Don’t Wait for a Leak to Replace Your Roof

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June 26, 2023

It’s one of the biggest and most costly mistakes homeowners make: They pay no mind to an aging roof until they see a leak from the inside. The problem: By the time water damage becomes visible from inside the home, there may already be extensive rot and mildew between the ceiling and roof.

All of a sudden, instead of just replacing shingles or laying down some new pitch and gravel on a rooftop, your contractor may be cutting into drywall or replacing sections of ceiling and roof. In some cases, you may have to go through a costly mold eradication project.

Reminder: Unless the damage can be traced to a specific wind or weather event, chances are your home insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by a leaking roof. Insurance is there in case an act of God or vandalism forces you to replace your roof prematurely. Ensuring you replace your roof before natural and expected wear and tear causes a problem is your responsibility.

To help avoid these needless expenses, replace your roof before it leaks.

How do you know when it’s time? Look for these signs.
  • Do you smell mold in your attic? Are there dark or discolored spots in the wood or drywall in your attic space? Is insulation discolored or wet? Get up there with some good lighting on a regular basis and inspect it. You want to catch any damage here, before it spreads to your living area. 
  • Is there a lot of moss growing on your roof? Moss can add weight to roofs, store moisture causing wet rot and mold damage, and compromise the structural integrity of your roofing materials. 
  • Are asphalt shingles losing granularity? The granules on asphalt shingles are vital barriers to sunlight, which can cause your tile to shrink and expand with the temperature. When there are granules missing, the tile itself is exposed to the elements. This can cause cracking and leaks. 
  • Are shingles curling or cracking? It’s time to replace them. The barrier to water is now compromised. 
  • Check flashings and caulking around joints, angles, sunroofs, etc. Are the flashings in good shape? Is the caulking still intact or is it cracking or becoming separated? Repair these vulnerable areas right away, before the next rain pushes water into the gaps. 
  • Check the area immediately around chimneys. This is a notoriously vulnerable point for roofs, because roofing materials expand and contract more than the chimney itself – creating gaps.
In addition, a roof that has been damaged due to wear and tear, which can no longer protect the home from water seeping in, may result in a claim that is not covered by home insurance. The reason for this is that damage generally needs to be sudden and accidental in order to be covered by home insurance. Also, home insurance policies are generally not intended to cover claims that could be prevented, including those caused by poor maintenance of a home. If home insurance companies were to provide coverage for these types of claims, it would likely result in higher home insurance rates to make up for the irresponsible homeowners.

This information is being provided for general informational purposes only. Meemic Insurance Company does not assume any liability in connection with providing this information.
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