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Up on the roof: How to know when it's time to replace it

Roof repair is no joke
photo owned by Darby Middlebrooks

Buying a new roof for your home is one of the biggest investments you will make, but if done correctly, the investment should last between 15-20 years.
So how do you know if you need a new roof? Here is some helpful information from the National Roofing Contractors Association that will give you some clues.
Do you see any warped shingles? Are they curling up or missing? In the interior of your home, have you noticed any water spots on your ceiling, or paint or plaster peeling off? These are all indications that you have problems with your roof and need to have it examined by a professional.
While the average life span of a roof is 15-20 years, the time for replacement can vary based on a number of factors. Here are some problems that lead to roof deterioration:
1. The sun: Heat from the sun’s ultraviolet rays can bake the shingles, causing them to crack;
2. Algae and moss: These natural growing enemies can adhere to the roof, causing moisture to get beneath and rot the shingles;
3. Tree branches: Falling limbs and branches hitting the roof can scratch the roof, causing punctures in the shingles;
4. Snow, ice, wind and rain: Mother nature can wreak havoc on the roof, causing shingles to rip off, water to gather, hail to pound shingles and too much snow and ice can block gutters, causing moisture to stay on the roof due to lack of proper drainage.
Once you have determined you need a new roof, you need to get estimates from licensed professionals in your area. Be sure to get bids from several companies. The NRCA (National Roofing Contractors Association) recommends you check the roofing company’s permanent place of business, phone number, tax identification number, and proof of insurance. Also, check the local Better Business Bureau for information of the company, as well as checking references.
While getting a new roof can be costly, it is an investment that will protect your home on the outside as well as the inside. Doing the proper research to find the right roofing company will protect your investment, providing the greatest life span possible for your new roof.

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