Some blemishes on the roof are fine enough to see occasionally, such as fallen debris from trees, rust, and moss. Those can also be cleaned off. But what happens when you notice these issues more often? Or when the damage seems more widespread? You might not want to replace your roof right away, but if you are planning on selling any time soon, that dilapidated looking roof could hurt your chances of finding a buyer.
Know The Material Life Expectancy
One of the quickest ways to tell if your roof needs to be replaced is to consider the material’s longevity. Even if you don’t know when your roof was installed, you should be able to make an estimate on the age depending on what you know. More information may be available through previous owners, real estate agents, or even in the contract you received when purchasing the house.
Once you have a general idea of the roof’s age, compare it to the lifespan of common roofing materials:
- Asphalt shingles: 15-30 years
- Architectural shingles: 25-30 years
- Clay tiles: 50 years
- Wood shingles and shakes: Around 30 years when well maintained
- Slate tiles: 50-100 years or more
- Metal roofing: 70 years
Also note that the climate where you live could influence the rate of aging. For example, asphalt shingles degrade faster in Florida than they do in Oregon. In fact, even stronger architectural shingles may only last around 10-15 years under the blazing sun and wrath of hurricanes.
Note Signs of Wear and Tear
With the estimated age of your roof in mind, begin inspecting. Check the shingles, eavestroughs, wall and roof intersections, chimney flashings, and even the attic ceiling for signs of damage.
This will probably be the most noticeable from the road at an angle. Sagging is proof that your roof has taken a beating and is beginning to succumb to gravity. It is caused by excessive water leaking beneath the shingles and getting into the underlayment or internal structures of the house.
As moisture begins to build, the integrity of the structure will fail. If you catch it quickly, extensive repairs are not going to be needed—but the potential is definitely there. So, don’t wait. Get a trustworthy roofing company to help you out.
Any time you find shingles that are missing their reflective granules, it could mean you have trouble. Granules do more than protect your roof from absorbing too much heat. When they fall off the shingle, it leaves more vulnerable layers exposed.
Check where those granules have gone. If your gutters are clogged, it means that the water is going to stay around the edges of the roof, which are not as protected as other parts the roof. This introduces the potential for decay, rot, and mold.
In short, missing granules or granules in the gutter and around the downspout shouldn’t be ignored.
Do you see dark spots or streaks on the roof? Perhaps there is visible discoloration on the ceiling of your home? Visibly wet spots, bubbling of paint, and chipping are all signs of water damage. Even if it doesn’t seem terrible yet, you should not wait to get your roof examined and repaired or replaced. Otherwise, it will only worsen.
Some people love filling their homes with succulents and ferns and all kinds of flora, but having it on your roof is another matter. Moss might look cool, but it is highly problematic. Moss and fungi sprout when there is trapped moisture. I other words, that moss clinging to your roof is greedily hoarding water, and the more it captures, the more chances you have of damaged shingles and leaks.
Sticking Windows and Doors
It might not seem like a big deal to have doors that stick and windows that refuse to go up or down, but it is when you have an aging roof. See, when the roof isn’t working right, or if there is heat gain or loss, the humidity in your home can also rise and fall more dramatically.
Curling, Cracking, and Rips
Some of the most obvious signs that your roof is getting ready to fail completely are shingles or other roofing types that look dingy, broken, torn, or are starting to curl. Though the damage could be from impacts and sun, curling shingles may be caused by moisture trapped underneath. The moisture causes the materials to pull away from the underlayment, and that leads to more problems.
Get a Professional to Inspect the Roof
After you have completed your own inspection of your roof, it is time to call in the professionals. Even though you have found issues, you cannot leave them alone. Therefore, you need someone who can either repair or change the roof. After a thorough analysis of your roof’s health, you will be able to gauge how much an investment your new roof is going to be and what kind of materials to buy. This is also the best time to unearth other issues happening, so you do not have to deal with more severe problems in the future.
In short, you know it is time to change the roof when you start to see obvious signs of aging, such as tearing and curling shingles or cracked tiles. You may note some water damage on the exterior and interior of your home. Whether you are looking to sell or simply want to renovate your home, leaving an old roof could lead to more problems and stress later on; have a pro come in to help.