Having a sturdy, stable roof over our heads is an essential element to feeling safe and secure in our homes. It is however, an often overlooked part of the house since it tends to be out of the eye's reach (or at least certainly the hand's reach,) so it's wear and tear is not often addressed as much as it should be. Think for a second, if you had a hole in your floor, how quickly would you act to fix it? I would imagine pretty quickly since you can see it and it's very apparent, but that same urgency should apply to your roofing as well..but what do you look for when you inspect your roof for wear? Let's take a look.
1. Leakage in Attic
Often times in attic areas, we'll find hidden treasures we long since forgot we packed away up there. However two such hidden treasures that you don't want to see are ice or water. Any areas with water staining or ice build up are sure-fire signs that there is an area of leakage within your roof either due to poor shingle underlayment or even from a problem in your flashing.
2. Blistering Paint or Stains
This one won't require you to take a trip up to the roof or attic, but to simply walk the perimeter of your house and spot any areas of excessive cracking on the exterior if you have a painted surface. Seeing areas like this can be attributed to high levels of moisture being trapped in attic spaces due to inadequate ventilation to disperse it like normal. Also look out for mold or mildew growth along the interior ceiling lines, as this could also be a sign of poor ventilation from above.
3. Cracked or Curled Shingles
While it may seem pretty obvious that shingles in this condition would need replacing, it's still quite overlooked. Finding your shingles in a state of disarray such as curling means that they have simply reached their lifespan and need to be replaced. Shingles at this stage also suffer from a "dirty" look to them and have begun to lose their granules, another sign of their age. You may begin to notice an excessive amount of granules at the base of your gutters after any normal to heavy rain storm.
4. High Energy Bills
While this one can't honestly be 100% attributed to your roof, a faulty roof certainly won't be making it any better. Like with the problem of blistering paint, your roof issues can cause problems with proper air circulation and ventilation, trapping in hot air which makes you run your AC longer and at lower temperatures. During winter times, this same ailment will cause cold drafts in the house, making a rise in your heating bills.
How Can Your Roof Get Like This?
Unfortunately, there are a number of external factors out there that are conspiring against your roofing. Mother Nature is a big rival of the roofing industry and she wreaks the most havoc on them of anything else, including Sun damage with powerful UV rays causing rapid aging, to high winds that can literally LIFT singles up off the roofing. The elements are certainly nothing to be trifled with and as such, it's important to give your house a good looking over after any major storm.
Now that you know what to watch out for, let's take a look at the styles of Shingles currently out there and give you an even better background education for what to be on the look out for if and when you need to replace them.
Giving a sleek, more modern look, these tiles have come into prominence in recent years as the style of choice among homeowners. GAF's Timberline Ultra HD line is a great buy for anyone going for this look, as it offers the one of the thickest shingle styles you can find, being 61% thicker than the average architectural shingles out on the market. You can also take comfort in knowing that high winds will have little to do with these shingles as they can withstand speeds of up to 130 mph, and come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty as well!
This is the look for those who would like a bit of a classic look to their home, but still get a good value for their dollar. Commonly also referred to as three-tab design, these shingles have come a long way from their similar looking predecessors. GAF's Royal Sovereign design is a perfect mix of classic look and new technology with advanced layer and wind technology that keeps them safe and sound under their 25 year limited warranty.
These are just a couple of ones out of our selection though, you can browse the rest on our Roofing and Gutters page.
And remember, you have a friend in The Home Depot as far as helping you get it installed. We offer professional In-Home consultation and installation services for your roofing needs. If you'd like, you can even get the process started right from the comfort of your seat. Just head over to our Roofing and Shingle Installation page and get started!