All roofs eventually wear out and need replacement. However, don’t do this too soon because you might waste money. Having said this, you also shouldn’t wait too long because you could end up with leaks and costly water damage. In order to get the timing right, you must know how to assess the general condition of the roof and detect early signs of failure.
If most of the roof is in good condition, a spot roof repair makes perfect sense. However, if the roof is older than 20 years or there are signs that it’s wearing out, replacement might be the smartest choice.
By checking the overall condition of your roof once a year, you can usually plan ahead for any roof repair work. Early warnings of trouble include water stains on pipes venting the furnace or water heater, damp patches along the fireplace, peeling paint underneath roof overhangs, and dark areas on ceilings.
You can assess the roof’s health from the outside by examining it with binoculars. Signs that roof repair is needed include rust spots or cracked caulk on the flashing; blistering, curling or buckling shingles; and worn areas around skylights, pipes, and chimneys. If there is grit in the gutters from asphalt tiles, that’s also a bad sign.
If something unforeseen or sudden happens – such as a wind storm – that causes a leak, the roof repair will probably be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. But remember, you are still responsible for limiting damage, so put buckets out and ask a roof repair professional to spread a tarp while you’re arranging the repair work.