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Old 11-03-2007, 12:07 AM   #1
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


Our house is around 20-25 years old ('83 or '87, I can't recall). When we purchased it about two and a half years ago, the home inspector said the roof was "in very good condition for it's age." I didn't think much about it at the time, but how can I tell when it really will need to be replaced? What things should I be looking for that would point to the roof being in good shape or in bad?

My parents used the Oh-look-there-are-a-lot-of-water-stains-on-our-ceilings, -maybe-it's-time-to-replace-the-roof method. While this method has its merits, including accuracy and definitiveness, I'm wondering what other methods are generally acceptable.

Thank you in advance for any and all insights!

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Old 11-03-2007, 12:20 AM   #2
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


If there are no leaks and you are satisfied with the appearance of your current roof then that would be the first step.

Also, if the rest of the neighborhood has not mostly upgraded to the more appealing architectural style shingles, then there would be no need to keep up with the "Jones" family.

Other factors would be the brittleness of the shingle materials and if there are any bumpy curling or clawing shingles looking in disarray.

The sheet metal flashings all need to be in sound and functional shape.

Also, the attic ventilation, no doubt would need to be upgraded to proper manufacturers specifications and current code. Does the home retain excessive heat in the summer months?

Are there any signs of warping or buckled wood decking telegraphing through the existing shingles?

Unless there is strong potential for a possible leak and as long as you are comfortable with the appearance of the look of your roof color scheme, then you need not be in any hurry.

Probably more I could have added, but it is time to get some sleep.

I hope this helps as a starting point.

Ed

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Old 11-03-2007, 10:01 PM   #3
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


For us, it was leaking around the Brick chimney, water infiltration at the gutter edge, which caused leaking in our bedroom, leaking at the edge of the entry dormer and the side of the house. And the worst part was, the roof was only 10 years old, sloppily done. I have pictures of the re-roof, and when I replaced a section of the wood on the Roof dormer this past summer.
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:59 AM   #4
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


any of the above
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Old 11-04-2007, 08:44 AM   #5
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


LOL.. I Have advised the following for years..

There are 2 times to replace a roof.

1. when the roof is ready.

2. when you are ready.

These will not happen at the same time.

Good advice in above posts.

weathering.. loss of ceramic granuals are good indicators.. to watch the roof.
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:01 PM   #6
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


Thanks for the tips!

It looks like I'm coming up on replacing it before too long, then.

I recently installed a gutter leaf guard, and noticed that there were a lot of those granules in the gutter. Not tons, I would say, but noticeable, especially since I cleaned it out last spring. Also, some of the shingles did seem pretty brittle, especially on the corners; they tore really easily by accident.

Quote:
Are there any signs of warping or buckled wood decking telegraphing through the existing shingles?
Could you expand on that just a bit? How would this look? I'm thinking it would show up as a bump in the roof, but not because the shingles are curling?

Quote:
Also, the attic ventilation, no doubt would need to be upgraded to proper manufacturers specifications and current code. Does the home retain excessive heat in the summer months?
I was wondering about that, too. There's no ridge vent. I'm wondering, most of our roof covers a cathedral ceiling where there really is no attic. Are ridge vents still recommended in this case? Also, what kind of soffit vent size would we need? Around our house the soffits are solid boards, with maybe a half inch gap between them. Would that be big enough, assuming they weren't blocked?

It does get warm in the summer at top floor height (there's a small loft), but I think that is mostly because of the house fan that is installed lets too much attic air back into the house. I don't mind, since the hot air stays at the top, unless this is a sign we need better venting?

Thanks again!
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:42 PM   #7
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


Quote:
Originally Posted by IckesTheSane View Post
Thanks for the tips!

It looks like I'm coming up on replacing it before too long, then.

I recently installed a gutter leaf guard, and noticed that there were a lot of those granules in the gutter. Not tons, I would say, but noticeable, especially since I cleaned it out last spring. Also, some of the shingles did seem pretty brittle, especially on the corners; they tore really easily by accident.

Could you expand on that just a bit? How would this look?

(1) I'm thinking it would show up as a bump in the roof, but not because the shingles are curling?

I was wondering about that, too. There's no ridge vent. I'm wondering, most of our roof covers a cathedral ceiling where there really is no attic. Are

(2) ridge vents still recommended in this case?

(3) Also, what kind of soffit vent size would we need? Around our house the soffits are solid boards, with maybe a half inch gap between them. Would that be big enough, assuming they weren't blocked?

