Depending on the type of roof you have, you can expect its lifespan to be anywhere from 20 to 50 years. Shingle roofs need to be replaced the most frequently (20-25 years), whereas wood shake, tile and slate roofs tend to last a bit longer. Eventually, issues such as water intrusion, roof buckling, missing shingles, and flashing problems will necessitate an entire roof replacement rather than simple repairs. Here are the six signs that you need a new roof:
1. Water Intrusion
While some roof leaks may lead to water dripping onto your floors, not all leaks are quite so obvious; some are more subtle and may go unnoticed if you don’t know what to look for. Signs to look out for include:
- Discoloration (stains), mold, or moisture on the ceiling
- Warped walls
- Peeling paint
- Musty smell
- Rotten molding around windows and doors
- Wet floors
All of the above signs may indicate that your roof is leaking and needs replacement. Remember, it doesn’t take a large leak to do a lot of damage; a slow leak can cause major damage if left unchecked. For this reason, you should always be on the lookout for signs of water leaks in your home.
2. Signs in the Attic
Since your attic is directly beneath your roof, your attic space is the best place to look for signs of a bad roof. Inspect your attic regularly for signs of a roof leak, such as wet insulation, brown water stains, mold/mildew growth, and warping wood.
Also, look for daylight coming through your roof boards. If you can see daylight, you can be sure that something critical is wrong with your roof, such as a weakened structure or extensive storm damage.
3. Buckling and Settling
If your roof appears to be caved in, buckled, sagging or otherwise uneven, it could be failing. All of these signs point to extensive structural damage and rot that requires immediate roof replacement – repairs won’t cut it. Once the boards and structure of your roof are undermined, there is no guarantee that your roof won’t cave in suddenly or fail during a weather event. This puts your home and your family at great risk.
4. Damaged/Missing Shingles
Whenever you clean your gutters, take time to visually inspect your shingles; they will give you an idea of what condition your roof is in. A good roof has shingles that are tight and flat with lots of granule coverage. Damaged shingles, on the other hand, are losing their granules. They appear curled, lifted or haggard. Keep in mind that shingle damage can range from subtle shifting and cracking to full-on lifting and breaking. All signs of damage should be taken seriously, regardless of their severity.
Missing shingles are also a cause for concern. Shingles can break away as they age or get ripped away during severe weather conditions. Glance at your roof regularly when you’re outdoors to look for missing shingles, especially after bad weather.
5. Flashing Issues
Flashing is a metal or tar-like substance on your roof that’s placed around seams and entry points such as skylights, chimneys, and vents. Flashing serves to seal joints and seams to prevent water intrusion.
If you notice that your flashing is cracking, breaking, lifting, or otherwise undermined, you may need to get your roof replaced. If your flashing is damaged, there’s a high likelihood that other parts of your roof are damaged as well.
6. Plant Growth
Moss, mold, and fungi should not feel at home on your roof. If such growth is thriving on your roof, it likely indicates that there is trapped moisture which can cause a lot of damage and undermine the integrity of your roof. If you find plant growth, clean it off and check your roof for signs of moisture and damage.
Tree branches and other types of climbing plants can also damage your roof by ripping off shingles or otherwise undermining your roof’s integrity. Always be sure to trim trees and vines so that they are not near your roof. In addition, remove dead tree limbs that may fall on your roof during a storm.
If you think your roof may be in need of replacement, it’s time for a professional inspection. Call ACME Roof Systems Inc. as soon as you spot the signs of a failing roof or as soon as your roof turns 20 – whichever comes first. Early intervention can prevent water damage and save you a great deal of money.