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How to Know When you Need a Roof Replacement in Boston

Published on Wednesday July 5, 2017

Roof replacement in Boston.From the Italian bakeries in the North End to the Victorian mansions in the South End, Boston is chock full of charm, history, and roofs. Yes, roofs.

Founded in 1630, Boston is one of the oldest cities in the country. Waves of settlers, wars, fires, and even one molasses flood mean Boston has been built and rebuilt more times than we can count, resulting in a wide range of architectural elements, rooftops included.

From the old housing stock found in neighborhoods like Beacon Hill to the modern developments found in suburban areas like Norwood, there are a lot of different roofing systems. And every 12-15 years, those roofs are going to need replacing. Boston winters aren’t exactly kind to aging or subpar roofs.

Luckily, Long Roofing has experience with roof replacements in all types of climates and settings. But how do you know when it’s time for a roof replacement in Boston? The trick is replacing your roof before disaster strikes. Here are a few signs that should tip you off in time:

4 critical signs that it’s time to replace your roof:

Evidence that you need a roof repair or replacement isn’t always obvious. Signs can be very subtle and occur over long periods of time. You can rest assured that if you wait until your ceiling starts to turn odd colors or there’s water dripping on your head, you have waited too long.

Once roof damage shows itself inside your home, you’ve missed your chance to simply replace your roof. Now you must fix the rest of your house, too.

Beginning with subtle evidence of roof damage, here are four signs that you need to replace your roof.

1. Subtle roof damage

Roof damage in Boston.

Roof damage only gets worse with time, so look for these signs at least twice per year.

  • Shingle condition: Uneven shingle lines and curled, loose, or torn shingles are all signs of damage. Missing or damaged shingles can allow water to seep into the sheathing layers and lead to rot. If you notice your roof sagging, it’s a sign that the under layer is rotting.
  • Gutters: You should clean your gutters at least twice a year. When doing so, look for asphalt granules or pieces of roofing material. If you’re seeing any of this, it can indicate a deteriorating roof.
  • Flashing: Look for rusted or missing flashing around chimneys, vent pipes and at the valley between roof parts. This can allow water to seep into your attic over time.

2. Your roof’s age

Old roof in Boston.

If your roof was installed properly with quality materials, you can expect 12-15 years of life (unless it is subjected to storm damage). If a roof is nearing the end of its useful life, it’s probably time to consider replacement.

3. Double layering

Signs of roof damage in Boston.

The cheapest option for a roof replacement is to place a second layer of roofing material over the original. While you may temporarily save some cash by avoiding a complete replacement, there are a few downsides to going this route.

First, you cannot fully know the extent of the roof damage unless you remove all material down to the sheathing. If you place a second layer of shingles over rotting sheathing, the lifespan of your new roof will decrease. This will also cost you more in the long run because contractors will have to remove two layers of roofing material when you replace your roof in the future.

That’s not all. Consider:

“Apart from the problems that can go unnoticed during the actual shingle-over, there are long term effects to consider, as well,” note the roofers at The Roofing Dog in Champaign, Illinois. “For instance, instead of just one roof on your home, you now basically have two. That’s a lot of weight, putting added stress on the roof decking.

Also, two layers of shingles are going to attract a lot more heat than just one layer, which can lead to the shingles prematurely deteriorating. What about all that dark algae growth and bacteria on the original layer of shingles? Now all of that is trapped under a second layer of shingles, again having the potential to shorten the lifespan of the top layer of shingles.”

Another thing to keep in mind is that a roof with overlay will not allow for an ice barrier. Ice barriers must adhere to wood decking. We know that winters in Boston can get pretty icy, so this is a biggie.

4. You’re selling your home

Selling your home in Boston.

Real estate in Boston right now is booming. According to Boston Agent Magazine, this past March, the city saw the highest number of home sales since March 2006. If you’re one of the fellow Bostonians who is selling your home, you should think about replacing your roof.

Your initial thought may be to sell the house in its current condition and let the buyer worry about it, but this strategy can cost you a lot of money. A compromised roof can complicate a sale very quickly, as a damaged roof makes the home far less desirable to buyers.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Buyers will often want more than the price of the roof discounted.
  • Lenders won’t want to extend a mortgage on a house with a damaged roof.
  • Insurance companies inspect homes and deny coverage to houses with bad roofs.

Bottom line: Unless you’re willing to take considerably less than your home is worth AND edge out buyers who offer cash, a good roof is required to sell your home.

Keep Boston beautiful. Need a roof replacement?

When you need a roof replacement in Boston, visit us online to get a price, schedule a free in-home consultation, or find answers to any home roofing questions. Make sure you ask us about our 50-year, no-nonsense roofing warranty, too.

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