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Don't Neglect Your Roof

Roofing - American Harvest Cedar

With spring around the corner, many homeowners are itching to get going on their home improvement projects. Renovating a kitchen or bath, repainting a room, cleaning windows, and power washing your siding are all projects that provide immediate and visible results.

But how much thought have you given to your roof?  Sure, it's up there on top of your house, and you assume it's doing what it's supposed to be doing.  It protects your home from rain and the elements and keeps you dry.  But when is the last time you inspected the condition of your roof?

The most common material for roofing is asphalt shingles. Asphalt shingles are very affordable, easy to install, and are available in a wide variety of colors and styles. But many homeowners don't realize an asphalt roof lifespan. Depending on the manufacturer, asphalt roofs last from 20 to 40 years. However, there are factors that affect that lifespan. Darker colored shingles tend to wear out faster because they absorb more heat. If your roof has a steeper pitch, this can extend the life of your shingles. And if your roof faces south it gets more direct sunlight, reducing its life.

So what are the signs that you need to replace your roof? The best way to tell is to inspect your roof. Get up on a ladder and take a look, or view your roof from the street with binoculars. Signs to look for include:

  • Worn spots where granules have deteriorated (if you see granules in your gutters, this is a sure sign your shingles are deteriorating)
  • Cracked or missing shingles
  • Curled or cupped shingle edges
  • Water leaks in your attic space

Moisture is a significant concern with an older roof. When water is able to find its way underneath shingles, it will cause damage to the rafters in the form of wood rot and mold. And when the temperatures fall below freezing, water that has worked its way under your shingles can freeze, causing further shingle damage as well as possible ice dams.

While replacing your new roof becomes necessary to protect your home from water damage, wood rot, and mold, there are other benefits to installing a new roof. Curb appeal gets a huge boost with a new roof. Your roof, along with your siding, is the most visible part of your home from the street. If you're considering selling your home in the future, a new roof will make a huge first impression to potential buyers.

Energy efficiency is another benefit of a new roof. While we typically think of improved efficiency through new replacement windows and doors, a new roof can also improve your home's ability to maintain the thermostat temperature and minimize heat loss. By reducing solar heat gain in the summer, your HVAC system doesn't have to work as hard, saving you money.