How do I know if my roof needs replaced?

damaged roof shingles

When you need roof replacement

Have you been told recently that your home needs a roof replacement? Or perhaps you’ve just noticed how old and worn it looks, and you’re not sure the last time the roof has been replaced. The last time, was the roof replaced without gutters and now you see foundation issues around your house? 

We appreciate the value a roof has for your home, the most expensive and important investment you’ll ever make. Read on to learn more about roof replacement as we answer some commonly asked questions. 

How long does a 30-year roof really last?

The first thing you need to know is the life expectancy you’ve been told about asphalt shingled roofing is a lie. Asphalt roof shingles do not have a guarantee for how long they last. 

Asphalt shingles have various lifetime guarantees by the manufacturers, such as the 25-year, a 30-year, a 40-year, and “the best” lifetime. What roof contractors and insurance companies will tell you though, that 30-year asphalt roof shingle will really last 25 years tops if your roof is taken care of properly.

If an asphalt shingle roof is neglected, meaning having it professionally cleaned and inspected on a regular basis, you may find yourself getting a roof replacement done in about twelve, maybe fifteen years. How do the manufacturers get away with this roof replaced how often being sooner than they have guaranteed? They have watered down the warranties so much that they have themselves protected. Better than you have your home protected if we were talking apples to apples. 

What to do if your roof is leaking?

A leaking roof is never a convenience, right? However, they do happen and the important thing to do is to stop it as quick as you can to lessen the damage it is causing. No need to worry about roof replacement yet, you have some urgent steps to take right now. Roofing experts recommend the following:  

Stop it

Once a leak has been discovered, you need to stop it so it minimizes the damage. This can be done by removing as many valuables as possible out of the room or the house and then covering anything remaining with a plastic tarp.  If the leak is from upstairs plumbing, you must turn the water off. 

Contain it

Place a waterproof container under the leak to catch the water still coming in. Lay old towels under the bucket to catch any splashes. If you can pin a string at the leak and stretch it to the bucket, the water will follow the string and not splash out. If the paint has bubbles, this could show that it is holding water. Using a pointy screwdriver, puncture the bubble so the water is released and drains into the bucket. If the leak is so bad that you can’t control it with these steps, call a roofing contractor immediately. Most have a 24-hour service. Once they have helped get the leaked contained or stopped, they will offer to inspect the roof and provide you a quote for a roof replacement. 

Remove it

Now that the leak is controlled or stopped, drying out the carpet, furniture, the woodwork and anything else that got wet or is damp from exposure to the water. This will hopefully eliminate staining and stop any mold from growing. Pull out any wet rugs and pull out any wet carpet and padding, placing them so they can be air-dried. If your house has sustained extensive damage, calling a water extraction company is recommended.

Report it

Whether you believe your home has sustained any heavy, major damage, call your insurance company. Your specific homeowner’s policy may not have coverage for a leaking roof, but this is for them to determine. 

Fix it

After everything is said and done, now you can start getting quotes for roof repair or roof replacement. Get estimates and quotes in writing, ask for a copy of their insurance, license, and current references. 

Can a leaking roof collapse?

Yes!  A leaking roof, no matter how minor, is compromising the roof’s integrity. Yet, a roof collapse is always a shock and a surprise. However, if you are aware of the indicators this could happen, you will better be able to handle the situation, or stop it with a roof replacement before it happens. The following are the indicators you need to know of: 

  1. Weather Damage: After any storm, do a visual inspection of your roof to look for possible damage or call a roofing contractor to inspect it. Most roofing companies will provide a free inspection and those that do charge, they will deduct the amount of any roof repair or roof replacement work you have by them. Snow and water accumulation along with heavy winds are common catalysts to make a roof collapse. 
  2. Sagging Areas: Rarely will a roof collapse suddenly and all at once. Typically, the collapse begins in sections, which you will see as sagging areas. If you notice sagging in your roof, call a roofing contractor immediately. It may be a simple repair in that one area, or you may need a roof replacement.   
  3. Roof Supports Bent or Rippled: When roof supports are bent or rippled, you’ve got a stressed roof structure. This needs to be inspected by a roofing contractor immediately. 
  4. Exterior Masonry Has Cracks: Remember stacking blocks up high as a kid, and how they would bow and shift, then fall over?  If you notice any exterior cracks in your home’s masonry, this is the same thing, but it could be your roof causing it.  An immediate professional roof inspection will confirm this, and if it isn’t, they’ll advise you who you need to call next. 
  5. Ceiling or Walls Cracked: If you notice cracks in the ceiling or walls of our home, this can indicate structural problems. It could be that the foundation is giving or the roof is sinking. Either way, you need to have your home inspected. If your home doesn’t have gutters, that can allow rain to puddle up around your foundation, it becomes weak, and the rest you can imagine is a nightmare. So, even if you need to get the foundation repaired, you should have a gutter system installed too.
  6. Roof Leaks: The biggest warning sign that your house needs a roof repair or roof replacement would be a leak. Calling a roofing contractor is the first thing you need to do after you have stopped the leak, following the steps we provided earlier.

What happens if you don’t replace your roof? 

Putting off roof repairs is understandable, but it is also costly and dangerous. There are consequences to doing this: 

  • Leaks
  • Increased Energy Bills
  • Mold
  • Critter Nesting and Pest Control
  • Water Damage
  • Health and Safety Risks
damaged roof no gutters

 Is a leaking roof covered by insurance? 

Every homeowner’s insurance policy is different. Some may cover a leaking roof leak if it was caused by a natural disaster like hail or wind, or for other types of peril like a fire. You should check with your insurance agent if your homeowner’s policy for what perils it covers and doesn’t cover. It is common for an insurance company to put exclusions to hail or wind in a policy. 

What a homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover is a homeowner’s lack of maintenance and neglect.  If your home has needed a roof replacement for some time and suddenly begins leaking, you will not get your roof replaced by insurance as this will be considered neglect.

No matter if you buy a new home or an existing home, the roof is your responsibility. It is an important part of protecting this asset. Never ignore the small indicators that something bigger could be happening. Call (856) 662-1382 today for your roof replacement in Berlin and Cherry Hill, NJ.