With Halloween only a week away, every homeowner knows that the trials of winter home ownership are just around the corner. And if you’re the owner of a typical North American residence, your roof will be doing double duty for the next six months as a major architectural element AND your home’s first line of defense against old man winter. With winter imminent, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions if your existing roof is more than 10 years old - especially if it’s an asphalt shingle roof.
Have I noticed any leaks? Walk around all of the rooms in your home and have a look at the ceiling. Check for any discoloration or spots that might indicate a roof leak. If you see anything suspicious, take it seriously and have your roof checked by a professional.
If no leaks are evident from the inside, the next question is, How does it look from the ground? Since climbing on the roof is beyond the comfort zone of many homeowners, a good look around from the ground is often a next best inspection. If you have a pair of binoculars, all the better. Look at all of the details (everywhere a wall, pipe, chimney, skylight, or antennae intersects, penetrates or mounts to the roof) as these are usually the first places to have a problem. If anything looks loose, askew or shows an obvious crack or gaping hole, that’s a warning sign. Then look at the rest of the roof, checking for missing or loose shingles. If you see anything that doesn’t look right, then it’s likely time to have an up-close look or have a professional do a rooftop inspection.
If your roof is 20 plus years old, regardless of what you can see from the ground, it’s likely worth having an inspection by a professional. As asphalt shingles are notorious for expiring on or before their twentieth birthdays regardless of their “warranty period.”
If your roof passes this checklist, and you have no reason to suspect it’s beyond its service life, then you’re probably good for the upcoming winter and your home is likely to be dry and secure.
If your old roof fails to pass inspection after this little checklist, then pricing a metal roof before the winter might be a very good idea. Metal roofs are famous for being a top choice for longevity and resistance to extreme wind and weather. It’s not too late in most areas to consider replacing that failing old roof and keep your home and its contents secure through the seasons.