We often take the roof above our heads for granted because we know it will protect us from the outside elements. Ultimately, we face the harsh reality that it will eventually age and need to be replaced. A worn and damaged roof can cause significant interior and exterior damage to your home if left unattended. Some roofs last longer than others, but with time, weather patterns, and unexpected circumstances, eventually, it will be time to replace this major protectant. Knowing the early signs or what to look for is the first step in determining whether it’s time to replace your roof. Accordingly, you will be able to minimize repair costs, injury, or property damage by noting the indicators, then taking action.
The following are some major signs that you may need to fix or replace your roof.
Water leaking from the ceiling or light coming through the top of the house or your attic is one of the most obvious signs of roof decay or damage. If you don’t yet detect a leak, it will eventually make itself known through water stains, peeling paint, disintegrated insulation, or mold growth. If unsure, check for weakened seals around vents that could also lead to seepage, or you can test for leakage during dry weather by spraying the roof with water from a garden hose.
Shingles in decent shape will lie flat against the roof. If patches are cracked, buckling, curled, sparse, or missing, this could be a sign that your roof is at the end of its durable life. Some other signs could be that you spot grit or fragments in your gutters and downspouts or the roof surface sagging from trapped moisture. Moss can also indicate trapped moisture, which can ruin the roof. You can carefully remove moss with a stiff brush, but addressing any underlying problems is important.
Check records to see how old your roof is and if it’s time to be replaced. A typical asphalt roof lasts between 20 and 25 years, while metal and slate last much longer. If the top is younger than 15 or 20 years and there are only a few damaged shingles, it may only need repair. When in doubt, consult with a licensed roofing contractor. Another good indicator is that your neighbors with similarly aged homes as yours may be having their roofs replaced around the same time. That may tell you it’s time to replace yours.
If you’ve seen a steady increase in your bills every winter, this could indicate a poorly insulated roof. Once a roof begins to deteriorate with age, so does the home’s energy efficiency.
If you are good and attentive with inspecting your home for these telltale signs, this saves you time and frustration with guesswork. However, if you are unsure whether your roof needs a simple repair or major replacement, have a roof specialist provide a thorough inspection. If you need a replacement or even a patchwork repair, a professional can guide you by explaining all the options regarding durability, style, and cost.