It’s one of the basic necessities of life: food, water, and shelter—a roof over your head. But it’s easy to take that roof for granted and ignore signs of needed maintenance. The key to keeping roofing costs down is to notice warning signs before they turn into major problems, causing leaks and water damage in your home. Here are 7 warning signs to look for as you consider whether it’s time to replace your roof.
1. Your Roof is Nearing 25 Years Old.
Asphalt shingle roofs generally last 20-30 years. Beyond that, your roof is a ticking time bomb. Keep an eye out for neighbors in your subdivision (whose houses were likely built around the same time as yours) who are starting to repair or replace their roofs. Chances are, yours will be in need of the same soon.
2. Granules in the Gutter.
While cleaning your gutters, you may notice sand-like granules that have come loose from your roof. If you have a new asphalt shingle roof, this is normal for a time as the granules settle. However, if your roof is 10-15 years old, then loose granules are a sign that your shingles are wearing thin. The granules are there to protect the asphalt from the sun, so once the granules are gone the asphalt can deteriorate quickly. Loose granules indicate your roof is probably around the halfway point of its functioning lifespan.
3. Curling Shingles.
This takes an eye for detail, as it’s not a glaring problem that stands out unless you’re looking for it. Shingles curl in two different ways: cupping (shingle edges turn upward) and clawing (the middle of the single starts to bow upward). These are both indications of weathering and mean that problems such as leaks are probably in the near future. You still have some time at this stage, but should consider replacing your roof within 1-5 years.
4. Missing Shingles.
Shingles that are completely missing are easier to spot than curling shingles, and definitely shouldn’t be ignored. There is the temptation to just replace the missing shingles, which should be fine if it’s just a few. One issue that arises is the difficulty of finding new shingles to perfectly match the originals. The age and weathering of the older shingles makes it nearly impossible for new shingles to blend in. If the mismatched appearance doesn’t bother you, and if the new shingles are installed well, this is a sufficient temporary solution. However, eventually you may begin to lose enough singles that it makes more sense to replace the entire roof.
5. Cracked Shingles.
This is usually due to damage from wind. Similar to missing shingles, if just a few shingles are cracked, then replacing them individually is an option. However, if the cracking is occurring randomly throughout the entire roof, it’s a sign that your whole roof is likely compromised and it’s time to consider roof replacement. Keep an eye on your shingles and if the cracking continues to spread, you should be prepared to replace the roof sometime within 3-5 years.
6. Sunlight in Your Attic.
This is an obvious indication of a problem with your roof. Light getting through means that other elements can leak through as well: rain, cold/hot air, snow, etc. Check your attic regularly during the day for chinks of light, and also for areas that appear water-stained. Make note of them, even small ones, and keep an eye on them throughout a few rainfalls. If the amount of light or water stains changes in shape or size, then this is an active leak. Call a professional immediately who can determine the degree of the damage. Minor leaks may be patch-able, but larger leaks or other factors may make it wiser to replace your roof sooner rather than later.
7. A Sagging Roof.
This is a very bad sign, an indication of a larger structural issue. Whether it’s the decking in the attic or supports in the foundation, whatever is causing a sagging roof needs to be pinpointed and repaired as soon as possible before it causes significant damage. The sooner you solve the problem, the easier the solution will be. If you see any kind of depression or drooping in the roof itself or in the attic, call an expert immediately.
If you think you may be in need of a roof replacement, or would like a professional opinion on the condition of your roof, feel free to contact Spartan Roof Construction to request a FREE estimate: 281-612-4350.