If you're debating whether or not to replace your damaged 14-year old shingled roof before summer, it maybe in your best interest to go ahead and do so. If your roof has missing shingles and other serious problems that affect its integrity and safety, re-roofing may be the best option for you.

While roofs can last 20 years or more before you need to replace them, certain factors, such as multiple missing shingles, rotting sheathing, excessive attic mold, and holes in the attic, can decrease a roof's lifespan. In addition, a damaged roof places you at risk for health problems and your home at risk for wildlife infestations.

Here are reasons to re-roof your home and what you can do to stay safe in the meantime.

Excessive Moisture Rots Your Roof's Sheathing

States along the Atlantic Coast can experience unpredictable, severe storms during the summer. Even late season hurricanes can cause additional destruction to your already compromised roof by blowing off the rest of your shingles. Lost shingles expose the roof's wooden sheathing to constant rain, which can eventually rot. 

Rotting wood can become weak and prone to cracks and breakage over time. Unless you examine your roof's sheathing up close, you won't know that it's damaged. Additionally, summer's rainy season can wreak havoc on your home if the rotting wood isn't strong enough to block the rain. The water or moisture may invade your attic instead. 

One of the biggest problems with moisture in the attic is mold. Mold can leave the attic and spread quickly to other locations around the house, including the cavities in your walls. Mold hidden inside wall cavities may spread to places connected to your roof. If this does happen, you may need to replace the roof or parts of it anyway just to get rid of the mold. 

It's important to understand the health risks of having mold in your home, whether you can see it or not.Older individuals, young children, and even pets can suffer allergies, respiratory distress, and skin problems from inhaling mold spores. If you do see mold growing inside or outside your home, contact a roofing contractor immediately for services. 

Pests May Invade Your Attic

When given the right opportunity, wildlife can invade human structures to find shelter and food. Raccoons in particular are very active during the summer and will take advantage of your rotting roof to find what they need to survive. Once the pests dig their way through your weakened roof and gain access to your attic,it may take a lot of effort to remove them. 

Raccoons and rodents can carry diseases known to harm humans. The diseases are typically found in the pests' urine and feces, but some contaminants can infect humans through the air. In addition, females make nesting sites inside attics and wall cavities. The sites often contain multiple young that may also carry and spread disease.  

Pests that die inside your attic or wall cavities can cause additional health risks for your family.Decaying matter can attracts insects that feed off it, including filth flies. Filth flies can also carry diseases and spread them to your family. 

If you do notice pests moving around in your attic or wall cavities, contact someone to trap and remove them. If you have raccoons, never attempt to remove them yourself, as the pests can attack or bite when threatened. Once the raccoons vacate your home, you can take steps to re-roof it. 

For more information about re-roofing your home this year, contact the contractors at American Renovations. The contractors can inspect your roof and help you choose the best replacement material for your home.