Most of the time, your roof takes care of you. It shelters the house, it weathers the storms, and it keeps out the cold season after season. But roofs don’t last forever. Sometimes they take damage, sometimes they leak and, eventually, they grow old and wear out. When major events happen in the life of your roof, sometimes roof repair isn’t enough and that’s when you need a completely new roof installation in Farmington Hills Michigan. Here in Farmington Hills, Michigan, there are many different reasons to install a new roof on your home. Whether you are installing a new section of roof or an entirely new roof from gutter to gutter, it’s important to know the right signs and triggers to call for roof installation services immediately once the need arises.
To help Farmington Hills homeowners make the right roofing choices, we’re here today to highlight the key signs when it’s time for a new roof installation.
The Three Types of Trigger
The many reasons for roof installation generally fall into three categories.
- Age & Wear
- Storm Damage & Weather
- Renovation & Improvements
Of course, it’s also interesting to note that a high number of roof installations actually address more than one cause. For example, a roof that is nearing it’s lifespan end is also more prone to storm damage, so you may require an installation that cures both. Or a damaged roof is on a home where you also want to make renovations. Don’t feel limited to one reason for roof installation. Let’s dive in.
1. Age & Wear
The number one reason why homeowners install new roofs is to replace an older roof that has worn out. There are many ways a roof can wear out and many signs your roof is on it’s last legs. A roof’s age and general wear also contribute to how easily it is damaged by outside factors.
When the Shingles Wear Out
Every roof has a lifespan, an amount of time that it is rated to serve faithfully and then it will begin to fall apart. This lifespan is generally based on the shingles. The brand, the model, the time of installation and the quality of that initial installation. Asphalt composite shingles (standard) have an approximate lifespan between fifteen and thirty years. After this point, the granules will start to flake off, the edges may start to curl, and the shingles will progressively lose their integrity.
This means that if your roof is over 15 years old, it’s time for an inspection at the very least. And if it’s been more than 20 years since your last roof installation, then it’s time for a roof reinstallation. Those older previous-generation shingles have a shorter lifespan than the composite asphalt shingles applied today which can range from 20 to 45 years depending on the brand and model.
When The Roofline Droops or Caves
Take a few steps back away from your house; cross the street if you can. Look at the lines of the roof. Does the ridgeline droop? Are there clearly points in the roof that are lower than others? Drooping and sagging may seem ‘classic old house’ but the are actually very bad signs for the health of your roof.
Roofs are supposed to be held aloft by sturdy beams that form peaks that rain and snow roll right off of. Low points not only mean that snow can pile up on your roof. It means that those beams are either broken or, more likely, going soft from wet rot. From there, piled snow only makes it worse.
If your roof is visibly sagging, or if you feel sponginess under your feet when investigating the roof, then reinstallation is only a matter of time. Better sooner than later, and you will likely need to replace a few structural beams in the process.
Extensive Missing Shingles
Bare patches of roof are bad news. No matter what the cause (homeowners often aren’t sure), if you can see visible sections of your roof missing shingles, then a full reinstallation is likely your best answer. That many missing shingles suggests that the lot is either aging or loose for some reason. And there is only time between you and more shingles going missing. In this situation, a roof installation is your best answer to stem an ongoing problem.
If You See Shingles Curling or Buckling
Shingles should not curl or buckle. In high winds, they will occasionally peel up at the corners where the winds pull, but curling is another story. Shingles that curl or buckle are either significantly older than you realzed and passed their lifespan or were installed wrong the first time. Any signs of curling or buckling beyond one or two damaged shingles should be cause for alarm and likely the trigger for a new roof installation.
When the Flashing Pulls Away
Flashing is what connects your roof features like chimneys and sklights to the roof so that no leaking can occur in the gap where the shingles stop. Most flashing today is made of metal, and will need to be replaced if the metal ever pulls away from the roof feature allowing a new gap. Older flashing made of roofing tar degrades over time and ought to be replaced with metal. So whether your flashing is simple tar or separating metal, flashing decay is a clear sign that it’s time for work on your roof.
When the Gutters Fill with Granules
Many homeowners don’t really know the age of their roof, but there are ways to tell when your shingles are past their lifespan. Like plants releasing pollen in the spring, Shingles that have gotten old release their UV-resistant granules. So if you start to see a lot of roof-colored granules in the gutters and on the ground around your roof, this means your roof is ready for a full reinstallation with all-new modern shingles.
If You Can See Daylight Through Roof Boards
One very simple way to tell if your roof is no longer doing it’s job is to simply step into the attic and look up. If you can see daylight glowing through the roof, that means your shingles don’t form a water-tight seal anymore. In fact, daylight means you are already at searious risk of leaks and storm damage without a roof installation soon.
