For thousands of years, humanity has valued having a roof over its head. From the earliest cave dwellers to you and I, the importance of a sturdy shelter has always been respected. However, unless you’re a professional, it can be difficult to know when your own roof is in need of repair, or even replacement until it’s too late.
It’s good to understand your roof — it’s an essential part of the home, but also an expensive one to replace. With a little know-how, you can anticipate when it’s time to replace it, and budget accordingly, avoiding nasty surprises along the way, as well as extra costs and stress in damages. The following 7 signs that you need to replace your roof will keep you on track!
It’s Getting Old
A typical asphalt roof has a lifespan of 20 to 30 years, depending on the conditions it is subject to. In general, roofs last slightly longer in cooler areas, compared to roofs in hotter climes. At 25 years, some roofs might have another 5 to 10 years left in them, while others might need replacing already. You’ll need to take a closer look at the condition of the shingles to get a better idea.
Shingles Are in Shambles
All might look great from the ground, but it’s not until you go up and take a look at your shingles that you can accurately assess the condition of your roof. Look out for shingles that are curled at the edges, or bulging in the center. Both point to serious weathering problems, which can indicate that your roof may be leaking, or will start leaking shortly. One or two such shingles isn’t normally an issue, but entire sections across the roof is a red flag.
Cracked shingles are typically caused by wind, but if random shingles across the roof are cracked, you may have only 3 years before replacement is necessary. You may discover missing shingles, though the occasional 2 or 3 isn’t normally an issue. However, if you find yourself frequently replacing them, the life of your roof is drawing to an end. Check also for bald spots on shingles, caused by the protective granules falling off, and leaving them susceptible to damage from the sun.
Algae and Moss
Algae and moss are a common occurrence in older shingles, though modern options generally have built-in protection. It’s not normally anything more than a cosmetic issue, however, it can lead to moisture problems. Algae and moss need moisture to survive, creating a moist area between the roof and the shingles. In winter, this can freeze, expand, and cause damage to the roof that may eventually lead to it leaking.
The Whole Thing is Sagging
A sagging roof is generally the result of major structural issues, and should not be ignored. Now is the time to be worried, and the time to act fast. As soon as visible sagging is observed, it’s time to call in the professionals. Even though it’s unlikely that you’re in immediate danger, the risk increases day by day, and it might not take much to trigger a catastrophe.
Rising Heating and Cooling Costs
One surefire way to tell that your roof isn’t performing as well as it should without going up to inspect it is by monitoring your energy bills. If you find it’s costing you more and more to heat or cool your home, the roof is a likely culprit. As it deteriorates, it becomes less efficient as an insulator, letting warm air out in winter. Your HVAC systems will need to work overtime to compensate for the escaping air.
Your roof can leak for several reasons, and when it does, it’s never a good sign. It’s best to prevent leaks by staying on top of roof maintenance, but sometimes they cannot be helped. Smaller leaks can be identified by monitoring water damage stains on your ceiling, or in the attic. If they grow and change shape, you’ve got an active leak that will need to be dealt with before further damage is caused.
Your Neighbours Are Replacing Theirs
Many homes in newer neighborhoods are built within a year or two of the other homes in the area. So, if your neighbors are replacing their roof, chances are yours is also coming to the end of its lifespan and is in need of replacing.