The weather in our area this year has been quite unpredictable. We’ve had it all—lightning, serious rain, hail, strong winds, and tornadoes jumping from one community to the next ripping up trees and wreaking havoc on neighborhoods. The aftermath of all this was to rebuild and repair our damaged property as quickly and efficiently as possible. One of the most frequent predicaments faced by homeowners was whether to repair or replace roofs that had been battered or torn away. People were forced to seek help immediately and did not have much time to consider their options. That’s why it is wiser to consider this when it’s not such an immediate issue.
Generally, we expect a roof to last 15 to 20 years without requiring serious maintenance. However, the warming of the earth is causing our shingles to become hotter and not to last as long as we’d hoped. The UV rays cause them to bake and become brittle sooner. Newer materials have now been developed that will last longer and may be a good option for you if you plan to keep your home for a long period of time. If you know your home will need a new roof soon, and you have an option to get a new roof, especially one covered by your homeowner’s insurance, you may want to research the new materials for roofs. Some of them can last up to 50 years. Of course, there’s also the option of covering your old roof with a second layer. If your old roof is in good shape and is suitable to cover, you may choose this option. It is certainly cheaper, but it won’t last as long because the under layer holds heat that will dry out the top layer faster.
If your problem is a leak, you may be able to have the roof repaired easily. Roof leaks usually happen where there’s an intersection in the roof, such as around the chimney or vents. To find the exact location of a leak, one installer suggested dividing the area of the roof you suspect is leaking into sections and soaking them with a hose one section at a time until you discover the area where the leak is located. If your house has been through a storm, your contractor will certainly want to check the top of the house for obvious damage. Most of the horror stories concerning mold start with this type of a leak. After the contractor has repaired the roof, it would be wise to schedule a mold inspection a week or so after the next major storm just to ensure proper dry out and no worry of future problems as a result. Patching a roof may also create cosmetic differences in color if the old roof has faded over the years, but it is certainly more economical than replacing the entire roof. Now that these storms are gone, we have time to think and to prepare ourselves for any problems we may face in the future.