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When Should You Replace the Roof on a Rental Property?

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Roof maintenance for a rental property is the one aspect a landlord cannot afford to cut corners.

Unlike other structures in a building, roof issues do not occur in isolation. For instance, if there is a problem with the flooring, those issues will usually not affect the other parts of the house. That is true for most structures in the building, except the roof.

Problems with the roof ripple down to other areas of the property. A damaged roof will compromise the walls, flooring, ceiling, insulation, or even the foundation of a building. That is because of the roof's unique position and its role in keeping water out of the building's interior. It's also why you want to catch issues with your roof early and fix them immediately.

When doing maintenance, knowing when you can fix or replace the roof is essential. All landlords want to avoid excessive expenses on their property, says RentEasy, a Hampton Roads property management specialist. That typically leads them to look for makeshift solutions for problems affecting the roof. But it is a big mistake to fix a roof needing replacement.

When you do this, the problem only gets worse. With time the cost of those repairs can escalate. Additionally, the internal structures of the roof start to get affected, and all of a sudden, you are dealing with more than a straightforward roof repair. The best thing is to replace a roof when the situation calls for it rather than trying to repair it.

How do you know when it is time to replace the roof on your rental property? What are the signs that a roof is ready to be replaced? Read on to find out. But before you go forward, just one thing; unless you are knowledgeable in roof repairs, it's going to be hard to detect some of these signs. That is why you should have an expert Northern Virginia roofing contractor help you with this.

Signs that it is time to replace the roof on a rental property.

1. Discoloration

If the roof shingles are not the right color, it means water is getting into the roof, and moisture is accumulating underneath the shingles. It could also be a sign that there is mold growing on the other side of the shingles. Discoloration due to wetness and mold often happens because that part is not getting enough direct sunlight.

2. Missing shingles

It is not uncommon for shingles to go missing on a roof, especially after a windstorm. This problem does not require you to replace the entire roof, only the missing shingles. However, if the issue becomes widespread, it could indicate a bigger problem. It may mean that poor-quality glue was used during the roof installation.

3. Sagging and bowing

If the roof is not level and there are visible dips on the surface, the structure could be caving in. That happens when the internal structures of the roof rafters and other elements start to fall apart, and the roof above loses its support. This problem requires removing the shingles before you can fix the sub-roof. Usually, it is not possible to reuse shingles after you remove them.

4. Curling shingles

Sometimes the shingles don't fall off, but they start curling. That could result from extreme temperatures, using substandard shingles, or misalignment. If this problem only happens occasionally, you don't need to worry. But, if it is happening across the entire surface, the roof probably needs to be replaced.

5. Excessive granule shedding

Asphalt shingles shed granules throughout their lifetime; this is normal. The problem arises if the shingles are shedding granules to the point where they fill the gutters. The granules on asphalt shingles contribute to their heat-resisting abilities. If excessive granules are shedding, the roof has lost its efficiency, and a replacement is needed.

6. The roof is old

A roof that has reached the end of its expected lifespan requires a replacement. Roofs in Northern Virginia typically last between 20 and 25 years, depending on the type of roof. If your roof has reached the end of its lifespan, even if the structure does not show visible signs of aging, it is better to replace it. Doing this will prevent the roof from failing suddenly and causing extensive damage to the rest of the building.

Final Thoughts

A roof replacement does not always mean overhauling the structure. Sometimes all you need is to replace the problematic part of the roof. But there are also times when you should replace the entire roof, even if only one section has problems. That is often the case when a replacement in one sector will alter the appearance of the roof and damage the curb appeal of your property.

To learn more, contact a licensed and certified Northern Virginia roofing company that can inspect and assess your roof to give you the best advice.


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