Deciding to replace your roof is a big decision. It’s a major home improvement project that requires specialized skills, and can cost several thousand dollars; no wonder so many homeowners put it off for as long as possible.
Waiting too long to have it replaced, though, can be disastrous.
It may seem like a good idea to wait to replace your roof, but any benefits are only short-lived because waiting can cause more trouble down the road.
What Happens If You Wait to Replace Your Roof?
Waiting for roof replacement may seem like a good idea. How necessary is it anyway?
In fact, waiting to replace your roof can cause major damage to your home. It can lead to issues you’ve never thought of before.
Below are the four biggest reasons you should put this project on top of your To-Do list.
Having it done sooner, rather than later can save you time and aggravation.
1. Additional damage will occur
If you’ve been postponing replacing your roof then chances are pretty good that you’ve had that roof awhile, and made a few repairs along the way.
It’s understandable that you’d rather continue to patch up problem areas, but remember those materials are getting older. And that means they’re weakening and becoming less able to reflect the sun and keep you’re your inside temperature stable.
Old roofs leave your home vulnerable to the elements; rain and snow leak inside, strong winds remove tiles or shingles. Once that happens then your roof’s foundation becomes damaged and it no longer can protect the rest of your house.
You run the risk of further interior damage such as mold in the attic insulation, or a leak seeping into your drywall.
2. Homeowners insurance can be affected
If you wait to replace your roof, the age and condition of your roof can affect your premiums as well as the claims process.
Outdated and deteriorating roofs both raise insurance rates, while newer roofs usually result in a discount. And in the event of a storm or accident, your insurance company will consider the roof’s prior condition.
Insurance companies often have to follow guidelines about what kinds of structures they will insure.
If your roof is old and in need of serious repair they may deem it as not very structurally sound. Or they may request that you have it replaced in order to gain coverage.
In some instances the ability to file an insurance claim after a storm or other natural disaster has been compromised by an aging roof.
Inspectors may determine that had the roof been replaced sooner that damages wouldn’t have occurred. A denied insurance claim will cost you more money out of pocket for the repairs.
3. You want to maintain your property values
One of the first things people notice when looking at a house is its roof.
It adds to the overall curb appeal.
Issues like missing shingles, dark moldy streaks, broken tiles, and obvious patchwork subtract from that appeal. This is especially true if you’re in the process of trying to sell your property or have it appraised for other reasons.
Onlookers often make assumptions about a neighborhood and its inhabitants based on the appearance of homes in the area. A roof that appears dilapidated signifies that the property requires extensive roof maintenance, and probably has at least some interior damage caused from leaks.
Potential buyers will request that you lower your asking price, and appraisers won’t find your home as valuable as it could be.
4. Utility expenses are affected by the condition of the roof
There’s more to a roof than just shingles and an appealing look; the roof is instrumental in regulating the inside temperature of the home. Over time the materials that keep the house insulated begin to deteriorate causing the air conditioner to work harder.
If you wait to replace your roof after it is damaged, the result is an increase in the power bill.
Replacing an old roof helps maintain a stable interior temperature. New vents allow adequate air circulation in the attic to decrease the air temperature, and new shingles better reflect the sun’s rays. Your air conditioner works less, saving you money in the long run.
While it’s true that you can save money when you wait to replace your roof, it’s only a short-term solution.
Eventually the whole project will have to be completed. And in the meantime additional damage can occur, insurance can be affected, your property values will decrease, and your power bill will increase.
When Is It Time To Replace Your Roof?
Don’t wait until you see water spots on the ceiling to decide it’s time to replace the roof. Below are other signs that it’s time to invest in a new roof.
Damaged or broken roofing
As shingles age they warp by curling, cracking, or buckling. When this happens you know that your roof is past its prime.
If you use a different roofing material, such as clay, concrete, or slate tiles, if you notice any tiles are chipped or broken, they should be replaced immediately.
Missing shingles or broken materials
Although it’s fairly common and not a problem to replace a shingle here and there throughout the years, it does pose a problem when your roof begins to look like a checkerboard.
The same goes for other roofing materials as well.
If your roof is new then loose granules aren’t a problem; they’re just extra falling off. But granules falling off of older roofs are a problem. Those granules help reflect the sun’s rays; without them the shingles don’t work as well. Flat shingles will deteriorate quickly.
Anything is sagging
Sagging, no matter how shallow or small indicates a structural issue. Either the decking or support is broken in that area. If this is the case, you should not wait to replace your roof.
Having The Work Done
Roofs are complicated structures that are vital to your home. You’ll be learning a new skill on an important part of your house.
Professionals have the knowledge and experience to tackle any problems that arise during the process. Unless you’ve worked on several roofs prior to doing your own there’s just no way to know what you’ll encounter.
Working on the roof is also extremely dangerous. It’s easy to lose your balance and fall off the roof. And if you’re not familiar with the equipment, that too poses additional risk.
Professionals are better equipped to replace your roof; they can do it quickly, cleanly, and safely.