A structure’s roofs rank second to the home’s foundation in terms of their importance to the structural integrity of a home. A bad roof can even contribute to the decay and eventual failure of a home’s foundations. Roofs are critical to the protection of everything that makes up a home.
This is why a damaged roof poses a huge threat to the success of a rental property. It can devastate the physical structure of the home and make it completely unlivable for tenants. A roof in poor condition can wipe out any prospects you have of making profits.
Yet, for something so important, roofs are often neglected. Landlords are more likely to invest in non-essential upgrades than pay attention to a rental property’s roof. This is mainly because roofs are out of sight and problems do not always affect the rest of the home.
As a result, many landlords don’t know when it is time to change a rental’s roof. Because they don’t have a regular inspection schedule, they often are not aware of the true condition of their roof. And problems are only detected when they start affecting the home’s interior.
Waiting until signs of roof damage begins to show up inside your rental property is the hard way to go. By the time these signs start creeping in, it is certain that the issue has become advanced. And you can bet that the internal structures of the roof have already become compromised.
Additionally, if you allow the signs of roof damage to reach the home’s interior, the impact on your business will be more difficult to manage, warns OmniKey Realty. But by paying attention to the signs of roof damage as we will explain here, you will have an easier way to tell when the roof is ready to be replaced.
If you have noticed any of the following signs on your rental property’s roof, it could be a sign that the structure is ready for replacement.
The roof is sagging
There are two main reasons why a property’s roof would sag; it could be because the attic decking has given way or the home’s foundation has failed. A sagging roof is a major problem that requires extensive repairs, not only of the roof but the underlying structures creating the problem.
One or two cracked shingles is not sufficient reason to believe that a roof needs replacement. Roof shingles are often cracked by a strong wind. What is important is the frequency and volume of the problem. If it becomes a regularly recurring issue, the roof needs to be replaced.
Similar to cracked shingles, a few missing shingles is nothing to get alarmed over. It happens and when the problem is detected, the missing shingle should be replaced. But when several shingles are missing at the same time, you should consider replacing the roof.
Curling shingles are a problem of a different sort. This is one of the unmistakable signs that a roof has started to fail. Shingles curl as a result of poor installation and old age. Extreme environmental factors, such as rapid and severe temperature changes, can also cause shingles to curl.
Shingles covered in moss and algae
If the shingles are covered in moss and algae, chances are that the substrate has been eroded and the roof has lost its integrity. This is because algae and moss penetrate the material of shingles and cause the entire roof structure to become weaker.
Gaps around the flashing
The purpose of flashing is to provide a perfect seal that keeps water out of the internal structures of the roof and the interior of the home. When gaps begin to appear around vents, skylights, and chimneys, it is a sure sign that the roof is in trouble.
Sunlight is visible through the attic roof
If there is sunlight peeking through the roof of the attic, it means the roof above is leaking. And if the roof above the attic is leaking, there is a good chance that other parts of the roof will be leaking too.
Granules in the gutter
Shingles will normally shed granules, so finding a few granules in the gutters is not proof that the roof needs to be replaced. However, if the roof is shedding granules to the point where the gutter is full of them, it means the roof is worn out.
Ice dam formation
If ice dams are consistently forming at the edges of the roof, the shingles and underlying structures of the roof have become exposed to damage. This is because rather than running off from the roof and into the gutters, water is backing up and gets beneath the shingles and into the roof.
The roof has reached the end of its useful life
Roofs will typically last 20-25 years before they lose their effectiveness. But this depends on the weather and how well the roof is cared for. If the roof is close to or at the end of its useful lifespan, it is best to change it, even if there are no apparent signs of failure.
There you have it, signs to watch out for to check whether you should replace the roof on your rental property.