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The roof is arguably the most critical part of your house. A leak, even a small one, can allow water into your home and can result in damage to the walls, furniture, electronics and other valuables. And if you’re planning on selling your home in the near future, you’re going to want to fix any issues.

Know Your Roof
You should familiarize yourself with the type of roof you have, its expected lifespan and when it was installed. If your roof is nearing the end of its life, it may need to be replaced. Even if it isn’t leaking, the shingles may be so worn out that it’s only a matter of time before you encounter problems. It’s better to have the roof replaced when you have time to save up the money and search for the best contractor than to find yourself in a dire situation you weren’t anticipating.

Check for Damage
A roof problem can occur suddenly as the result of a storm but, in many cases, it develops gradually over time. After a strong storm, inspect your roof. If you’re not physically able to do so safely, ask someone for help. You should also routinely check your roof every spring and fall or hire a professional to inspect it so that any damage that resulted from exposure to normal weather patterns can be spotted and addressed.

Shingles that have been torn off, loosened or damaged need to be replaced as soon as possible. If many shingles are losing granules, that indicates that they’re worn out and unable to offer adequate protection. Damage to the flashing around the chimney or vents is a serious problem because it can allow water to leak in through the seams in the roof.

Moisture can cause major damage to a roof. It can cause shingles to rot and the roof to sag. Moisture can also allow mold or moss to grow on the roof, which can weaken the structure.

If your roof is getting worn or damaged, you may also be able to spot some telltale signs inside the house. Go up to the attic with a flashlight and look for any water stains or light shining through the roof, all of which indicate that the roof needs repairs. 

What to Do If You Find Roof Damage
If you notice any of these problems, contact a roofing contractor right away, as these are serious issues that need to be addressed promptly to prevent major damage, both outside and inside your home. It might not be necessary to replace the entire roof, but ignoring the problem will almost certainly cause it to get worse, which means you could wind up with a huge bill that could have easily been avoided.

If the contractor recommends a complete roof replacement because of significant damage or because the roof has reached the end of its lifespan, have the work done as soon as possible. Replacing a roof is a costly, but sometimes necessary, improvement that will not only protect your home, but will pay for itself in the long run.