Weymouth, Ma: How to tell if you need a new roof or a roof repair.

By: Terry Quinn, CS, CAPS, CGR, VSI

Like most products roofing has a shelf life. If properly installed and ventilated, most asphalt roof shingles should out last the warranted life span listed. But there are several things that can limit a roofs life and there are ways of telling if it’s time to consider having some work done to your roof. Marconi Roofing (640x480)

  1. The age of the shingles. You will find many shingles will perform for 5-10 years longer than the listed time on the warrantee, but after that date it is best to keep an eye out for problems
  2. Visually inspect your roof for missing, cracked, torn or shingles that have lost their granules.
  3. Watch for build ups of shingle granules especially in the gutters and where the downspouts dump out. This indicates that the shingles are losing their protective coating. (granules keep the asphalt in place)
  4. Look for signs of mold or rot or moisture getting into the house. Remember that water travels to the lowest place before it drips off and the leak may not be right above the water spot on your ceiling.
  5. Check that you have proper ventilation.  All asphalt shingle roofs should have both ridge and soffit ventilation.
  6. In your attic, look for light coming from the outside. This is a sign of openings in your roof or attic walls.  If light can get in, so can water.
  7. Look for any places where the roof surface dips or sags, this is a sign of rotted sheathing and it is usually caused by mold due to roof leaks.
  8. Worn or loose flashings.  Most leaks start around a chimney, vent pipe, skylight, or other roof protrusion.
  9. Worn or improperly shingles valleys.  This is a common problem and develops over time when the installation was done improperly. It works for a few years, but then brakes down, a low pitched roof with a cut or open valley lined with metal is usually the issue.
  10. Check that all vents, bath, kitchen, clothes dryer, all exit the building and no moisture is being trapped inside.

Don’t jump ahead and assume you need a new roof if you have a leak.  Insure that the problem is the roofing and not gutters backing up or downspouts clogged with leaves and pine needles. This is a simple fix to the problem.

RoofingMost problems are repairable.   I recently inspected a roof for a condominium where the trustees were sure they had to spend $50,000 to replace a 12 year old roof that had 30 year shingles on it.   It turned out that one of the members had done a repair after a windstorm and did it incorrectly, and being close to the ocean, the side with the prevailing winds needed to have the tabs sealed down with additional roof cement. Something that is in the manufacturer’s instructions for a high wind area.

At CAT Exteriors (A Division of Almar Building & Remodeling Co), we offer roof inspections for $79.00 done by a roofing expert and provide you with a written report of our finding.  If you decide that you would like pricing to repair any problems we may find, we can provide that also.

Contact us on line or at 781-924-5018 to find out more about when we are scheduling inspections or to schedule having your roof replaced.