Your roof is your home’s shield against the elements. It’s a shield many of us take for granted sometimes. In fact, we don’t often think much about our roof—until something goes wrong. However, it doesn’t have to come to that. Your roof may feel like an enigma now, but properly maintaining it and preventing damage is easier than you might think. In this article, we’ll walk you through the three most important things you need to know about your home’s roof and how to properly care for it.
Watch out for the signs of roof trouble
There’s no “check engine” light that turns on when your roof needs repairs. In fact, in most cases, the roof is relatively out-of-sight, out-of-mind. After all, when was the last time you actually took a close look at your shingles or tiles? It might be worth the time. Many roof problems start small and then get progressively worse as the months roll by.
Every so often, take a closer look at your roof. If you have a shingle roof, look for patches of missing or torn-off shingles—this may indicate damage inflicted by that last thunderstorm that rolled through town. If your shingles are curling and not fully covering the underlayment, that’s a clear sign they’re deteriorating and likely need to be replaced. Also, look at the flashing, gutters, and downspouts. Is everything in its right place? If you see any pooling water, you’ll need to take immediate action.
If you suspect you have a problem, it’s worth calling in a professional. We’ll discuss how to go about finding the right roofer below, but many roofers offer free estimates and roof inspections. That’s a good place to start if you think you might need roof repairs.
Age isn’t just a number
Nothing lasts forever. Is your roof nearing the end of its life? That depends on the age of your roof, what it’s made of, and where you live. Shingle roofs—the most common type of roof here in the United States—last about 20 years on average. Foam roofs can last about 30 years, while tile roofs typically can live for 50 years or more.
However, that’s only part of the story. If you live in an icy winter climate, your shingle roof is going to experience more wear-and-tear than the roof of a home in sunny, mild Southern California. How often is your roof exposed to inclement weather, such as gale force winds and torrential rain? Storms can rip protective shingles off your roof, damage tile, and—in a catastrophic scenario—even topple trees over onto the roof structure.
One of the best things you can do to extend the lifespan of your roof is scheduling regular roof inspections and checkups from a licensed roofing contractor.
Hiring the right professional matters
Not all roofers are cut from the same cloth. While many roofers are reputable and professional, there are some that are, well, less so. We cannot emphasize enough: your home’s roof is too important to be left to an inexperienced, unprofessional, or uninsured roofer. You need to put the time and effort into finding a trustworthy local roofer or roofing company.
Think ahead. You don’t want to be left scrambling to find a qualified roofer when you discover a leak. Take the time now to find the right roofing contractor. Look for roofers with state licensing, active insurance coverage, and experience working with homes—and roofs—just like yours. Be sure to ask what their hours are, and whether or not they offer same-day service or free estimates. At the first sign of roofing trouble, you’ll then know exactly who to call.
Get the answers you need from your roofer
Outside of their high-quality work, one of the other perks that comes with hiring a great roofer is their expertise. If you have other questions about your roof, pick their brain. Ask them to walk you through your roof’s state, how old it is, and how many years it (likely) has left. After all, it’s your roof: get the answers you need so you can make informed decisions down the road. If your house is like most homes, you likely have other maintenance items in addition to your roof. Click here for more information about a home maintenance inspection performed by Lucent Home Inspections.
For concise answers to your top roofing questions, be sure to check out this helpful infographic.
If you need a home maintenance inspection in the Peoria or Bloomington Illinois area, Lucent Home Inspections is the best place to call! 309-300-0007