It does get warm in the summer at top floor height (there's a small loft), but I think that is mostly because of the

(4) house fan that is installed lets too much attic air back into the house. I don't mind, since the hot air stays at the top, unless this is a sign we need better venting?

Thanks again!
1. Yes, you would observe dips in the decking or high spots where it has bridged and started to lift the shingles for the entire length of the size decking in place.

2. Ridge vent with 100 % continuous soffit ventilation would be needed as long as there is a minimum of a 1 1/2" to 2" clearance above the insulation in each rafter bay progressing continuously from the eave edge soffitintake ventilation portal upwards to the newly installed ridge ventilation system. If there is not an acceptable gap, the the decking should be removed and insulation baffle vents should be installed on top of all of the insulation to create an air passage way.

3) The amount of calculated intake ventilation needs to be equal to or greater than the amount of exhaust ventyilation. I doubt that a 1/2" gab between soffit bpoards would suffice. Plus, those gaps and the potential airflow through tem would be restricted in flowing due to the insulation in the rafter bays. There is a product made to be installed under the shingles call Smart Vent, by DCI Products, Inc., which would address this situation properly.

4. I think you are talking about a whole house fan? How does that allow attic loft air to enter the living quarters?

Ed
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:39 PM   #8
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


Waiting for leaks or water damage to replace your roof is making your job much harder and more expensive. If the edges of the shingle are curling and they are brittle it is time to replace your roof.
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:51 PM   #9
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed the Roofer View Post
Smart Vent, by DCI Products, Inc.,
Very cool. So simple, but so... well... smart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed the Roofer View Post
4. I think you are talking about a whole house fan? How does that allow attic loft air to enter the living quarters?

Ed
The short answer is that the lourves (?) that normally close when the fan is turned off don't close all the way. We put a board up in the winter to seal it up (I know, working on a better solution), but in the summer when we use it, we leave it open.

The slightly longer answer is that the loft is at attic level; it is in the living area. One of the walls in the loft simply divides the loft from the rest of a standard attic area, and that is what the house fan and a small hatch to the attic are located.

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1...ouse/loft1.jpg
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b1...ouse/loft2.jpg

The first photo you can see the loft is attic height, and the rest of the house is standard ceiling heights, where the people are standing. Really, it is a very small loft.

The second picture is just of the fan and the hatch in the wall, in the loft, that go through to the regular attic space.



I was thinking about at least looking into upgrading the insulation in the cathedral ceiling part of the house when we had the roof redone. I can't imagine any other way of doing it other than when the roof is taken off. Maybe punching holes along the ridge on the inside? Anyway, that expanding foam stuff caught my eye in another thread... It's a good thing I'm finding it on my own, I would be such an easy upsell. I can see it now...
Roofer: "while we have the roof off, lets upgrade the insulation"
Me: "Sure, sounds great!"
R: "since we're doing the insulation, we should talk about your walls."
M: "Yeah, them too!"
R: "well, since we're doing the walls, lets just go ahead and take it back down to the slab. When we're done, it'll be just like new!"
Me: "Great! how can I loose?"
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:59 PM   #10
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


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I was thinking about at least looking into upgrading the insulation in the cathedral ceiling part of the house when we had the roof redone.
Just realize that you will have all of the deckin g removal and replacement costs to add into the insulation upgrade.

How much R-Value can you loose pack into your cathedral rafter bays anyways? Is it worth the substantial cost for a minimum return on R-Value?

Ed
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:29 PM   #11
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


needs icynene poly-urethane foam for high r-value
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Old 11-05-2007, 10:32 PM   #12
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How can you tell when it's time to replace a roof?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed the Roofer View Post
Just realize that you will have all of the deckin g removal and replacement costs to add into the insulation upgrade.

How much R-Value can you loose pack into your cathedral rafter bays anyways? Is it worth the substantial cost for a minimum return on R-Value?

Ed
True.... I suppose if the cavities were properly insulated to begin with, it shouldn't really be any worse off then when it was new, assuming it hasn't gotten wet, dirty, compressed or sagged... Six inches of early 1980's fiberglass is going to be the same as six inches of 200X's fiberglass, right? To get any sort of increase I'd have to change materials, which probably would be prohibitively expensive, especially if I'm already replacing a roof, and especially if I wanted to make a big jump in R-value. Seems like a new thread, especially once I get closer to actually doing it, and finding out some pricing options.

I just like thinking about what's possible, even if it's not practical. How else will you know what's practical if you don't know what's possible?

Thanks again for all your tips and advice! Sounds like I have a new goal to save for!

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