Taking care of your roof is one task that almost no homeowner looks forward to. Not only is it all too easy to forget that that sturdy construction of layered asphalt we rely on so much even needs care, it’s also a hassle to get out the ladder and dangerous to try and climb up onto the roof to make sure it’s alright from time to time. When something does go wrong like storm damage or noticing an unusually soft area in the roof, it’s only natural for homeowners to think about repairs. After all, repairing things is one of the primary duties of a homeowner. We get our appliances repair, our plumbing, and that old light fixture that used to flicker in the laundry room. But sometimes repairs just aren’t enough when it comes to roofing. While small and grouped damage can sometimes be repaired, if the damage is too great or wide-spread, it can easily be necessary to get an entire roof reinstallation.
Roof repair is for small localized damage that can be fixed by replacing no more than a few shingles at a time. There are a great many instances where a few shingles either in a cluster or scattered over your roof will take damage, often during storms or possibly caused by animals, where roofing repair is exactly what you need. In these cases, your local roofing service can carefully add new shingles to replace the damaged ones by nesting them into place where the missing or broken shingles used to be.
However, the thing you need to understand most about your roof is that it’s not just a few layers of asphalt tile, it’s an entire structure in which each aspect relies on the others to maitain the weatherproofing and integrity that every roof should provide. When the structure of your roof has been compromised, you will most likely need a complete or partial reinstallation.
Shingles, for instance, are layered the way they are in order to make an absolute barrier against both rain and sunlight are kept completely out but when too many shingles go missing or are damaged enough to require replacement, your roofer is going to have to re-layer the entire section to get the rest of the shingles to align with the new patch. Even worse, if the underlayment or support beams become compromised, usually by moisture leaking in through damaged shingles, this could be an even more extensive installation.
So how do you know the difference between a roof that needs repairs and one that needs a complete re-installation? Most people know by listening to their roofing inspector after they call a professional to come take a look after a storm or before they try to sell. However, if you’re curious about the causes of roof installation for already built houses or wondering if something you’ve noticed is mild or serious, here are the top examples:
Of all the hazards a roof might face, wind storms are a roofing shingle’s number one enemy. Wind can catch the edge of shingles and from there begin to peel them up one by one or in unfortunately large groups. While a few missing, curled, or cracked shingles are replaceable, too many shingles missing means completely reworking the shingle layering in order to preserve the roof. In this case, it’s often better simply to strip away the older roofing and replace it with a new few layers of asphalt shingles.
Wind-damaged shingles take a number or forms. One way is to curl shingles upward so that it can whip past them while another is to detach one end and lift a shingle while it is still technically attached maing it look like it’s floating slightly away from the surface of the roof. Yet another way is to pull up one end until the shinggle cracks and half the shingle blows away or, finally, simply pulling up and blowing away several shingles at once, If there are too many shingles missing from your roof, installation is alost inevitable.
Another way that wind can cause damage is not directly to the shingles themselves but to the trees near by. High-speed winds are more than capable of ripping a branch of yours or a neighbor’s trees but what happens to that branch afterward is up to chance. As bad luck would have it, if a heavy tree branch hit your roof in a wind storm, this can do a truly incredible amount of damage depending on the size of the branch and the impact of the hit. In many cases, it will crack, break, and squish your shingles in a concentrated area where the branch landed or in an unfortunately large streak where it bounce along your roof and took off again. That kind of crushing damage is also likely to damage the infrastructure underneath the shingles as well. If your roof sustains serious impact damage, you will almost inevitably need installation to fix it.
Moss might be pretty but we should be very clear, any signs of lasting moisture on your roof are very bad signs indeed. Asphalt is perfectly rain resistant but it wasn’t designed to withstand long-term exposure to damp as can happen when snow piles up on your roof and never clear or when leaves pile up there in big damp puddles. What moisture does is soften the asphalt shingles, turning them spongey and much less reliable for keeping your home safe. Moss is one of many clear signs that there is too much moisture just sitting up there on your roof and, unfortunately, any sign of moss could mean a complete reinstallation because where moss can grow, it’s likely leaks are already getting into your attic.
Sagging where there should be nice clean straight roof ridges is another bad sign and worse, one that guarantees that your internal roof infrastructure is also on it’s way out and will need to be replaced. Sagging can be caused by a number of issues but decay caused by moisture leaks is by far the most common and likely. You can often identify very old and vacant houses because of their roof sag but this sag is bad news for you and your family. If you can see a dip in the middle of a roof ridge, then you will absolutely need roof installation before your roof can be considered whole and protective again.
Not every homeowner can get up onto their own roof but if you can or you trust the word of someone else who can do so more easily, take note of how the asphalt shingles feel beneath your feet. Most of them will be the normal combination of firm, springy, and a bit scratchy. However, if your footsteps down on something that feels soft and spongy, take a very careful step back. This is a section of your roof that most likely sat under a pile of leaves for too long. The larger the area, the more probably it is that you will need a new roof. You may also identify these soft spots if they are large enough by taking several long steps back away from your house to see if you can see any dips in the roof, which is often called a valley and might even start to pool up rainwater.
Roofs last a long time, but they don’t last forever. Most roofing shingles, particularly the popular asphalt variety, last anywhere from 15 to 20 years. After that point, it can be safely assumed that each tile has absorbed as much sun and fought as much wind as it’s going to do safely. You may notice if you have an older roof that most of the weather-resistant granules have worn away. When this happens, repair isn’t an option because all (or most) of your shingles went in together which means they will all age out together as well. This is the most common reason for a new roof as there are always several homes passing its roof explanation date at any given moment.
Finally, there are also a variety of reasons why a homeowner might want to reinstall their roof. Looking to sell the home is often the most common non-damage-based reasons for a roof installation. Home sellers who know the value of their property and don’t want to sell for less can enhance the appeal and integrity of their home on the market by getting it a brand new roof. This saves the buyers a full 15 years before they need to worry about more than storm-based roof damage. You may also want to change out your roof just to change the appearance of your home. You can choose a new color to accent your landscaping and exterior paint or even choose a new type of shingle altogether.
Roof installation may sound extreme but in reality, it’s happening all the time. Every homeowner has to deal with a roof installation eventually and by taking good care of your roof, you can make sure that time comes later rather than sooner. Of course, if you’re looking at a lot of missing tiles, a huge tree branch, or a buckled roof ridge, it’s time to call your local Ann Arbor roofers for your new roof installation before the current damage allows leaks into your home. For more information about the roof installation causes, process, costs, or availability near your Ann Arbor home, please contact us today!