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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Jan 2, 2024 8:00 AM

Assessing Your Roof Replacement Needs

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Prevention is better than cure.” You probably also apply that principle to some things around your home.

If you’re like most people, you might schedule an annual furnace inspection and have someone come out to service your air conditioner before the summer heat hits. You probably clean your gutters, re-stain your fence and deck when they need it, and do lots of other preventative maintenance tasks around your home.

Buckskin Green Knight Houston CoilIf a regular roof assessment is not already on your home maintenance to-do list, it might be time to add it. Here’s why.

Visible Signs of Wear, Damage, and Age on Your Roof

The first thing you need to know about roof assessments is that they can help identify signs of problems long before they become critical failures that require immediate attention.

Some of the physical signs that your roof is aging include fading, cracking of roofing materials, rust, curling shingles, rusting or corroding hardware, and missing or cracked tiles. If there is a sealant used for any flashings or other areas, it may also show signs of cracking long before it fails completely. This means there’s usually time to do smaller repairs before the small problems become big ones.

If you live in a windy part of the country (or have frequent storms), and you have shingles, you might even notice that some blow off from time to time. In fact, any big storm can do a lot of damage to a shingle roof!

When your roof is just starting to age and wear, these signs might be subtle, but a trained roofing inspection professional should still be able to identify them during a roof assessment, and there might be some simple preventative maintenance and repair steps that can be taken to slow down the process.

It’s important to remember that all roofing systems have an expected lifespan, and so far, no one has invented a roof that will last forever. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t take steps to get the maximum useful life out of any roofing system, and a proper roof assessment is one of the most important steps to do that.

roof leakWhat Happens When You Delay Roof Assessments?

Roofs are one of the major structural components of our homes, but they’re also ones that we don’t think about too much. Unlike the walls, windows, and doors of your home, you probably don’t see your roof every day, so often, it’s very much a matter of “out of sight, out of mind.”

However, the problem with any of the structural elements of our homes is that if they start to accumulate damage, it can be a very slow process – until one day, it isn’t.

You might not even notice a few small leaks at first, but small leaks never stay small, and it won’t be too long before you’ve got major water damage and you need an emergency roof repair or replacement just to fix the problem.

A regular roof assessment can help to find those little problems before they spread, which could extend the lifespan of your roof by several years, giving you more time to plan for future major repairs or replacements.

Self-Assessment Vs. Hiring a Professional

If you’re proactive about inspecting your roof and reasonably handy, you might be able to do your own assessments and only call a professional when you notice a problem. There are pros and cons to doing your own roof assessments. Let’s start with the pros of DIY inspections:

  • Professional roof assessors can be very busy at certain times of the year, and if you do your own assessment, you won’t have to wait for a booking slot to be available.
  • There’s no cost to do your own roof assessment.

Of course, while cost and timing are factors in every decision, there are also some very good reasons to hire a professional for your roof assessment:

  • Professional roof inspectors are highly trained and might be able to spot smaller, more subtle areas of concern sooner than you will.
  • When hiring a professional roof inspector, you don’t have to climb a ladder or walk around the roof yourself, which is considerably safer!
  • Independent roof inspectors will give you a clear indication of what they think you might need to do to repair your roof or if it needs to be replaced.

Even if you decide to do regular roof inspections and assessments yourself, it’s always a good idea to call in a professional if you spot something that might be problematic. Not only will they be able to offer a trained, professional second opinion, but if you do speak to someone to get a quote, you’ll already know what you need and what to expect.

roof inspectionWhat Does a Roof Assessment Cost?

Hiring a professional to inspect your roof will cost you between $75 and $600, but most professional roof inspections will cost about $200 to $300.

Read this related post: Roof Replacement Checklist

The cost of a roof assessment will vary depending on how large your roof is, where your property is located, and other factors. So, you can expect to pay more for an assessment on a sprawling country estate than you would for a compact townhouse in the city.

These days, some roof inspectors use drones with cameras to view every inch of your roof and create a detailed picture of the condition and any potential problem areas. Others might still climb onto your roof to do an in-person inspection.

Always ask the roof inspector you are thinking of hiring how they do their inspections and what your options are.

After a roof inspection – no matter how it’s done – you can expect to get a detailed report of the overall state of your roof and specific problem areas that need attention. These will usually include photographs and other information that you can pass on to roofing companies you might ask to quote for the repairs.

Why Choose a Third-Party Roof Inspector?

Some roofing companies will offer roof inspection services, but they always have a vested interest in selling you a new roof or an expensive repair, and even if the price is reasonable (or even free!), they usually use this as a “loss leader” to generate business.

There are many great roofing companies out there that are very honest and that won’t try to sell you services you don’t need. But there are also many that will. There’s also no way of knowing what kind of contractor you’re dealing with if you ask them to do your roof inspection.

It’s always best to hire a third-party, professional roof inspector to ensure you’re getting the right advice, no matter what.

blog.mcelroymetal.comhs-fshubfsResidential Metal Roofing Overviewmettilecabin-sizedWhat to Do with The Roof Inspector’s Assessment

After you’ve decided to get a roof assessment, hired a professional to do the job, and received the report, you still need to decide what to do with it.

In some cases, your roof will be in such bad shape you will have to take action, but if you’ve been getting regular roof assessments and you’ve been keeping up with maintenance and repairs, that’s not usually the case.

All roofs do age, though, and at some point, a roof inspector is going to tell you that you need to start thinking about some major repairs or even replacements.

While you’re weighing your options, you should consider several things.

  • How long has your current roof been in service? If it’s a shingle roof and has already been there for a decade or more, then it might well be showing signs of deterioration based on age alone.
  • Have there been any major wind or weather events, or do you have weather or climate that tends to age roofs faster? Living near the ocean, for instance, can often age roofing prematurely, as can very rainy or hot climates, depending on the type of roofing material.
  • Do you plan to stay in your home, or are you planning on selling it soon? Both situations might be a good reason to get roof repairs or a replacement done.
  • Do you have a warranty on your roof, and is it still within the warranty period?

Ask your roof inspector how long they think it will be before your current roof is no longer serviceable. You can use this information to start saving and budgeting, and if you know you can expect 10 to 15 more years, you know you’ve got lots of time to consider all the options.

A new roof is a big investment, but since it protects everything in your home, it’s worth keeping your roof in the best shape possible. Whether you need major repairs or to replace some or all of your roof, the value you will get from roof maintenance will far outweigh the expense of doing it.

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About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Roof Replacement

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