How To Identify If Its Time For A Roof Replacement

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Need a new roof? Would you know if you did? At times, the signs can be pretty obvious, but other times they won’t be. A solid roof above your head is essential if you’ve become accustomed to having a warm, cozy, and leak-free home. Here’s how to notice and deal with potential issues before they spiral out of control.
If you’ve conducted just a little digging into this question, you’ve probably come across the “25-30 year rule” for a roof’s lifespan. That figure is utilized as a benchmark. The majority of residential roofs need replacing during that timeframe. But, there are many factors at play, and all roofs are unique.

All roofs take a lot of external wear and tear throughout each passing year. Sunlight, powerful winds, tree damage, rodents, tropical storms, rain, or dangerous weather conditions – all of these have a direct effect on a roof’s lifetime. How often your roof needs to be replaced depends on many factors:

  • Weather.
  • Yearly maintenance and care.
  • Age of the materials.
  • How good the materials used are.
  • How well it was installed, to begin with.
  • Were repairs addressed when needed?
  • Keeping pests and rodents away.
  • External debris accumulation.

Consider Your Roof’s Age

The average asphalt shingle roof has a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. Metal or tile roofs tend to have a longer lifespan. If your roof is approaching its average replacement age, you should really start thinking about a roof replacement. If other roof repairs were placed over the top of your existing roof – a technique referred to as overlaying – you should assuredly be thinking about a roof replacement. Overlaying is a patch job that can hide larger roofing issues underneath the shingle surface.

Begin By Inspecting Your Roof From the Inside Out

The first and simplest way to gauge what condition your roof is in is to grab a flashlight and head up to your attic. Ensure to grab a flashlight with a powerful beam to ensure no damage is overlooked and always be sure to be safe as you perform these kinds of inspections.

Once you are in your attic, try to identify one (or several) of these four signs that you need to replace the roof:

1) Sunlight Shining In Through The Roof

Before you turn your flashlight on, try and spot any rays of sunlight coming through cracks or punctures in your roof. If light is spotted coming through your roof, fix it, or replace your roof as soon as possible. If light is getting through your roof, then water is getting through your roof.

2) Dark Streaking & Stains

This one is also straightforward to identify. If you see dark stains or dark streaks on the underside of your roof or running down the walls from the base of your roof, then your roof is likely leaking, and moisture is causing damage to both your roof, as well as your home’s interior structure.

3) Sagging Areas

In the same way that water will make a piece of cardboard soggy and weak, water can also make your roof structure begin to sag. If you notice sagging sections of your roof, take your hand or a broom to carefully prod at the sagging spot; if the spot feels soft and wet or moves around easily with a touch of your broom, then your 100% dealing with water damage.

4) Leaks

In addition to looking for dark streaks and sagging spots, be sure to check for any obvious signs of water leaking or rotting your roof on the inside. If you locate any clear signs of water damage, you should call a roofer to immediately evaluate your roof.

Curling Or Missing Shingles Are Visible

Out of sight, out of mind, the tried and true cliche makes sense when it comes to the roof. Usually, not checking the roof unless there is a stain or dark spot clearly visible from the street or yard.

Weathered or worn shingles are fairly simple to discover if you search for them. Missing shingles can be replaced one by one, but it’s oftentimes an indicator of a larger issue. Large areas of cracked or weakened shingles (or ones that are visibly falling apart) indicate that your roof needs a replacement.

Shingles can curl in two ways – cupping when the edges curl towards the sky or clawing when edges remain flat, and the middle starts popping up. Both could indicate that

Moisture has built up beneath the shingles because of poor ventilation in the attic.
Shingles were inadequately installed.
Blistering and direct sunlight wears shingles down in short order.

If your roof is at the point where you are noticing large amounts of asphalt granules clogging up your gutters, then there’s a strong chance your roof is close to needing a replacement.

Excessive Growths On Your Roof

Moss begins growing on roofs that don’t receive a lot of sunlight, especially in cool and moist climates. Moss holds moisture against the surface, which can cause damage.

Is there fungus or other types of natural growth on top or out of your roof? Don’t panic. Our natural environment tends to grow over any man-made building in its path if it is not adequately cared for and maintained.

When looking over your roof and the new growths you have noticed, make sure to do so by examining both the interior and exterior of your roof. While the majority of plant growths are likely to be seen from the outside of your roof, if there is a larger issue at-hand, nature may also be showing up on its own inside the house with you having zero clue.

Quite often, eliminating the growths from a roof is a way to quickly remedy the issue without needing to do any meaningful roof repairs. But, if there is substantial growths on your roof or inside the property, the recommendation is to call a professional to identify the root cause and reason for the growths.

In the event the roof is just completely overgrown, then the sole option would be to get a new roof. This usually happens to roofs that are unattended for long stretches of time.

Fortunately, algae growth and buildup are not usually indicators that you need to repair or replace your roof. Rather, algae are more of just an eyesore to your roof and one that is quite common in hot places like Southern Florida.

If, in the end, you do require a full roof replacement check out this page here, there then becomes some decisions to be made. Such as which roofing material to use. Which roofing contractor to work with? If you perhaps have a valid insurance claim. For many homeowners having the cash on hand to get a roof replacement may not be viable. There is financing available for qualified homeowners offered by certain roofing companies such as the West Palm Beach Roofing Experts. Be sure to do due diligence before making your choice of contractor.