“When do you need a new roof?” is a question we are frequently asked by home and business owners. You may be wondering the same thing and also how long you can wait before you really must replace your roof. Well, just as delaying roof replacement can do a lot of harm costing more money, a brand-new roof can do a lot of good for your property and your pocketbook. How do you know if you need one? Here are signs you need a new roof and what to watch for.
1. How old is your roof?
The first thing to consider is the age of your roof. And then, how long can you expect your roof to last. Now, this can depend on the material used. We see some roofers state on their websites that the average roof lasts 12 to 15 years. But that would be the cheapest asphalt shingles. In our experience a standard roof lasts between 20 and 25 years, and often includes warranties of that length.
Wood shingles, clay or copper tiles are the more long-lasting options. And metal roofs and slate tile roofs can outlast all the rest reaching as much as seventy years to a century.
The longevity of a roof depends on other factors like ventilation, and if the old roof was removed or was it layered upon. Check the age of your house, and if the roof has ever been replaced completely or if there are layers of shingles. If you find this and your roof is over twenty years old, you will likely need a new roof very soon.
2. Are your shingles showing their age?
Holes and/or Cracks – Holes or cracks are a key sign that your roofing has suffered damage and is failing. You can closely inspect your shingles to see if there are cracks. If you find cracks you know it is damaged and the roof is likely way past its expected lifespan.
Not addressing this issue can allow moisture to penetrate below to the wood and cause significant damage that will cost much more to repair than if you had not waited. In addition, cracks are like having an opening in your roof and it allows heat and cold to enter your attic potentially causing more issues as well as increasing utility bills.
Buckling or Curling – Buckled shingles (not lying flat, or a “wrinkle” in your roof) and Curling shingles (edges of shingles curling up or frayed at the edges) happen for a number of reasons and really should be addressed to prevent bigger problems in the long run. It could be a ventilation issue, and it could be exposure to sunlight/heat and moisture, and it might be allowing heat, and cold to seep through the roof.
These are sure signs that you need a new roof. If your roof is not very old and you see this, then call Ace Construction & Remodeling Roofing Company and they can see if you are eligible for any reimbursement.
Missing Shingles – It might seem obvious that if you are missing shingles then there is a problem. But sometimes it’s best to restate the obvious. If your roof is missing shingles it opens the roof up to heat, moisture, and cold issues that will cause more problems.
Now if you just survived a storm with high winds, and your roof isn’t very old, and just a couple shingles were damaged or lost, a repair job is probably appropriate. However, if your roof is getting up there in age or you lost many shingles over a large area this could be a sign you need a new roof.
Losing Shingle Granules – When you are losing granules from your shingles then your roof is showing its age. You can look in your gutters and see the mass of granules building up. If you see bald patches on your shingles, or darker spots, it’s because you’re losing the granules. Also, if you see color changes and inconsistencies, these are potential signs you need a new roof.
3. The valleys are critical!
You don’t want damaged valleys! Roof valleys are one of the more critical areas of your roof. All the rainwater and snow flow to those spots and then down to the gutters. If you see damage in the valleys, either deteriorating or missing shingles, then you may already have leaks in your roof. This issue is time sensitive and is one of the best warning signs you need a new roof.
4. Always check the chimney flashing.
If your flashing appears to be made from tar or roof cement it will fail sooner than later. Eventually it cracks from the sunlight and allows moisture to penetrate at the joint of your roof and the chimney. It is best to place the flashing with metal flashing that is watertight and long-lasting. Generally this is done automatically by quality roofing contractors when they replace your roof.
5. Can you see the light in the attic?
When you go up into the attic you should not see daylight coming through the roof boards. If you do see light through the roof, then there is a serious problem. This definitely is a sign you need a new roof.
Now if you have a new roof then it was either not installed properly or it has some type of defect. But if your roof is older, then there is some other problem.
And if you walk around on the roof and sense a bouncing feeling it is likely a sign of weakness. More than likely moisture has penetrated through the opening to the decking and will at least require repair, but possibly you will need a new roof.
6. Stains and streaks are bad news!
If you notice dark stains on wood, or dark streaks in the attic on the underside of the roof then it is probably leaking, and the moisture is damaging your roof. If those stains and streaks travel down to your walls inside your house your problem is either more severe, or it’s been happening for a while. Also, even signs of excessive mold can be a sign of moisture intrusion issues with your roof. This calls for immediate attention and definitely a sign you need a new roof.
7. Roof sagging doesn’t just look bad.
Your roof shouldn’t sag at all. You can usually see this from standing in the yard. This is very dangerous as there is potential for structural failure. Sometimes this can happen when too many roofs are layered over the top and the weight is just too much for the structure to handle. But often moisture, leaks, and water can make your roof sag. If the wood is soaking up water it will bend easily, become weaker, and eventually rot. A qualified roofing company can inspect your roof safely and let you know what is needed, but almost always this is a sign you need a new roof.
8. Large icicles may be pretty, but not when they damage your roof.
Large icicles that form at your roof’s edge might be a sign of ventilation issues. In the winter without proper ventilation the attic rises in temperature melting the snow on the roof. Of course, this runs down to the gutters and re-freezes creating an ice dam. Over time, the process is repeated, and the ice dam begins to build up. As the ice expands it adds pressure, pulling roofing materials apart and creating gaps for water to penetrate into the roofing structure.
You might not see it as a leak, but in a way, it is because moisture is getting inside. And when that happens you will need a new roof.
9. You keep hearing critters in your attic.
If you are hearing little critters wrestling around in your attic it’s possible they found a whole in your roofing, eaves, or even fascia behind the gutters. It’s also possible they gnawed their way through some wood, but the wood was probably weak from moisture damage. Either way it is best to hire your local roofing contractor to inspect your roof and determine if replacement or repairs are needed.
10. A few additional signs you need a new roof.
- If you are unsure about any of this but you know your roof is aging, it might be a good idea to pay attention to your neighbors. Most neighborhoods have similar aged homes. So, if you see numerous neighbors replacing their roofs it might be time to call Ace Construction & Remodeling Roofing Company.
- Watch for rotting and decay on wooden tile roofs. If you see mold build up, broken or missing times, or crumbling tiles these are signs you need a new roof.
- Also watch for moss growth. If there’s a lot of moss or weeds growing this can be problematic. If it is one small area the remedy may be fairly simple, but if your roof is covered in multiple places it may require something more significant.
- Beware of poor workmanship. If your roof installation doesn’t look right, either awkward or doesn’t line up well and fit together, your roof may not be in great shape. This can be a sign of poor workmanship.
- If you happen to notice multiple layers on your roof you may want to get it inspected. This is known as overlaying and may mean you need a roof replacement. While it has been a common practice in the past and in some cases it is still acceptable, you really need a licensed professional roofing contractor to analyze your specific roof and what it can handle. If overlaying was done to hide an existing problem with your previous roof, you almost surely will want to replace the entire roof.
- Lastly, is your roof literally rotting away? If you find tiles are full of decay and parts of your roof are almost disintegrating, then it’s a massive indication of a problem. Repairs won’t help a rotting roof. It’s definitely a sign you need a new roof.
We recommend you check your roof at least twice a year for these warning signs. If your roof has any of these problems reach out to East Central Indiana’s Best Roofing Contractor – Ace Construction & Remodeling.