New homeowners might think they don’t have to worry about their roof until a particular bad storm or leak. Sadly, while roofs are durable, they also have a limited lifetime. Over time, they suffer regular wear and tear and require maintenance, repairs and eventually replacements.
While some homeowners are aware of the importance of regular maintenance, it can be challenging to know when a roof needs to be replaced entirely. Here are seven signs to look out for that indicate you may need a new roof sooner rather than later.
- Age of the Roof
The lifespan of a roof depends on several factors, one of the most important ones start with looking and knowing the age of the roof. Most asphalt shingle roofs, for example, last between 20 and 30 years, while metal roofs can last up to 50 years. If your roof is approaching or has exceeded its lifespan, it may be time to consider a replacement.
Take a look at your current shingles, if you see that they all lay flat throughout then you have an older style shingle, possibly the original shingles placed when the house was first built. If you see a more three dimensional style, then your roof is most likely newer or not as old as the house. Newer shingle materials are made to be more durable than their predecessors.
While age is not the main factor to consider, it is an important one. Weather conditions can also impact the longevity of a roof. For example, a roof in an area with frequent hail or windstorms may require a replacement sooner. Additionally, if you are unsure about the age of your roof, a professional roofer can inspect it and give you a pretty accurate estimate of its remaining lifespan.
- Water Damage
Water damage is the most common issue with roofs. Water can cause significant damage to your home, and if left untreated, can lead to costly repairs. Signs of water damage include water stains on ceiling or walls or a musty odor in your home. If you notice any of these signs, it’s essential to have a professional roofer take a look at your roof.
Water damage can occur due to several reasons, such as having a damaged flashing, cracked or missing shingles and even clogged gutters. If your roof has sustained substantial water damage, it may be time for a roof replacement. Keep in mind that water damage can be challenging to detect, so it’s important to have your roof inspected regularly in order to catch any issues early.
- Curling or Missing Shingles
Curling shingles may be caused by a variety of factors, including age, weather and poor ventilation. If you notice that some of your shingles are starting to curl or buckle, it’s important to have them inspected. Shingles should always lay flat on your roof.
Missing shingles occur due to high windstorms, and while these are placed tightly by your roofer, over time and with hot and cold weather, the seal starts to weaken. Having one to two missing shingles is not a sign to panic, however, if there are missing shingles throughout the roof, then your roof becomes more exposed to damage.
Curling or missing shingles are signs that your roof is not well protected and are therefore exposed to potential leaks. It can also be a sign that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. If damage is found throughout, a replacement is more than likely necessary.
- Granule Loss
Granules on asphalt shingles help protect your roof from the sun’s harmful UV rays and some minor hail storms. Over time, these granules are prone to regular wear, leaving your shingles vulnerable to damage. If you notice granules accumulating in your gutters or downspouts during your cleaning routine, it’s a sign that your shingles are losing granules and will continue to do so.
Granule loss can occur due to age, weather and poor quality shingles. While some granule loss is normal, excessive granule loss is a sign that your shingles are nearing the end of their usability. If you are unsure about the level of granule loss on your roof, contact a local roofer to get their opinion.
- Check Your Chimney Flashing
There is flashing around your chimney, skylights and roof vents. The purpose of your flashing is to close the seams of these materials and prevent water from going in. If you notice that your flashing is damaged or broken, call a roofing company right away. If this is left unattended, water and moisture will seep into your attic and cause damage to the inside of your home.
- Your Neighbors Are Replacing Their Roofs
Homes that are built around the same time in neighborhoods experience the same type of weather throughout the years and similar wear and tear.
If you see many of your neighbors starting their roof replacement projects, it might be time to reach out to one of the roofers in the area to see if they can provide a free inspection.
- The Look of the Roof/ Roof Decking
If you see that a section of your roof is sagging or doesn’t look completely flat and even, this is a sign of moisture or water penetrating the inside of your roof. It’s a good idea to check the surface of your roof for sagging spots or rotting boards.
Do not try to walk on this area or put weight on it, as it might not be the most stable part of your roof. Contact a roofing inspector to take a look. They can take proactive measures to find out what the root of the problem is in a secure manner.
- Mold or Algae
Check the corners or shaded areas of your roof, there could be mold present there. Mold tends to grow during the spring or hot, summer months and thrive in areas where it’s able to receive moisture.
If you notice mold on your roof, get some cleaning solutions such as bleach and water and clean this area. If the problem persists or the mold is hard to clean then the problem might be much deeper than simply surface level.
Your roof is an important part of your home’s structure and it’s important to keep it in good condition to protect your home and family members. If you notice any of the signs mentioned above, it may be time to consider a roof replacement. While a replacement may seem like a great expense, it’s essential to keep in mind that delaying any repairs can lead to more significant issues and even higher costs down the road.
Regular maintenance and inspections can help extend the lifespan of your roof, but eventually, a complete replacement is the best option to ensure everything is in good standing. If you are unsure about the condition of your roof or have noticed any signs of damage, it’s important to reach out to a roofing company right away. They can give you an accurate assessment of the condition of your roof and recommend the best course of action.