If you think it’s time to consider getting a new roof, don’t push it off on the back burner and forget about it. It can cause huge problems down the road. To keep the subject in the forefront of your mind, listen to this horror story…
I’m not giving up any names to protect the procrastinators—but you can hashtag it as a true story.
It had been raining hard for hours.
My friend finally steeled her nerves and ventured down to the basement to see if the city’s sewer system was handling the overflow. She peeked around the corner of the laundry room breathing a sigh of relief. There wasn’t any water backing up through the floor drain—yet. Realizing she hadn’t heard the hum and swish of the sump pump cycle, she crossed to the other end of the basement to make sure it was turned on. She started across the storage room without flipping on the light. Then, just as her bare foot made contact with a cold, wet floor, the sump pump went off.
She said she stood there a moment with one foot in the puddle feeling confused. She couldn’t figure out why there was water on the floor if the drains weren’t backing up and the sump pump was running. Then, she felt a slight splash and held out her hand in the dark. Yes, there was a definite drip.
She scrambled for the light switch wondering what could be going on. When she felt a drip from overhead, her first thought was leaking roof, but how could that be? She was in the basement for crying out loud!
Once the light was on, she determined that the drip came from water that appeared to be running down the edge of the duct work directly above her. It didn’t take long for her to discover the source. She found a leak that had apparently gone undetected for quite a long while. It finally broke through the drywall in the bedroom closet. However, that, too, had gone undetected because it was the very back of the closet… Unfortunately, that was the area where the rarely, if ever, worn clothes wound up. The water was dripping through the floor vent in the closet causing the puddle on the basement floor—and had apparently been drying of its own accord before anyone detected the problem.
Had my friends taken the time for a little home maintenance, they’d have probably discovered the problem before it cost them a couple of nice leather coats, the expense of mold removal, and damaged structural lumber that had to be replaced. Of course, all that was in addition to having a section of their roof repaired.
Purchasing a home is the largest investment most of us will ever make. Home maintenance is important to keep our home in prime condition. It shouldn’t be something we ignore. There were signs that it was time to replace their roof, but they’d gone unnoticed because my friends weren’t taking time to pay attention.
I’d like to share some things to look for so you’ll stay on top of things.
If your roof is covered with asphalt shingles and it’s over fifteen years old, odds are that it’s time to replace them. While some asphalt shingles have warranties up to around thirty years, most of them don’t.
If your roof is detracting from your curb appeal, it’s a sign that something’s going on. Stand in the street and look at your house. If you notice sagging, missing shingles, widespread “streaking” on your shingles, or worn or damaged areas around your chimney and vents, you need to schedule a consultation with a professional.
If your shingles appear to be wet or stained, are curling at the edges, or are bent or broken, you should consider replacing them sooner than later.
When asphalt shingles begin to deteriorate, they break off in small pieces that resemble dark, coarse sand. If you see them in your gutters and yard, it’s a definite sign that you need to get a new roof on the house.
A leaking roof may cause deterioration of the exterior paint around your roof line. Furthermore, it can seep into your home’s interior walls causing damage their too. Wet drywall provides the perfect environment for mold growth which will continue to spread throughout your home.
Grab a flashlight and head up to the attic to look for signs of water or damage. Of course, the opportune time to do it is while it’s raining or while there’s some snow melt going on. If you see rays of light that aren’t coming from the flashlight, it also means you’ve got issues. The network of support beams that hold everything up on the roof is called the roof deck. If there’s evidence of damage, plan to replace both your shingles and your roof deck.
Your roof should be acting as an insulator against both heat and cold. If your bills are going up, there’s a good chance that your roof’s not doing it’s job.
A higher energy bill doesn’t just indicate problems with your roof. Our windows are another huge source of energy loss. If your windows are more than ten years old, there’s a good chance they’ve lost some of their energy efficient qualities. Furthermore, continuing advances in technology make windows today more efficient than older windows. Always check for the Energy Star rating and ask questions to know you’re choosing windows that are right for your home.
Roof maintenance is one of the most important home maintenance checks that a homeowner conducts. Things can be hard to see from ground level and most people aren’t crazy about climbing up on the roof to look for problems. It can be dangerous! Contact a roofing professional and schedule an inspection. If they find anything that needs attention, they’ll discuss your options with you and you can go from there.
No one wants to discover a massive problem with their roof on a dark, rainy night—especially, not from the basement!
Michelle Williams believes construction is in her DNA. She spent many happy summers on the job site alongside her dad. As time passed, writing became her first love. However, she doesn't hesitate to strap on the tool belt and tackle a project on the side. Her kids love the playhouse!
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