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 problemsthat affect its integrity and safety, reroofing 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 multiplemissing shingles, rotting sheathing, excessive attic mold, and holes in the attic, can decrease a roof'slifespan. In addition, a damaged roof places you at risk for health problems and your home at risk forwildlife infestations.

Here are reasons to reroof 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 lateseasonhurricanes can cause additional destruction to your already compromised roof by blowing off the restof your shingles. Lost shingles expose the roof's wooden sheathing to constant rain, which can eventuallyrot.

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

One of the biggest problems with moisture in the attic is mold. Mold can leave the attic and spreadquickly to other locations around the house, including the cavities in your walls. Mold hidden inside wallcavities may spread to places connected to your roof. If this does happen, you may need to replace the roofor 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 skinproblems from inhaling mold spores. If you do see mold growing inside or outside your home, contact a roofingcontractor immediately for services.

Pests May Invade Your Attic

When given the right opportunity, wildlife can invade human structures to find shelter and food. Raccoonsin particular are very active during the summer and will take advantage of your rotting roof to find whatthey 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 thepests' urine and feces, but some contaminants can infect humans through the air. In addition, females makenesting sites inside attics and wall cavities. The sites often contain multiple young that may also carry andspread 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 carrydiseases and spread them to your family.

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

For more information about reroofing your home this year, contact the contractors at American Renovations. The contractors caninspect your roof and help you choose the best replacement material for your home.