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Roofing: Restore or Replace?

Deciding whether to restore or replace roofing is essentially an exercise in timing — you don’t want to re-roof too soon and waste money, but you don’t want to wait too long either.

Someday, all roofs will wear out and need to be replaced. In a tight economy, the decision about when to restore it is incredibly weighty. If you do it too soon, you'll save money. But if you wait too long, you'll have leaks and expensive water damage. To get the timing right, you must know how to assess your roof's overall condition. That way, you can identify early signs of roof failure.

Be Mindful to Early Signs of a Roof Leak

If you inspect your roof's condition at least yearly, you should be able to plan for necessary repairs. Early signs of trouble include:

● Dark areas on ceilings

● Peeling paint on the underside of roof overhangs

● Damp spots alongside fireplaces

● Water stains on pipes venting the water heater or furnace

From the outside, you can view your roof's health through binoculars. Warning signs include:

● Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing

● Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering

● Worn areas around chimneys, pipes, and skylights

If you see piles of grit from asphalt roof tiles in the gutters, that's a bad sign. The granules cover the roof from the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays. Black algae stains are cosmetic, but much moss and lichen could signal decay beneath the roof.

If you're inspecting yourself and find worrisome signs, get a professional assessment. That's an excellent idea if the roof is old or there has been a storm with heavy wind or hail.

Get the Most From a New Roof

A new roof is something only some families are thrilled to buy. However, getting multiple benefits makes it easier to shell out the money. As part of a new roofing project, you can incorporate many features that make your home more environmentally friendly. Some may qualify for a federal tax credit to offset the cost using IRS Form 5965. You can also choose roofing that's more resistant to fire or damage from wind and hail. That may qualify you for a discount on your homeowner's insurance policy.

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