Typically, we ignore our roofs unless something like a storm badly damages it. Otherwise, any other maintenance we do to our roofs include replacing some shingles and making minor repairs, but in most cases, this doesn’t in the long run.
Roof replacement is a job you don’t want to think about unless it becomes inevitable. That’s because issues like a slight roof leak can turn into a potential threat to your home—especially during the rainy season.
Remember: your roof is a substantial investment and the first line of defense against the elements.
5 Warning Signs You Need to Replace Your Roof
So, how to decide when to replace your roof? Here are five signs you must consider for replacing your roof:
1. The Roof is Old
One of the most relevant aspects to consider is whether a roof needs to be replaced or not is its age. It may look pretty sturdy, but it’s probably time to replace it if it’s been in use for over 30 years.
Generally, the life span of the roof plate is about 20–30 years. If you’re unsure how old your roof is, you can ask a professional home renovation expert for an evaluationf.
Of course, the age of the roof doesn’t always mean it needs a replacement as long as the proper maintenance has been done to ensure its durability and longevity. But old roofs can hide a lot of structural damage that builds up over the years.
The typical lifespan of the most popular roofing materials is:
- Asphalt shingles: 10–20 years
- Wooden Roof: 30 years
- Metal Roof: 40–70+ years
- Concrete/Clay tiles: over 50 plus years
- Slate: up to 100 years or longer
2. The Shingles Look Bad
Shingles protect the roof structure from external influences, just as the roof protects the entire house. The older and more worn the shingles, the easier it is to crack, the higher the risk of leaks, and the more vulnerable the house is to rain and moisture.
Broken, cracked, or curled shingles are generally a sign of a strong gust or the outcome of severe wind damage. The only choice you have in this case is to replace the roof entirely. Torn, bent, or distorted shingles make the roof brittle and weak. If only a few shingles are damaged, you can easily replace them with a patch. But, if the damage is scattered throughout the roof, then it should be replaced shortly.
If you see curled shingles on a new roof (less than 7 years old), it is possible that the company that installed the shingles did not work properly or did not provide proper attic ventilation. Moisture caused by the wind creeps under the shingles, causing curls, leakage, and roof rot. If you notice any irregularities in the roofing boards, you should at least have a trained professional check the roof.
The shingles are the entrance to the roofing system. Therefore, if you notice any of the following signs, you must immediately think of repairing or replacing your roof:
- Anything missing, distorted, or cracked
- Discoloration around the vents
- Missing Granule
- Growth of moss or algae
- Damage to the chimney or skylight
- Dirt on the gutters
You may notice holes in the roof, which are an obvious sign that it’s time to replace it. There could be spots of moisture penetrating in your attic or direct sunlight entering your house. If so, it’s time to call an expert home improvement service and have your roof replaced. If sunlight can pass through, so can rain and snow.
Go to the attic and look for signs of shining sunlight through the roof planks or decks (where the roofing materials and underlays are installed). Light signs can indicate that repair or immediate replacement is needed. While there, you should also be aware of dark streaks and stains that indicate water damage and deal with them immediately. Do not avoid such damage as it deteriorates rapidly and can eventually lead to roof replacement.
4. Persistent Leakage
Your roof is not just a layer that covers your home. It is a wholesome structure that binds multiple layers, joints, and moisture barriers to keep the interior of your home safe, insulated, and dry.
Over time, there could be breakages and damages to the roof, which must be investigated and repaired immediately. It may be more cost-effective to replace the roof completely. Leaks and floods, dark spots, sagging, or rot—even if they look small, you need to address these issues immediately. If left uncorrected, it may because further damage.
Roof leaks can occur for various reasons, from worn materials to storm damage. And as the roofing material weakens, water can seep through the clapboard to the rest of the house. This leads to water infiltration and often visible puddles during storms. The degree of damage is best determined by a roofing expert’s assessment.
5. Your Neighbor’s Roof is Having Issues
If you live in an area that is commonly affected by wind, storm, hail, or launchers, it is probably necessary to compare your roof with the others’ to assess the damage and effect. The golden rule is to replace roofs rather than repair them if the damage is more than 35% of your roof. Inspect other elements like:
- Growth of moss, fungi, and algae: You don’t need to replace your roof in such a situation, but allowing moss and algae to grow on the roof can trap moisture and cause flood damage. These can cause streaks and spots and affect the structure and foundation of your roof.
- Valley Inspection: Roof valleys intersect two slopes where water can drain. If the valley is damaged, take immediate action.
- Inadequate installation: One of the best ways to maximize the life of a roof is to make sure it is installed professionally or correctly. Spotted areas or panels that look clumsy may indicate poor finish.
- Storm damage: A violent storm can ruin the roof, regardless of what it was before the storm. High-speed winds can completely tear shingles from the roof or lift and tear them.
Your roof is a long-term investment, so it is imperative to take roof health very seriously. Protect your roof by doing regular maintenance, and if you notice any of the above issues, make sure to contact Matera Roofing for a free estimate.