What Happens if You Don’t Replace Your Roof on Time?
Delayed Roof Replacement
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Like most homeowners, you probably don’t give your roof much thought until there’s a problem. Maybe you found shingles in your yard after high winds or pieces in the gutter after a hailstorm. Or a worse scenario: you see water damage to your indoor ceiling or wall.
Professionally-installed roofs should withstand serious issues like these if they’re still within the lifespan range. But for every year you delay roof replacement after the average lifespan of your roofing material, the risk continues to build.
Average Lifespan for Most Common Roofing Materials
Many Texas homes utilize asphalt shingles which are an effective and affordable choice. Modern shingles are impressively durable – but they’re still toward the bottom of the totem pole. Worn shingles are one of the most common issues found by home inspectors and often the homeowner must replace the roof before selling.
As roofing material ages, it lends itself to water intrusion which can lead to expensive repairs. There are common signs you can look for such as brittleness, curling, sagging and missing shingles.
If you’re unsure of the age your roof, there are a few ways to check:
- Get in touch with the former owner if you have open communication with them.
- Ask your neighbors if they remember.
- Lookup your property in your county’s property search. Williamson County’s property search will tell you the date of your home’s construction.
- Get an estimate from a trusted roofing contractor.
A Damaging Domino Effect
There is much more to a modern roof than what we see on the outside. Each layer works together to protect your home. When the outer layer is compromised it leaves the other layers vulnerable to further damage.
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The compromised integrity of a single roofing layer can spur a sort of domino effect throughout each layer. These layers typically include:
The Roof Surface
Contemporary roofing usually includes shingles, tiles, shakes, metal panels or slate as the decorative and outermost protective layer.
This is typically metal and provides protection in areas where one type of material meets another, such as where metal roofing panels meet a chimney.
Underlayment is a moisture-resistant material that can be made of fiberglass or polyester sheeting, asphalt-saturated felt or a synthetic rubber-like material.
In areas where your roof is more vulnerable most roofers will add a layer of water shielding for additional protection.
The layer of wood which is placed over, and attached to, the trusses.
A trusted pro may recommend replacing critical components like flashing, underlayment and the leak barrier to help lock out future leaks – especially if your roof has some years behind it. Additionally, warranties can be voided if the roof system isn’t installed according to the specifics given by the shingle manufacturer.
Dangers of an Outdated or Damaged Roof
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A roof nearing the end of its lifespan should be inspected regularly for damage. Aging roofs are not only vulnerable to water damage but also provide less protection from the relentless Texas heat. Signs that you may need a new roof include:
Missing, curled, lifted and cracked shingles are all signs that it may be time for a new roof. Buckling shingles can be caused by moisture in the roof sheathing or felt paper, causing it to expand and buckle.
Mildew and Mold
Even when your roof looks to be in good shape from the outside, check the inside as well. If your attic smells of mildew, has water marks, or black discoloration you have a leak.
Paint peeling from the walls, swells and bubbles, and dark spots on the ceiling are all indicators of water accumulation.
High Energy Bill
It’s normal for your energy bill to increase during the hot summer months, but your average yearly costs should be pretty consistent. If you’ve noticed a slow and steady climb in price along with a less effective A/C, the problem could be with your roof.
Aging roofs can also cause poor roof ventilation, which leads to condensation being trapped between layers of your roofing and underlayment, leading to mold and deterioration of your roof, as well as damage to the flashing on your roof and around your chimney.
It Pays to be Proactive
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An old or damaged roof is not only a threat to your quality of living, but also to the future sale of your home. Homebuyers will not hesitate to walk away from your home if a pre-inspection report shows roof issues.
However, not every sign of wear is cause for total replacement. A RoofCrafters project planner will give your roof a thorough inspection.
The RoofCrafters team serves greater Austin with unmatched workmanship and service. Get your roof inspected by one of our experienced professionals today.