8 Ways to Know If You Need a New Roof

Your roof may be showing signs of aging. How can you tell if it’s time to replace it, or if it has a few years left? Our guide shows you how.

How do you know when it’s time to replace your roof?  Sun, heat, and moisture can wreak havoc on your home, and over time these everyday elements are slowly deteriorating the effectiveness of your roof covering. Our research indicates metal and tile roofs last a bit longer than asphalt shingle roofs, but severe weather, extreme temperatures, or a downed limb are among the many events that can accelerate the aging of any roof material.  

A re-roof project is one of the costliest repair projects that a homeowner may undertake in their time with a home, so it is important to consider any potential repairs that can be done to extend the life of your roof. 

We’ve gathered our top eight signs it may be time to re-roof your home. But remember, these are each individual symptoms that if caught and addressed early, might eliminate the immediate need for a full roof replacement.  

Some of the most common signs include:  

  • visible damage to your roof covering or underlayment, specifically following high winds, a downed tree, or severe weather 
  • deteriorated flashings  
  • evidence of interior leaking and/or water-stained ceilings 

For those with shingled roofs: 

  • shingles that are missing, cupped, or curled 
  • shingles with blisters and exposed asphalt  
  • large areas of missing granules 

Let’s take a deeper look at each of these and other important signs that it may be time for a replacement. Always ask a qualified roofing contractor to inspect your roof so you can understand the full extent of your need to either make some repairs or order a full replacement. 

1. Water Leaks

Water intrusion is a worst-case scenario and should be addressed immediately. Leaks from the roof can immediately damage appliances and furniture, and if left unchecked, can lead to significant structural damage. Water leaks can also introduce mold and mildew. Address any type of roof leak immediately and thoroughly.

2. Curled Shingles

Curled asphalt shingles or cupped shingle tabs can indicate a few critical issues, including improper installation or poor attic ventilation. It is important to have your roof checked by a professional to see if these problems can be corrected before damage is done.

3. Cracked/Ripped Shingles

Interested in protecting more than just your roof, or do you want to protect something other than a single-family home from severe weather. We can help you figure out the best next steps for your situation, if you answer these five questions.

4. Moss or Algae on Shingles

Moss is easy to spot and can indicate much more than a cosmetic problem. Moss growth will halt and trap water as it attempts to drain off the roof and, while it can be removed fairly easily if the conditions remain prone to moss growth (areas of the roof that do not get much sun exposure; moist and cool climate), it will quickly return. A bit tougher to identify is an algae growth that can create dark stains that are sometimes overlooked or attributed to regular aging. As algae accumulates, the stains can darken and lengthen over time. Any inconsistency in roof color over time could indicate the presence of a mold or algae growth or other moisture-related cause.

5. Missing Granules

Through years of research in our state-of-the-art hail lab, we have demonstrated time and again the importance of granules on asphalt shingles and the critical protection they provide. Over time, heavy rain, hail (no matter how small), ice, impacts from wind-driven debris, and other natural elements remove these granules in small or large quantities. Any sections of missing or reduced granules creates a pocket for water and ice, collected debris, and other age accelerants. You may first notice granules accumulating in the gutters, even in a relatively new roof. This is normal, but consider the granular loss over many years and how quickly that can be accelerated in areas prone to weather and wind impacts.

6. Rusted Gutters and/or Flashing

Over time, rust and/or corrosion can form on your gutters, even on popular rust-proof gutter materials such as aluminum. Rusted gutters can be an indicator of standing water, water and debris accumulation, and other causes that interrupt the movement of water and moisture away from your roof. This type of disruption can erode the durability of areas of the roof adjacent to your gutters, and can destroy the fascia boards, soffits, and other elements that connect your roof to your home and ensure the movement of air and water where needed. Any visible damage or deterioration of your gutter system should be inspected immediately before the damage spreads.

7. Wavy Roof

A sagging or wavy roof is a very serious issue that should be inspected immediately. Sags can be caused by a damaged truss, or they can indicate a deterioration of the roof’s very support system, from the decking immediately below the roof in the attic, all the way down to your home’s foundation.

8. Exposed and Rusty Nails

Age and wear that is visible in any of the nails, wooden supports, or sealants can be early warning systems that your roofing material may need attention shortly as well.

Always keep safety in mind as you inspect your roof. Begin on the ground level and walk around the outside of your home. Use the zoom lens on a camera or a pair of binoculars to get a closer look from a safe vantage point.

Remember, a visual inspection provides just one part of the story. Consider consulting a roofing professional for the most accurate and thorough assessment of your roof’s condition. This will help you determine if repair or replacement is the best way to maintain a watertight condition.

Read more of our tips and ideas in the Homeowner Resources section.

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