When Should You Replace the Roof on a Rental Property?

Monday, 02 March 2020 10:49

Many property owners struggle to know when it is the right time to replace the roof on a rental property. Without regular maintenance, it can be challenging to determine the extent of your roof damages. You could easily miss the sagging or the bowing, the curling or the buckling, or the mold growth. To make matters worse, the longer you take to fix your roof problems, the more problematic the issues become.

That’s why regular maintenance is key to running a successful rental business. The folks at Bighorn Rentals warn that the law requires that landlords provide properties that are habitable. It's the kind of advice that you should listen to. Your roof structure is an incredibly important piece in the habitability of your rental property.

As such, it’s in your best interest to make sure that the roofs of your rental properties are in great condition. To help you maintain your roof, let’s discuss 9 tell-tale signs that it’s time to replace the roof on a rental property.

Sign #1: Leaking Chimneys

Damaged chimney flashing, may indicate you need to replace the roof of your rental property.

If the flashing around your chimney is missing, deteriorated, or damaged, your roof will leak. One of the main causes of damage to chimney flashing is incorrect installation. Those damages could also be due to normal wear and tear.

Regardless of the root cause, it is imperative that you fix this issue as soon as possible.

Sign #2: Formation of Ice Dams

The formation of huge ice dams or icicles on roof edges is another clear sign that you need to replace your roof. When these ice dams form on your roof, they can cause meltwater to back up under the shingles, where it can then flow down and damage interior wall surfaces and ceilings.

If the dams are left unaddressed, they can seriously damage your paint, gutters, roof structure, and interior drywall. Since ice dams have numerous causes, these dams could be clear indicators that it’s time to replace the roof on a rental property.

Sign #3: Missing or Damaged Shingles

Damaged and/or missing shingles, a sign that you need to replace the roof of your rental property.

Depending on the extent of the problem, you may need to replace your entire roof. Missing shingles are an eyesore and they can also negatively impact your property’s value.

If just a couple of shingles are missing, then an entire roof replacement isn’t necessary. You might just need some minor repair work. However, if there are many missing shingles, then the only solution would be to replace it entirely. If you are unsure about the severity of the problem, then be sure to seek help from a professional roofing expert first. After a free roofing inspection, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing the exact state of your roof.

Sign #4: A Build-Up of Moisture Leading to Mold Growth

It’s common for warm air to get trapped in the attic. When this happens, moisture can build in your attic space over time. This moisture build-up causes a myriad of issues, including rotting of the plywood, mold growths, and rusting nails.

Mold poses a great danger to your roof structure and to your family as well. If you notice these signs, then your rental property might be in need of roof replacement.

Sign #5: Missing Roof Granules

Roof gutter gaurd with granules in it, a sign your might need to replace the roof of your rental property.

Roof granules help protect your home from the elements. When granules are missing or there are a couple of bald spots on your roof, the roof of your rental property may become more susceptible to the elements.

So, how do you check for missing granules? It’s easy: just check your gutters! While it’s perfectly normal to have minor granule shed, a more-than-normal shed is a sign of a failing roof.

Sign #6: The Roof Has Outlived Its Usefulness

Most experts agree that a typical roof should last anywhere between 20 and 25 years. If yours is over three decades old, then you need to replace the roof on your rental property no matter the appearance. Looks can be deceiving, so you should trust the age over the appearance.

However, estimating how old your roof is can sometimes be difficult. And the only way to know the entire history of your home is to make direct inquiries about it. If you are still unsure about your roof’s age, there are a couple of things that you can do. You can try to:

  • Get an estimate from a home inspector or roof company.
  • Request a copy of the receipt from a roof replacement company.
  • Find the building permit.
  • Ask the previous owners.

Sign #7: You See Daylight in the Attic

If you’ve got daylight, you’ve got leaks! It’s as simple as that.

Ideally, you should never ever see daylight peeking through your roof. If you do, then it means that rain, cold air, and even snow can enter your home. If you see the light, then you need to replace the roof on your rental property. Call a professional roof inspector as soon as possible.

Sign #8: The Roof Starts Bowing or Sagging

A roof that is bowing or sagging is a sign of trouble. This sign simply means that a roof collapse is imminent. Is your roof sagging? Then you need to replace your roof!

It is worth noting that there are many causes of a bowing roof. One probable cause is water damage. Over time, a roof will have dealt with a lot of runoff water from stormy weather. That’s why your gutters and a proper drainage system are so integral to a long-lasting roof.

Curling shingles, a sign that you need to replace the roof of your rental property.

The other cause could be an excess of snow. If your roof has an abundance of snow, it can exert too much pressure on your roof, causing it to sag. A sagging or bowing roof could also be due to insufficient rafters and joints. Regardless, you’ll need a professional for your roof replacement.

Sign #9: Curling Shingles

This is one of the clearest signs that your roof needs replacement. Shingles curl due to a variety of reasons, including improper alignment during installation, old age, and multiple layered roofs.

Know When To Replace The Roof On A Rental Property

Landlords have a responsibility to ensure that the roof on their rental property is functioning properly. So, if you notice any of these signs, then you need to act immediately and seek out expert roofing services.

At Ethos, we have been repairing and replacing roofs across Colorado for years. We know how to easily identify the signs of roof damage and we’ll implement the best practices to repair or replace your roof.

Contact Ethos today to get the best roofing expertise to replace the roof on your rental property.