roof-2You may have heard the saying, “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” This is a sound decision if you’re a homeowner and you want to minimize home improvement costs, especially when it comes to replacing or repairing your roof.

Throughout the year, your roof protects you against the elements and is constantly expanding and contracting, drying up and cracking. With time, it’s normal that your roof deteriorates. If the roof is in need of repair, the line of defense of your home is broken. A faulty roof could lead to damage to your ceiling, walls, insulation, electrical wiring, floors, furniture and more.

[Need emergency roof repairs? Click to hire a pro roofing contractor.]

So on the next sunny day, and twice a year after that, inspect your roof to prevent the worst from happening and incurring greater emergency repair costs down the line.

10 things to look for during your roof inspection

So how do you know if it’s time to have your roof repaired or replaced?

First, walk around your home and closely examine the roof for obvious signs of damage, leaks, or aging. You can use binoculars to examine it more carefully. Some people climb onto their roofs for the annual inspection, but it’s best to leave climbing to professionals, who can access your roof safely.

[Not sure how to inspect your roof? Get a pro to do it for you]

Inspect the roof for:

  1. Torn, loose, damaged (or missing!) shingles, shakes or tiles
  2. Shingles that curl up or are cracked
  3. Granules from shingles or pieces of roofing materials in the gutters
  4. Dark areas or signs of water damage visible on the roof surface
  5. Gutters that droop or are blocked
  6. Water leaking from the gutter or the pipe
  7. Signs of mold or moisture
  8. Bird nests or signs of vermin infestation
  9. Plant shoots on the roof or in the gutters
  10. Dark spots or water stains on ceilings inside the house*

Deciding on whether to repair or replace your roof

Now that you’ve taken note of the condition of your roof, you’ll have to decide if you need to repair your roof or replace it entirely. There are costs to consider with either decision.

Many homeowners choose to repair individual damaged shingles, slates or tiles to extend the life of the roof. The downside is that new shingles may not match the color of your current shingles, and you could lose some curb appeal. Ask your contractor to match the shingles as closely as possible if you are choosing to patch up your roof. If parts of the roof need repair, there’s a good chance that it won’t be long until you’ll have to repair (or replace) the rest, too.

It may work out cheaper in the long term to reroof with durable and sustainable roofing  products that will last you a dozen years or more than to patch up bits and pieces over the years. Your roofing contractor will be able to help you to make that decision.

Investing in your roof is certainly an expense, but consider the peace of mind you’ll have from knowing that your roof is strong enough to protect your home and family from harshness of the elements.

When to call in the pros

If you have never inspected your roof for damage, or you see signs of impending leaks, cracks, or wear-and-tear, contact a professional roofing contractor. That single phone call or email could save you thousands before the next big storm hits!