Growing up in a house full of girls, I unofficially took on the role as my father's only son. So when the time came to fix a leaky sink or change the oil in the family car, it was me that stood by my father's side. Thanks to him and everything he taught me, I am now able to take care of myself and my children in a way that not everyone can. I have tried over the years to engage my own daughter in the same way my father engaged me, but she's currently more interested in playing with dolls than fixing potholes. After my father passed away last year, I vowed to find a way to pass on everything he taught me, this blog is my way of keeping that promise. I truly hope that you learn as much as I have over the years.
When your roof starts breaking down and leaking, you usually have the choice whether to repair the damage or replace the whole roof. If the roof is quite young and the issue is isolated to a certain area, repairing the damage is generally the better choice. If your roof is on the older side, the decision whether to repair or replace is not always so easy. If any of these three signs are present, however, you're probably better off just replacing the older roof rather than repairing it.
Your wallpaper has begun to peel or the paint has begun to crack.
Take a look at the wallpaper or paint on the exterior walls of your home. If the wallpaper is beginning to not stick so well, or if the paint seems to be cracking and chipping away, particularly on the upper portion of the wall, make a note of this. These are signs that your roof may be letting in more moisture than you know, and that the moisture has begun seeping into your wallboards.
There's a lot of moss on the roof, and it keeps coming back.
Moss growth on the roof is difficult to fight. Remove the moss, and it will generally grow right back. Even the herbicides designed to be sprayed on roofs are not overly effective at keeping moss at bay. Moss usually only grows in roofs that have begun to decay, so if you have extensive moss up there and removing it has not kept it away, this is a good sign your roof needs to be entirely replaced, not just cleaned up.
There's a moldy, musty smell in your upstairs or attic.
Even if you do not actually see any water leaking in, a musty or moldy odor is a sign that moisture is making its way through the roof. In an older roof, this is typically a generalized problem, not one that can be corrected by replacing a couple of shingles. It's in your best interest to act quickly before any moisture and mold spread through your walls or other building materials. Make sure you tell your roofer than the attic seems moist and musty, so they can air the area out before putting on a new roof.
All of the signs above indicate that a large portion of your roof is failing, and that a replacement is probably the best option. A roofer can confirm this for you and provide you with estimates for both the roof replacement and repairs, if they are indeed an possibility.