The roof above your head is often taken for granted. They are the first defense against the fury of the elements, and whether they are made of steel or ceramic shingles, they eventually wear down. Because the entire roof is literally and visually beyond reach most of the time, it is important as a homeowner to make roofing inspection and repair part of your regular maintenance schedule.

Roofing Contractors in Palo Alto, CA: Replace or Repair Your Roofs

There are several excellent roofing contractors in Palo Alto, CA who can provide different roofing solutions to fit your budget and need. A good rule of thumb: if your roof is at least twenty years old, or is significantly damaged, it’s time to get a replacement. If most of your roof is intact, a simple repair for the damage may be enough. Jeanne Huber, author of ten books on home improvement, shows how to detect and estimate roof damage in her article for

“If you check the condition of your roof at least once a year, you should be able to plan in advance for necessary repairs. Early signs of trouble include dark areas on ceilings, peeling paint on the underside of roof overhangs, damp spots alongside fireplaces, and water stains on pipes venting the water heater or furnace.

From the outside, you can assess your roof’s health by viewing it through binoculars. Warning signs include cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing; shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering; and worn areas around chimneys, pipes, and skylights. If you find piles of grit from asphalt roof tiles in the gutters, that’s a bad sign, since the granules shield the roof from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays. Black algae stains are just cosmetic, but masses of moss and lichen could signal roofing that’s decayed underneath.”

Detecting roofing damage is just the beginning. The next thing is to determine the cost. Simple cracks may require a little application of sealant, but sometimes, heavy duty work may be needed, such as with major leaks. For thorough Palo Alto roof repairs, licensed and established contractors, such as Shelton Roofing, can perform high quality professional repairs you don’t have to worry about in a long time. Many roofing contractors also provide energy-efficient materials for roof replacements.

Though it is expensive, a roof replacement can be an opportunity for you to choose a more sustainable and cost-effective roofing material. A more energy-efficient roof that is fire- and hail-proof makes for an excellent upgrade. Homeowners should consult with their licensed contractor before deciding whether to repair or replace their damaged roofing.

(Source: Roofing: Repair or Replace?, September 16, 2009)