As a homeowner, managing your property and being sure it remains up to code at all times is amongst your more important responsibilities. Like most life investments, all properties require maintenance as years pass to bring maximum comfort and security. If you have been in your home for fifteen years or more, there’s a strong chance you have mulled over investing in a new roof installation. However, before deciding to install a new roof, there are signs to help determine whether or not the time is right.
With only a touch of research, you’ve probably come across the “25-30 year rule” for replacing your roof. That number is used as a benchmark. A great many residential roofs need replacing during that time frame. But, there are many variables to consider, and all roofs are unique.
Roofing systems take a lot of external wear and tear throughout each passing year. Intense sunlight, strong winds, debris, vermin, tropical storms, rain, or dangerous weather conditions – all of these have a direct correlation with a roof’s lifespan. How often your roof needs to be replaced depends on several factors:
- Local weather.
- Proper maintenance and care.
- Age of the materials.
- Quality of the materials.
- Building and design.
- Upkeep with minor repairs.
- Keeping pests and rodents away.
- External debris build-up.
Consider Your Roof’s Age
One of the first things to consider before inspecting your roof for cracks, breaks, and other wear and tear is how old it is. A roofing system that is 25 to 30 years or older may require a total reroof, even if the roof itself appears in decent shape from the naked eye. Roofs from decades ago were often built with materials that are no longer in use or considered strong today. On the other hand, suppose your roof is 10, 15, or 20 years old. In that case, it may be time for a complete inspection and possibly investing in an entirely new roof altogether, and definitely if your roof has been laid over a previously installed roof.
Start By Inspecting Your Roof From the Inside Out
The first step is to scoop up a flashlight and get to the attic for all intents and purposes. Ensure to grab a flashlight with a bright beam so you don’t miss any damage, and always be mindful as you go through these kinds of inspections.
Upon arriving in your attic, see if you can identify one or more of these 4 signs that you need to replace the roof:
1) Sunlight Shining In Through The Roof
Prior to turning your flashlight on, see if you can spot any rays of sunlight coming through breaks or holes in your roof. If you spot any light shining through your roof, repair or replace your roof as soon as possible. If the light is getting through your roof, then water is getting through your roof.
2) Dark Streaks & Stains
This one is also simple 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 deteriorating both your roof plus your home’s interior structure.
3) Sagging Areas
Much like how a soggy cardboard is weak, water can also make the structure of your roof begin to sag. If you uncover sagging portions of your roof, use your hand or a stick to prod at the sagging spot lightly. If the area feels soft and wet or moves around easily with your stick’s touch, then you are 100% dealing with water damage.
4) Water Damage
In addition to checking for dark streaks and sagging sections, make sure to check for any present signs of water leaking or rotting your roof on the inside. If you find any clear signs of water damage, you should immediately contact someone to evaluate your roof.
Curling Or Missing Shingles Are Visible
Examining your roof’s shingles is another recommendation to determine whether or not your roof requires further attention or a replacement entirely. While examining the outdoor shingles on your home’s roof, try to locate any cracks, misshapen shingles, or shingles that have warped or bent upwards.
Shingles that are warped, cracked, or misshapen may require a deeper inspection to identify whether or not they can be replaced one by one or if the wiser choice is investing in roof replacement.
Discovering tiny granules on your roof or stockpiling in your gutter may also be a sign that the time has come for a complete and thorough roof replacement. Large amounts of asphalt granule loss is a surefire sign that the roof’s condition isn’t where it needs to be to ensure your roof can hold up to a large storm.
Excessive Growths On Your Roof
Moss begins growing on roofs that don’t receive substantial sunlight, particularly in cool and moist climates. Moss retains moisture against the surface, which can cause damage.
Are you noticing algae or other types of natural growth on top or out of your roof? If so, don’t worry. The natural world tends to grow over any structure in its path if it is not adequately cared for and maintained.
When examining your roof and the algae you have discovered, make sure to do so by examining both the inside and outside of your roof. While most plant growths are likely to be visible from the exterior of your roof, if there is a more significant issue on deck, nature could also be thriving on its own indoors without your knowledge.
Frequently, eliminating the algae from a roof is a way to fix the issue without considering a reroof rapidly. But, if you see substantial growths on your roof or even inside your home, the recommendation is to find a roofing contractor to identify the root cause and reason for the growths.
In the event the roof is just completely overgrown, then the sensible option would be to get a roof replacement. This only happens to roofs that go unattended for long periods of time.
The silver lining here is that algae growth and accumulation aren’t signs typically that you need to fix or replace your roof. Rather, moss is more of just an eyesore to your roof and one that is extremely common in humid geographic regions.
If your roof needs a full roof replacement, there then becomes a number of decisions that need to be made. Beginning with the roofing material to use, will you stick with asphalt or consider metal? Which roofing company to work with? If by chance, there’s a valid insurance damage claim. For many homeowners having the money required in the bank to get a roof replacement may not be a possibility. There are financing options accessible for qualified homeowners offered by many roofing companies. Ensure to do due diligence prior to choosing a roofing company.