As a landlord, your tenants may experience roof issues that require you to decide whether to replace the entire roof or make minor repairs.
Both options have their pros and cons depending on the severity, time of year, and location of your home, as Resilient Roofing explains.
Knowing which option is best for you can save you money down the road and mitigate the inconvenience for your tenants that roof construction can bring.
A full roof replacement is the best option when a roofing contractor knows that the roof is at the end of its life or that there are too many areas of concern if you maintain the roof in its current condition.
A full roof replacement can be much more costly, but if done correctly, it can last 20-25 years and typically come with a warranty that should offer you peace of mind.
Performing maintenance or “partial replacement” can be cheaper upfront but usually will not come with a warranty. Nor will it guarantee your roof will not have issues in other areas shortly after you have performed that maintenance.
If you are unsure of the severity of your rental property's condition, we have outlined a few issues and whether you should go with a full roof replacement or just maintenance.
Signs Your Rental Property Needs Either a Full Roof Replacement or Just Maintenance
1. Ceiling Leaks
Tenants will typically contact their landlords or property management company immediately if they notice a ceiling leak. A contractor will need to inspect the inside of the home where the ceiling is leaking from.
A contractor will also need to inspect the attic space (if there is one) and on top of the roof. Having access to an attic can be essential because it makes it easier to identify where the water is pooling, and possibly the source.
When a full replacement is required, it's because the leak is traveling from the top of the roof down the rafters, dripping onto the attic’s insulation, and then making its way through the drywall.
Small leaks can take up to 18 months for the water to travel from its source. By the time you notice the leak, there is likely already damage to the plywood underneath. After just one rainy season, the wood could already be rotted and need replacing.
If your contractor identifies a leak close to the home’s perimeter, it can cause slight damage to a larger area of the roof. That is because the water is not traveling as far, affecting less of the plywood that sits under your shingles or tile.
In this case, you may only need minor maintenance on your roof instead of a complete roof replacement.
2. Curling Shingles
Curling happens over time when there are shifts in extreme weather. When the weather is warm, shingles become more malleable and become easier to bend back. When the weather cools, shingles dry out and can crack.
Depending on the severity of curling in your shingles, it may be unlikely to repair them by simply using an iron or blow dryer. Instead, you’ll need to replace, at a minimum, the entire side of the roof.
If your rental property is in a location that's prone to experiencing extreme weather, you may want to consider inspecting and maintaining these minor issues while they are still small and inexpensive.
By doing this every year, you can extend the life of your roof without having to pay for more extensive repairs.
3. Granules Missing
Granules are significant because they are the crucial element to water runoff. They also play an enormous role in protecting your home from the sun’s rays, helping to cool your home. Also, they are fire-resistant!
If your rental property is near the beach, you may notice the side facing the ocean will experience more granule loss than the side facing away from it. That is due to the high winds moving from the large body of water to land, separating the granules and shingles in the process.
That's why if your rental property is near the coast, you may only need to get a total replacement on the side that is facing the ocean.
If there are only a few patches of shingles that have granule loss, you may only have to replace those few sections. Some reasons why more granules may be missing from some areas than others are:
A section of the roof is under a tree or large bush: When leaves, pinecones, and seeds gather in areas of your roof for an extended period it can cause water to pool, capturing moisture and deteriorating the materials underneath. By cleaning your roof of debris at least once a year, you can help maintain the granules in your shingles.
Algae: In the Northern Hemisphere, the north side of roofs will see less direct sunlight. That increases the chances of algae and mildew growth. If your rental property is prone to algae growth, be sure to clean the roof once a year. Doing so will maintain the granules for an extended period, preventing the need for an entire roof replacement before the standard 20-25 years that they typically last.