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Do I Need A New Roof?

Common Signs, Roof Damage, Roof Replacement September 12, 2023

Unfortunately, roofs don’t last forever. The New Mexico sun and dry climate can be especially hard on roofs, and homeowners and commercial property owners must stay vigilant to get the most life out of their roof. At National Roofing, we specialize in all types of roofs projects, from multi-story commercial, educational and institutional properties to single story houses.  An existing roof can be repaired and maintained regularly to extend its life a while longer, but often we see roofs that are at the end of their life span and just need to be replaced. If you’re wondering how to tell if the roof needs replacing on your property, we’re here to help. First, consider these common signs you need a new roof, and then contact our team to request a roof walk. 

1. The Roof Is About to Turn 20

Low slope, or ‘flat’ roofs are very common for both homes and commercial properties in Albuquerque and much of New Mexico in part because steep slopes are not needed to shed heavy snow loads.  While pitched roofs typically are covered in shingles, metal or tile, ‘flat’ roofs are typically covered with built up asphalt or with single ply membranes such as EPDM, TPO and PVC.  All of these roofing materials usually perform optimally for about 15 to 30 years depending on many factors ranging from quality of materials and installation, to the type of surfacing used to protect the membrane and flashing from relentless ultraviolet radiation.  So if it’s been over 20 years since you installed your roof, consider bringing in professionals to assess its condition.

2. You Notice Exterior Damage

If there is noticeable damage at the edges of your roof, that’s a solid indication it may be time for a new roof—or at least substantial repairs. Some frequent visual signs you may need a new roof include excessive wear to the roof finish, blistering and cracking of the roof covering, and large areas of ponding water. You may also see damaged or missing flashing at roof penetrations or edges, or obvious moisture damage at stucco parapets or wood fascia and soffits. Sometimes, exterior damage isn’t just visible—it’s also audible. If you hear fluttering during wind events, it can be an indication that some part of the roof has peeled away and the roof may no longer be water-tight.

3. Your Roof Is Turning Into a Garden

If a ‘flat’ roof is not properly drained, it can create conditions suitable for plant growth.  This happens when wind driven dirt and dust collect in corners or roof intersections, and those areas hold moisture due to inadequate roof slope or distance from drains. We have seen trees as tall as 3 to 4 feet growing on a roof; when this condition is left unchecked, the roofing materials will experience accelerated degradation from the abrasion of the soil and a root system that is constantly seeking new sources of water. In some cases, this condition could also promote mold growth above or below the roof line.

4. Sagging Roof

If enough water regularly ponds on a roof, it can fatigue the structural members, which will then sag further and allow even more water to collect.  The deflection of the roof under load from ponding water also stresses the roof membrane and can reduce its lifespan. Large stained areas on a roof is usually a good indication of poor drainage, and potential weakness of the roof structure.  Adding tapered insulation to the roof system is usually enough to reduce ponding and stop the cycle of structural fatigue. 

5. Water Damage

Age, wear and tear, and damage to the weatherproof layer all lead to one thing on a flat roof: water permeating into the roof assembly above the deck, and if unchecked, getting into the roof structure itself, and finally, to the interior of the building. If significant amounts of water damage has reached the inside of your building, it’s time to determine if you need a new roof.

What to Do If You Need a New Roof—Call National Roofing!

These signs you need a new roof can help you determine when it’s time to call in a professional. At National Roofing, we’re available to provide expert insight into whether roof repairs or roof replacement is the right next step. Contact us today to request a roof walk or to learn more about how to tell if the roof needs replacing.

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