Your roof is often an unsung hero, not getting the appreciation or attention it deserves until you notice a leak.
When that happens, you’re faced with a decision: do I repair the leak or replace the roof?
Have you ever wondered if your roof needs repaired or replaced?
It’s a big question whether you’re a homeowner or you own a commercial building.
Here are key pointers to help you make that decision, but first let’s understand why a well-crafted roof is so important:
- It makes a home energy efficient
- It protects an entire building from inclement weather
- It can add to the curb appeal of a house
- It ensures a healthy interior with proper ventilation
Let’s do our roofing detective work as we focus on common problems that homeowners face.
What’s the Problem with Your Roof?
Is your roof leaking?
If so, the leak is probably not new. Chances are good that the leak has been happening for a while, maybe several years, and is just now soaking through the shingles, underlayment and decking.
The first step is to find where the leak is happening. That’s not as obvious as it sounds. If you see water dripping in your kitchen the actual problem may be at least several feet away.
Water travels to the lowest point so a leak can begin on the outside in a roofing valley, in the seams joining a low slope area with a higher sloped around or around vents and chimneys.
Here’s another area where leaks often happen and one that homeowners often don’t notice:
- In gutters with seams
- Along the drip edge of a roof where the water curls back under and eventually rots underlayment
Here’s what you can do: look in your attic and shine a light on the wood decking.
Do you see water spots throughout?
If so, the decking may likely be compromised and a new roof can be in order.
But before that decision is made, here’s something else you can do before calling Garvey Roofing, a contractor serving the San Gabriel Valley.
If your home has shingles then look at them and see if the color has faded. If you’re able to go safely up on the roof then check to see if ridge caps are missing or nails coming out.
The more worn the singles look, then the more likely you’re better off replacing the roof.
What about leaks on tile roofs?
Tile is typically porous, so it’s the underlayment that protects.
Check your roof’s edges and protrusions
Leaks around chimneys, vents and rooftop air conditioning units are usually repaired easily. Here’s an unusual situation that happened to me about 15 years ago, long before I met Thomas Garvey.
We had a roof replaced in the early 2000s. The front part was a slope with shingles and the back part needed low slope roofing material.
During one of those heavy rains that hit at night in Altadena and other areas along the foothills, I heard what sounded like a flood in my home office. A torrential downpour was coming through the light socket!
The next day, I called the roofing contractor who came out and, as far as I know, made a simple fix by reworking the drip edge so the water didn’t pool. He may have resealed the seams in the material as well.
The problem looked terrible but the repair was fairly simple.
If you have eaves, look beneath those. You may have decking that’s weak and rotting near the edge. That can be replaced and repaired without having to do an entire roof.
Commercial roof questions
Garvey Roofing also does commercial buildings like apartments, retail stores and churches.
Many commercial roofs need today’s flat roof material and have internal drains that require special care and attention.
What are your goals and needs?
Your lifestyle and your plans may determine if you’re going to get a roof replacement or repair.
Consider your financial situation now and how long you plan to live in your home.
If you plan to move in a few years, then you may go for a repair if possible and then negotiate the home price when it’s on the market.
If you plan to live in your home for decades to come and you’re going to need a new roof in a few years, then you may be better off to get the work done now.
Get a free evaluation of your roof’s condition
Call Garvey Roofing to check the health of your shingles, tile or low slope roof.
Thomas Garvey, the owner, is a roofing contractor who has operated a roofing business in the San Gabriel Valley for over 30 years. He’ll listen to your concerns, address the issues and then offer you the best options using the roofing materials that will work best in your situation.
Call (626) 358-9208.
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Awesome post! Keep up the great work
My brother has a store downtown that is starting to show it’s age a bit more this year. I think that the roof should be replaced soon because it’s starting to lose shingles. It’s good to know that when this happens, he should get up on the roof to make sure there aren’t nails poking out that could hurt someone.
I like your idea to do some basic inspections up on the roof before you decide to call a roofer to come to your home. My parents have an older home that is starting to show it’s age a bit more and it needs a new roof. I think it’s time to get it professionally replaced so that it will last another 20 or 30 years.
Thanks for giving these very useful ideas or information. I could say that this article is very beneficial and it is also worth to read.
We appreciate that. We’ve focused on Pasadena, Monrovia and nearby cities for over 30 years.
It’s really interesting to learn that a new roof can actually really help with energy efficiency. My brother is thinking about getting a new roof at his office building. He wants to make sure the new roof has a few different benefits before he installs one.
I like your post. You really mentioned some nice tips about how to know if you should repair or replace your roof. Thanks for sharing this information.
Thanks, George. Yes, knowing roofing around San Gabriel, Temple City, Pasadena and nearby cities has come with years of hard work and staying on top of roofing trends.
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