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Roof repairs, replacements are critical summer home improvements

Your roof is probably the most important feature of your home.
6/11/2017 5:15:16 PM

Your roof is probably the most important feature of your home. It keeps out the wind and rain, the heat and the cold, and gives you a place to install your satellite dish, solar panels or skylights.

But despite the critical nature of a good roof, far too many homeowners neglect their home's topmost feature. This summer, roof inspection, as well as appropriate repairs and replacements, should be a top priority.

Stormy 2016 inspires roof repairs

"A key growth driver in 2016 was roof damage due to poor weather conditions."

According to Roofing Contractor, a key growth driver in 2016 was roof damage due to poor weather conditions. Last year proved to be particularly stormy, with 20,238 reported instances of severe weather, including tornadoes, hail and wind, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This number was the highest for the previous four years, and roofing contractors were quick to notice.

"This was one of the largest storm years we've had in the past four years, and the demand for roofing was definitely up," Keith Lowe, vice president of sales for IKO, a manufacturer of roofing materials, explained to Roofing Contractor. "We anticipate this momentum to continue into 2017, as we don't expect storm activity to slow down."

In some areas of the country, destructive storms are most prevalent in the warmer months. Hurricane season is generally regarded as June through November, and the NOAA reported the most active months in 2016 were:

  • July, with 5,642 instances of severe weather.
  • June, with 3,858 instances of severe weather.
  • May, with 3,078 instances of severe weather.

The remaining months had fewer than 2,000 instances, and most had fewer than 1,000.

Aging roofs need attention, too

It's true that severe weather can lead to extensive harm to a home's roof, but storms are not the only cause of roof damage. Roofs, though built to last one or two decades, do deteriorate over time. Shingles can become loose or broken, and the decking, membrane and flashing underneath can break down after years of holding up the roof and weathering rain, hail, snow and wind.

Because of this, it's important for homeowners to keep a close eye on their roof. After every winter, they should take some time to take a look at the shingles, or at least inspect it from the vantage point of the attic. If sunlight or a slight breeze is coming into the attic, other unwanted things - like rain or pests - could be getting in, too. It wouldn't hurt to also repeat this task at the end of the summer.

When broken or damaged shingles are spotted, it's important to address the issue right away. Gaps surrounding them could be letting water into the home, which could lead to mold growth. If several shingles are damaged in one area, it could be a sign that there's a larger issue with the membrane or decking underneath.

When making small repairs, it's OK to double up on layers of shingles, Time Money reported. However, when investing in a full roof replacement, it's best to strip away all components of the old roof so that any lingering issues can be detected and addressed, and to ensure that all parts of the roof are sturdy enough to last until the roof needs replacing again.

Renovation loans aid in roof repair costs

The typical homeowner pays around $700 on a roof repair and $6,600 on a roof replacement, according to HomeAdvisor. Though these projects don't come cheap, they are extremely important to the health of your family and the integrity of your home. Homeowners considering roof renovations this summer may consider utilizing a renovation loan to ease the cost of these projects.

For example, the Fannie Mae HomeStyle loan has no minimum repair amount and can be applied to any structural repair. This is perfect for the homeowner making changes to the roof. Or, the FHA 203(k) Full loan allows for any home improvement project that costs $5,000 or more - ideal for the homeowner investing in a whole new roof for the house.

To learn more about how a loan program can help you make updates to your roof, reach out to Academy Mortgage.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.