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How to Know When Your Downingtown, PA Roof Needs Help— and What Kind!

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Your roof is a crucial aspect of your home, and yet, most homeowners don’t pay their roofs a second thought. A Downingtown roof protects your interior from bad weather, your HVAC from being wasted, and your belongings from having random items fall on them. You need to be sure it’s in top shape. But what do you do when it isn’t?

Signs Your Roof Needs Attention

Knowing when a roof needs help can be tricky if you’re not a contractor. But there are a few key signs you can watch for! Here are some of the more common ones:

  • Water damage: Do you see water stains on your ceiling or walls? Has your paint or wallpaper started peeling? You could have water damage from a leaky roof.
  • Missing or damaged shingles: Those dents and dings aren’t just cosmetic! If shingles are missing or damaged, your roof becomes exposed to leaks and other problems.
  • Sagging roof: Your roof shouldn’t look like it’s mimicking Atlas. A sagging roof is a clear sign of a structural issue that needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
  • Granules in gutters: If your shingles are shedding more than a cat, they’re starting to deteriorate. Granules in your gutters or downspouts could be a sign that your shingles are rotting. This can lead to leaks and other problems over time.
  • Age of roof: The older a roof, the more prone it is to leaks and other issues and the less effective it is at protecting your home. If your roof is older than 20, it may be time for a new one.
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Call an experienced residential roofing company right away if you see any of the above; they can evaluate the issue and recommend the best course of action. Don’t wait! Ignoring roofing issues can lead to worsening damage and more costly repairs.

How to Determine Whether You Need a Roof Repair or Replacement

The seriousness of the damage and what caused it will determine whether to repair or replace the roof, among other things. For instance, it can be necessary to repair the roof if aging or structural problems lead to damage. On the other hand, if the damage is storm-related, it may only be minor and easy to fix.

According to the experts at U.S. News, homeowners should also consider whether or not their insurance policy covers roof replacement. Then, consider the lifespan of your current roof, the cost of replacing it, and the best roofing material to use.

Ultimately, you should speak with a roofing expert to decide what comes next for your roof.

Do I Need Insurance Coverage for Roof Repairs?

Some homeowners may have coverage through their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policies, but others might not be so lucky.

Most homeowners have some form of homeowner’s insurance that covers basic damage done to their homes by storms or other natural disasters (i.e., hurricanes). However, this type of policy usually only covers structural damage— not cosmetic changes. Your insurance will likely cover repair if a hail storm exposed your roof to water leaks, but they probably won’t cover replacing shingles that are a little dinged up but still functional. 

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No one policy is the same, so it’s worth having an insurance adjuster come out and take a look if the damage is weather or accident related. If it’s natural wear and tear, you’re less likely to get help.

For those who are renting, policies still vary— but you have the added complication of working with the landlord. Basic renter’s policies typically cover structural damage but not cosmetic ones, such as fixing leaky roofs, because those kinds of issues fall under “wear-and-tear,” which means they aren’t covered under most policies unless there was an act performed intentionally against someone else (like vandalism). Additionally, roof repair may be your landlord’s responsibility; it depends on the terms of your lease.

The Next Steps

Once you have information from your insurance and a professional roof repair contractor, it’s time to make some decisions. First and foremost, if you live in an HOA, you need to read up on roofing bylaws— they may restrict what kind of roof work you can do. Afterward, work with your contractor to pick a style and material. If you’re going for total replacement, you’ll have more options; with simple repairs, you’ll have an easier decision since it just needs to match. Once you have everything settled, sign the contract, sit back, and relax while Pennsylvanian roofers get the job done.

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