Is Your Roof At Risk Of A Career-Ending Injury?

As winter 2019 turns your block into a snow globe yet again with another one of its “greatest hits” and your back screams in pain with heavy lift, it’s only natural – trust us, folks – to yell “Enough Already!” to Old Man Winter.

If only the pain of this Iowa Winter of Discontent ended there.

For your house’s hardest worker in its defense against winter’s relentless attack could be playing hurt. For every 4-6-inch snow storm winter blows our way, it’s our homes’ roofs that are doing the heaviest lifting. Unfortunately, until some genius invents a roof snow blower, our roofs are, for the most part, on their own to take on winter’s heaviest snow hits.

“Guys, I’m an accountant, not a contractor,” you might be telling us while you read this, “and my roof hasn’t sprung a leak yet.”

We get it, folks. However, the National Roofing Contractors Association recommends homeowners perform a regular roof inspection twice a year, in the spring and fall. A neglected roof is a roof at serious risk of structural compromise and failure.

“This year,” Bob Vila notes, “ a spring roof inspection is particularly critical in wake of the severe snow and ice accumulation from this past winter.”

Here are Seven Clear Warning Signs of A Roof In Trouble that you don’t have to be Tim “Tool Time” Taylor, Chip and Joanna Gaines or The Property Brothers to notice:

  1. Age: If you’re unsure of exactly how old your roof is, but you know you haven’t replaced it since you bought your house 20 years ago, it’s likely time for a new roof. For roofs rarely hide their true age as well as a Hollywood starlet. Most experts agree a typical roof lasts 20 to 25 years. If your roof is battling winter with only one layer of shingles or a patched-over canvas, chances are you need a new roof.
  2. Shingles Curling & Buckling: Shingles curling or buckling are other symptoms of a roof in need of repair or replacement. To learn the health of your shingles, look at them in direct sunlight. If you notice the shingles are curling and losing granules, it could be they are past their life expectancy and defective.
  3. Roof Valleys: Shingles falling apart or missing in the valley of a roof, particularly during winter, are surefire signs of a failing roof.
  4. Shingle Granules Hanging Out In The Gutter: Simply put, shingles shouldn’t live in the gutter. If your gutters are loaded up with shingle granules, it’s a sign your roof is reaching the end of its life cycle. Inconsistent or darker color shingles in some areas of your roof is another sign its granules have worn away.
  5. Your Roof Has Become A Trampoline: If you notice a spongy feel when you walk on the roof, or get the feeling your roof could double as a trampoline, it means the underlying decking of your roof is weakened from moisture. Check your attic to see if there is any daylight coming through the roof boards and check for moisture in the insulation.
  6. Rotting: Rotten tiles, missing and broken tiles are exhibits A of a roof fighting surface decay.
  7. Damage Chimneys & Roof Flashing: Flashing is commonly found at the base of chimneys. If your flashing is made of roof cement or tar, it is more vulnerable to water damage.

Remember, a spring roof health inspection is about more than just determining the overall health of your roof. It’s the ideal time for spring roof cleaning. Remove debris from your roof, drains, gutters and downspouts.

Your home’s roof is a rock star, a Babe Ruth and Michael Jordan of Weather Defense that, unfortunately, like the Babe and MJ, will eventually one sad day have to call it a career. Know when it’s time for your roof to walk away from the game before it succumbs to a devastating, costly and career-ending injury.

For as Verisk’s William Schlager notes, “a house is only as strong as its roof.”

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