Your roof is one of the most crucial parts of your home’s structure. It’s often out of sight, out of mind—until issues start to crop up and create a potentially stressful situation for you to address. The easiest way to ensure your roof stays in great shape is to handle your roof needs promptly. But how can you tell when you require a roof replacement?
Fortunately for savvy homeowners, there are common signals that your roof would benefit from a full makeover. Keep an eye on these 4 signs so you can get a new roof in a timely fashion—protecting your investment in your home and giving you peace of mind.
Signs you need to replace your roof
1. Age of Roof
Roofing wears down over time as it is exposed to sun, wind, rain, snow, hail, and debris. The older your roof is, the less effective it becomes at resisting leaks and other damage that could cause problems to your home.
When properly installed and well maintained, asphalt roofing—the material most homeowners have on their homes—typically lasts 20-25 years. Metal roofing lasts longer, anywhere from 30-70 years, while tile roofing typically needs replacement after 50 years. If your roof is approaching the end of its lifespan, make plans to replace it.
2. Damaged or Missing Shingles
Most homes make use of asphalt shingles, which are installed in an overlay pattern to give your home proper protection. If shingles aren’t able to do their job properly, moisture can penetrate your home, causing leaks, rotting, mold and mildew, and other issues that can threaten a home’s structural integrity and put your health and your possessions at risk.
Shingles can get cracked, dented, loosened or detached from a roof due to stormy weather. Their protective granules can wear off due to the elements and aging. Get in the habit of checking your roof after high winds, hail, ice, and heavy snow. Shingles should lie flat against each other and have no worn spots, so if you see them pushed upward or you notice patches of missing shingles, it’s time to call a roofer for advice.
3. Hints in the Attic
One of the easiest ways to look for wear and tear in your roof is not from outside, but inside your house. In the attic, there are little signs that hint at a problem, such as wet insulation, rotted wood, or the odor of mildew—which are all signals you may have a leak.
Another obvious sign you can spot in the attic is too much sunlight. You shouldn’t be able to see the sun through the attic roof, except in spots specifically designed to let light in, such as an attic window. Holes that let light enter indicate the roof isn’t properly protecting your home.
4. Sagging Spots and Other Signs of Leaks
When you look up at your roof, can you see spots where it appears to be drooping or sagging? If so, it’s time to call a roofer, because this is a clear signal your roof has moisture damage.
Inside your home, you may see more evidence that leaks are penetrating through your roof. This manifests not just as dripping when it rains, but other signs on interior ceilings and walls, such as water stains, mold and mildew spots, peeling paint, and other issues. Don’t wait to deal with moisture damage. Address it promptly because rot spreads and makes the issue worse.
Other Issues that Require Roof Repair
Some issues won’t call for an immediate roof replacement, but if you allow them to go unaddressed, they can lessen the lifespan of your roof. Be sure to address these signs before roof problems can grow worse and cost you in the long run.
Green moss, black algae stains and other signs of mossy growth are a sign your roof is suffering from exposure to too much moisture. At the very least, it’s unsightly. But these growths can also be a sign that moisture is leaking underneath the shingles. Clean your roof and check for further damage.
Missing or loose flashing
Flashing is the metallic piece that is placed atop seams in the roof to seal them and prevent water incursion. It is also used around chimneys, vents, and skylights. When it is missing or loose, water can do damage. Replace any flashing that is gone, and reattach it where it’s loose.
Roof cement/tar patchwork
Do you see cement or heavy tar around your chimney or vents? Some roofers cut corners and use roof cement instead of flashing. Not only is it unattractive; it also easily cracks and leaks, opening you up to more damage. Repair this issue as soon as you can.
Missing gutter aprons
Water must be properly directed away from your home to prevent moisture damage. To prevent water runoff from dripping slowly away at the edge of your roof, there should be gutter aprons—which direct water away from fascia, soffits, and other wood that would otherwise rot away. While it’s easiest to install these when you’re getting a new roof, it’s possible to install them carefully under existing shingles too.
How to Check Your Roof
Assess your home’s roof by walking around the perimeter of your home and climbing into the attic, looking for visible issues. In addition, it’s a good idea to hire a professional roof inspector. They know what to look for and can help you weigh the question of whether roof repairs will take care of your issue or whether it’s time to invest in a new roof.
At Iron River Construction, we believe Minneapolis/St. Paul area homeowners should be well informed about all their options. We’ve put together our Ultimate Guide to Roof Replacement to answer all your roofing questions and ensure you’ll be able to enjoy the home of your dreams. If you’re interested in learning more about us, read our reviews to see why customers trust us with all their home improvements.