction can help homeowners choose the best course of action.
Know The Roof’s Lifespan
The lifespan of a roof will depend on the material it is made of. Asphalt shingles, the most common roofing material, tend to have the lowest lifespan at around twenty years. Metal roofs can last 30 years or more. Some high-end materials, like premium asphalt or slate, can last even longer. If a roof is leaking and it’s close to the end of its standard lifespan, it is probably better to replace the roof than to do a spot repair, especially if an inspection shows other problems or signs of age.
Check The Condition Of The Shingles
A roof inspector will examine shingles to see if they have curled edges, bald spots where they’re missing granules, or cracks. These problems can result from age, from storm damage, and from ice and snow. If issues are localized, it may be possible to replace a few shingles. However, if the damage is widespread, affecting multiple layers of shingles, it may be that water has gotten through and damaged the underlayment and decking. Multiple missing shingles can have the same effect. If that has happened, it may be necessary to replace the roof.
Check For Black Algae
Black algae, or roof mold, is very common in the eastern U.S. and other areas with high humidity. The algae grows when the wind blows spores onto the roof. They thrive on heat, moisture, and the limestone granules in asphalt tiles. It shows up as black streaks on the roof, and some homeowners just consider it an aesthetic issue that doesn’t necessarily require treatment. However, since the algae is actually consuming the roof, it makes the roof more permeable to moisture and thus, more vulnerable to damage. Roof mold can be removed, but it’s important to make sure that the roof is still in good condition. If not, it may need to be replaced.