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Don’t Get Scammed: How To Know If You Really Need A New Roof

"Many homeowners face this crucial decision and it’s imperative to proceed with care and reliable information."

Navigating the decision to replace your roof is no small matter—it affects your home’s safety, appearance, and energy efficiency. Many homeowners face this crucial decision and it’s imperative to proceed with care and reliable information. At Topp Home, we guide you through understanding when it’s essential to replace your roof and how to dodge the common pitfalls and scams that can target unsuspecting homeowners.

Signs You May Need a New Roof

  1. Age of Your Roof: In the Harrisburg area, where roofs are subjected to a variety of weather conditions—from heavy snowfalls in winter to hot, humid summers—a typical asphalt shingle roof might show signs of wear earlier than its usual 20-25 year lifespan. If your roof is approaching or has surpassed 20 years, it’s a good idea to start monitoring it more closely.
  2. Visible Damage: Regularly inspect your roof from a safe vantage point or use binoculars. Signs such as missing, cracked, or curled shingles can often point to aging or damage from environmental factors. These defects can escalate into more serious issues, like water damage inside your home, if not addressed.
  3. Leaks or Water Damage: After storms or melting snow, check your attic and ceilings for any signs of water infiltration. Water stains, mold growth, or a musty smell in the attic are red flags that your roof may have leaks.
  4. Sagging Roof: This is often a symptom of structural issues, such as deteriorating rafters or widespread moisture damage. A sagging roof is a serious concern that requires immediate professional evaluation to prevent potential roof collapse.
  5. Winter Damage: Harrisburg’s harsh winters can be tough on roofs. The weight of snow and ice accumulation, as well as the freeze-thaw cycle, can cause shingles to crack or become loose. After winter, check for any signs of shingle damage or missing pieces that may have been caused by ice damming.
  6. Summer Storm Damage: The area’s frequent summer storms bring wind, rain, and hail that can severely damage roofs. Look for missing shingles, denting (common with hail), or any debris that may have fallen on the roof during a storm.
  7. Moisture and Algae Growth: Harrisburg’s humid climate can encourage the growth of moss and algae on roofing materials. While moss can be gently washed off, its presence often indicates prolonged moisture retention, which can degrade shingles over time.

Recognizing Roofing Scams

One common scam occurs post-storm when so-called “roofers” suddenly appear offering to repair damages. They may create damage themselves or exaggerate the need for repairs. For example, a Harrisburg resident recently encountered a roofer who insisted the entire roof needed replacing due to storm damage. A second opinion revealed only minor repairs were needed, saving the homeowner thousands of dollars. This type of scam exploits the urgency and trust of homeowners facing sudden distress. You can avoid these scams by following the steps below.

How to Avoid Scams

  • Research Local Contractors: Thoroughly vet potential contractors by checking online reviews, asking for local references, and verifying business licenses through your city’s website. Trustworthy contractors will have a history of satisfied customers and transparent business practices.
  • Get Multiple Quotes: By obtaining several detailed quotes, you can compare the scope of work and pricing. This also helps in understanding what is truly necessary versus what might be upsold by less reputable contractors.
  • Get A Second Opinion: Especially when significant repairs or a full replacement is suggested, a second opinion can provide clarity and reassurance. Topp Home offers complimentary inspections, providing an honest evaluation based on extensive local experience.

Choosing the Right Contractor

  • Local Experience: Contractors familiar with Harrisburg’s specific weather conditions and local building codes are preferable. Topp Home has a deep understanding of regional challenges, from heavy snowfalls to summer storms, ensuring your roof is built to withstand local elements.
  • License and Insurance: Check that your contractor has up-to-date licensing and comprehensive insurance coverage. This is crucial for your protection against any liabilities or accidents during the roofing process.
  • Warranty Offers: Credible contractors back their work with substantial warranties. A workmanship warranty from your contractor, along with manufacturer warranties for materials, should be standard.

Making an informed decision on whether to repair or replace your roof protects not only your home but also your finances. By approaching this decision with the right knowledge and tools, you can ensure any work performed is both necessary and beneficial.

Are you unsure about the condition of your roof? Don’t wait till you’re wet. Contact Topp Home today for a free, thorough inspection. Let us help you make the best decision with confidence and peace of mind.

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