Your roof serves you well for many years and then it happens: a leak appears. Evidence of the leak might be in the form of a stain on an interior wall or ceiling. Or, during a trip to the attic, a roof inspector might notice wet spots on the underside of the roof deck.
Is the leak simply a one-time occurrence or not? If a falling branch or missing shingle caused it, a one-time repair might be all you need. But, how do you know when you need a new roof? It is also possible the leak is a sign of more widespread problems due to aging, improper installation or storm damage.
Signs a New Roof is Necessary
Over time, all roof components are subject to wear and tear, from shingles and flashing to felt and sheathing. You might notice some visual clues from ground level, while others require a trip up on the roof. A certified roof inspector is specially trained to look for less obvious signs of deterioration.
Again, how do you know when you need a new roof? Some signs are more obvious, while others are quite subtle:
Missing or broken shingles
Many of today’s better architectural shingles are designed to withstand 130 mph winds. However, many older shingles were not designed to withstand the lifting force of extreme wind gusts.
Over time, a series windstorms may gradually loosen nails and adhesive strips, particularly as shingles get more brittle over time. For example, a roof that easily survived 70 mph wind gusts when new might not fare so well when it is 20-25 years old. Sometimes, shingles are torn right off the roof. In other cases, they may crack or break. Whenever the integrity of a roof is compromised, there’s a possibility that water will get under the shingles and into the sub-roofing.
Therefore, it’s always important to replace missing or broken shingles. Eventually, repeat repairs are both convenient and cost-prohibitive.
Curling or cupping shingles
Aging shingles may curl on the edges or “cup” in the center. Cupping is a term that describes a concave area in the center of a shingle. There are a number of reasons for curling and cupping shingles. For example, as shingles age, the oils in the asphalt may dissipate enough that moisture intrudes, causing them to expand in an uneven manner. Also, years of inadequate attic ventilation may expose the underside of shingles to excess heat and moisture, causing them to curl or cup.
When the problem is not too widespread, it may be possible to glue down the curled edges. However, this type of repair is often a stopgap measure. It may only delay a roof replacement for a while.
Shingles stripped of protective granules
When the granules on your shingles come off, the underlying asphalt is exposed to the elements. For example, studies demonstrate that unprotected asphalt is more vulnerable to the effects of the sun’s UV rays.
As the bond fails between the granules and the asphalt, they may accumulate in the gutters. Excess accumulations offer evidence of aging and deterioration. Sometimes, granules are ripped from the shingle by a severe impact. For example, some hailstones fall with enough force that granules come loose, leaving black spots.
Flashing in valleys, on roof edges and around penetrations ensures that water quickly flows off your roof. When it bends or comes loose in high winds, leaks often follow. Sometimes, the expanding force of water turning to ice can bend or loosen flashing, particularly on aging roofs. An improper flashing installation may also cause roof leaks.
Soft or rotting sheathing
Although roof decks are usually composed of exterior-grade plywood or OSB, ongoing exposure to water may cause serious deterioration. Decking may delaminate and get soft. In some instances, it will actually rot. Therefore, deck repair is required with some roof replacements.
Find the Right Contractor to Assess Your Roof’s Condition
NJ homeowners want to know whom they can trust. Unfortunately, the roofing industry includes those who sometimes recommend a new roof when simple repairs will do.
Before you ask a roofing company to send a roof inspector out to your northern NJ property, ask yourself these questions:
- Are there neighbors, friends or others who know about the roofer?
- Is the contractor factory-certified by major roofing manufacturers?
- Is the company local or from outside the Tri-state region?
Roof Replacement: Step by Step
When the answer to the question, “How do you know when you need a new roof?” is “Now,” you can do a series of things to get a properly installed, high-quality roof replacement:
- Identify potential contractors through personal referrals and research
- Get bids from local, factory-certified roofing contractors
- Contract with a roofing company you can trust
- Schedule the project and prepare for the crew’s arrival
- Completion of your roof replacement
- Cleanup and debris removal by the crew
- Review the terms of your warranty with your contractor
- Arrange for annual or semi-annual inspections of your new roof
Experienced, organized crews of sufficient size often complete roof replacements on medium-sized NJ homes in a single day.
Schedule a Visit Today
CRS has been proudly serving homeowners in northern NJ and beyond since 1977. We’ve encountered every roofing issue imaginable as we replaced thousands of residential roofs in many NJ counties, including Bergen, Essex and Passaic.
CRS is factory-certified by three of the nation’s leading roofing manufacturers: GAF, Owens Corning and Tamko. We are a true full-service roofing contractor offering inspections, maintenance, emergency work, general roof repairs, re-roofing and complete roof replacements.
As you compare and contrast roofing companies, we’d welcome the opportunity to earn your business. To arrange for a visit by our highly experienced, certified roof inspector, please contact us today!