The time comes for almost everyone — replacing your roof. While this is a task no one really wants to think about, it is inevitable. There are a few warning signs that can help you tell if it’s time for a new roof.
1. Roof Age
One telltale sign of needing a new roof is to know its age. Once a roof reaches or exceeds its average lifespan, it’s likely going to to start needing tons of maintenance or to be replaced all together. Here are the typical lifespans of the most popular roofing materials:
- Asphalt Shingles: 10-20 years
- Wood Shingles/Shakes: 30 years
- Metal Roof: 40-70+ years
- Slate/Concrete/Clay Tiles: 60-100+ years
If your roof is reaching its average life expectancy soon, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking about and researching new roofing systems.
2. Daylight Shining Through Roof Boards
One of the first places to start when trying to determine if it’s time for a roof replacement is actually inside, up in the attic. Go up to your attic and look for any signs of daylight shining through the roof boards or decking (what your roofing materials and underlayment is attached to).
Any signs of light can be a sure indicator of needing repairs or replacement immediately. While you’re up there, you should also look for any dark streaks or stains, which are signs of water damage and should also be addressed immediately. Don’t avoid damages like these, as they can get worse very quickly and lead to a roof replacement.
3. Missing or Curling Shingles
If you have an asphalt shingle roof, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of inspecting your shingles at least twice a year and after heavy storms. Keep an eye out for any shingles that are missing, curling, or decaying. Shingles should be lying flat against the roof. Any signs of cracking, damage, or buckling likely means it’s time to repair or even replace your roof (depending on its age once again). You should especially check the slopes of your roof that are constantly in direct sunlight.
If your shingles are losing their granules, it could mean they are past their life expectancy. You should inspect the gutters and downspouts of your roof while you’re completing your inspection, as granules can be found there, too.
4. Leaks & Water Damage
A leak in your roof doesn’t always mean you have to replace it, but sometimes it does. If there are obvious signs of leaks like dark stains, sagging areas, or rotting areas, this means you have water damage that you cannot ignore. Even if they seem small, you should immediately address these issues.
Again, a leak doesn’t necessarily mean you have to replace the entire roof, however, if it’s left unaddressed, the damage could lead to an entire replacement.
5. Damaged Flashing
No matter what type of roofing material you have, you should always inspect the flashing. Flashing is installed around chimneys, skylights, vents, and other items that “interrupt” the shingles, metal panels, or other materials. Flashing is a way to ensure your roof is weather-tight and seals different portions of roofing systems.
It’s typically a thin piece of metal on metal roofs and cement, tar, or other types of sealants on other roofing materials. You should examine your flashing regularly, and especially if you’re experiencing leaks. Look for any cracks or breaks in it, or signs of water entering around it. Avoiding addressing the issues around flashing can lead to needing a roof replacement, as water and other types of damages can occur.
Other Elements to Be Aware Of:
There are a few other things you should be aware of when inspecting your roof or trying to decide if it’s time to replace it.
- Moss or Algae Growth: While moss and algae growth doesn’t mean your roof needs replaced, it needs to be taken care of. Leaving moss and algae to grow on your roof can trap moisture and lead to water damage. If you see it, simple spray it off with a garden hose. If it doesn’t come off with a hose, try light scrubbing it off with a damp sponge.
- Inspect Valleys: A roof’s valley is one of the most important parts of the whole system. A valley is an intersection formed by two sloping planes where water can run off. If there is damage to your valleys, be sure to address it immediately.
- Shoddy Installations: One of the best ways to ensure your roof reaches its full life expectancy is to make sure it’s professionally or properly installed. Any patchy-looking areas or panels that look awkward can be a sign of bad workmanship. Make sure to do your research and carefully review installers before moving forward.
If you have any questions about replacing your roof, get in touch with one of Bridger Steel’s Product Specialists today. Our team of experts can help you find the best metal roofing type for your home and environment. We’ll help you select the best panel profile, color or finish, and gauge for your home. We’re here to help make the roof buying process as easy as possible!