Excessive Mold on the Rafters
Finally, there’s the mold problem. Roofs are constantly dealing with lingering moisture in and out of the attic. And mold loves a dark moist place to grow. Technically, most homeowners wouldn’t mind some harmelss green growth… except that mold atctually eats away at the rafters and can be the cause of the drooping we talked about earlier. Excessive mold is a sign that your roof has begun to decay exactly like an old tree and will likely need to be rebuilt completely.
2. Storm Damage & Weather
Michigan weather is not kind to roofs. The storms here have been the end of quality roofs in good condition and older roofs that were already wearing out. It’s important to get your roof checked after every major storm just in case real damage was done that could cause you future problems.
When the Wind Blows Off a Significant Section
Winds here in Michigan can be brutal during the stormy season and that can wreak some real havoc for your roof. Especially for older roofs that are already approaching the end of their lifespan. Missing sections of shingles after a bad storm can easily be caused by the winds alone, ripping shingles up one after another. Using the space made by one missing shingle to get a grip onto the next.
When this happens, you need those shingles replaced for your roof to block the rain or survive another storm. And a full reinstallation is often the answer when shingles are already weak enough to come up in droves.
When Heavy Hail has Cracked Most of Your Shingles
Hail is another killer for composite asphalt, wood shake, and tile rooftops alike. Some hail is so heavy and dense that it can crack a shingle in half. Most of the time, hail pummels your roof until the shingles are tenderized and the granules almost completely knocked away. Your roof may look about the same at a distance after a devastating hail storm, but it may not have survived as well as you think.
Bruised asphalt shingles and those missing granules have been significantly weakened and their lifespans shortened. After a brutal hail storm, you will want to get a roof inspection and the inspector will tell you the extent of repairs necessary or if you will need to replace the majority of your shingles.
When a Tree Branch Falls Through
Then there is the simple brutality of a falling tree branch. When the wind gets ahold of a large chunk of tree, no roof is safe. Tree branches can be large, heavy, and incredibly dense. The wrong branch falling or being slammed by wind into your roof can punch a huge hole including significant damage to the structure of your roof beyond the shingle damage.
Tree branch hits almost always involve at least a localized reinstallation and many homeowners with older roofs take this opportunity to schedule a full reinstallation. They do this so that all their shingles will be of the same age, rather than one section of the house being offset from the rest.
When Piled Snow Causes Leaks
Even the peaceful falling snow can cause long-term damage to your roof under the wrong circumstances. Anywhere snow is allowed to pile up and then stick is a problem, particularly low places in the roof where the snow has some shelter. Here, snow can melt, soak the roof, and then re-freeze the outside of the pile to trap moisture inside. Any time moisture is trapped with your roof, the shingles and beams underneath are at risk of softening or rotting.
3. Renovation & Improvement
Homeowners also invest in a new roof for other reasons, usually in conjunction with replacing an old roof and repairing damage but not always. In some cases, it is more profitable or desirable to replace a roof of moderate quality in order to make serious changes to the house.
When You Want to Install New Roof Features
For many homeowners, a new roof is an opportunity for new roof features. You may want to add a lovely skylight for the kitchen, or an extra exhaust vent for the laundry room. There are many different kinds of roof features but each one must be carefully built into the roof with professional installation and flashing. They need to perfectly fit into a gap in the shingles and have flashing built around them.
So if you desire a new roof feature, a new roof is a great way to go about that. Or, if you’re getting a new roof, this is the perfect opportunity to add a new roof feature.
When You’re Preparing to Sell the House
Home sale prices are a big deal, and the roof plays a major part in that. An old roof can significantly lower the value of a home when sold while a new roof can easily exceed it’s cost in the amount it adds to the sale price. Buyers love a home with a new roof, especially if the warranties are still in place. A new roof means buyers don’t have to worry about maintenance for the first five years, that their roof is made of the latest in roofing technolgy materials, and it often makes the house look amazing from the outside.
For savvy homeowners with a lot to gain, a new roof is a powerful selling point.
When You’re Upgrading Your Roofing Technology
Finally, there’s the consideration of roofing technology. Materials and shingle design have come a long way since many current Farmington Hills roofs were installed 10-30 years ago. The composite asphalt has gotten sturdier and lasts longer. Architectural shingles have been developed to provide structural integrity to the roof design, and there are far more options in terms of brand and color.
If you want to upgrade your roof’s look or the protective technology used to build your roof, a full roof installation is the right way to go.
Does your Farmington Hills Michigan home need a new roof installation? If your situation or plans match any of the circumstances we have just described, then a new roof is something you should be seriously considering. The best way to get started is with a roof inspection. The inspector will be able to tell you the state of your roof, what kind of damage you’re looking at, and the best roof installation options moving forward. If you’d like to schedule an inspection or consult on your next Farmington Hills roof installation, contact us today! Our expert roofing team is always ready to help.