Your roof is one of the most essential features of your home. Not only does it offer security for you and your family, but it also acts as a barrier against you and the harsh outdoor elements. Every day, your roof works hard to withstand everything from hail storms and heavy downpours to flying debris and even fires.
But while a roof should last you 25 – 50 years on average, lousy workmanship, heavy storms, and animals looking for a cozy home in the attic can lower the lifespan of your roof, causing it to show premature aging and signs of damage. Left alone, the damage will spread to other areas of your home when the roof fails. If this is your case, then replacing your roof is the best option to get it back on track and performing like it used to. Now the only question is, how do you really know when you should replace your roof?
Here are the top 5 major signs you need a new roof.
1. Heavy or Recurring Leaks
A leak is a tell-tale sign that your roof may need replacing. If you’ve walked into a room and noticed a golden-brown spot ring stain on your ceiling and a puddle on your floor, the problem may be that water is leaking from the roof.
Some common reasons why your roof leaks could include
- Punctures and holes from other trades, improper repairs, and even animals.
- Improper installation (not following manufacturer spec exactly)
- Aging materials
- Little to no maintenance / needed repairs not completed.
With water leakage, you should tackle the problem as soon as possible. If you leave it unchecked with just a bucket and a towel, your roof may begin to mold or sag from the weight.
Always regularly check for water leaks. And if you do find one, take action to cover your nearby furniture and set a bucket down on the floor to catch the water drips into the home. Typically, you may only need a repair. But if you’re noticing recurring leaks at multiple spots and not sure of the source, then be safe and get a professional roof inspection to identify the cause of the leaks.
2. Loss of Protective layers
Another sign that shows a need for roof replacement is the loss of protective layering.
Many homeowners think a roof mainly consists of shingles or plates. But in reality, a roof is actually an intricate build of protective layering that helps guard your home against the outside.
Some of these protective systems include
- Ice and water shields
- Ridge vents
- Insulation systems
These are all important to your roof’s lifespan. But sometimes, age and poor installation can cause the layers to fail and eventually destroy your roof and home. With the loss of each layer, the roof deck and trusses can be impacted, creating a potentially higher cost than a typical roof replacement.
Missing Granules on Shingles
Granules are the small, crushed stones and minerals you see on the surface of your roof’s shingles. Although they may look like just another design choice, they serve an important purpose for your roof, they help protect your roof from extreme heat and impacts with its protective coating. But over time, the granules may fade or fall off, making your roof vulnerable to severe weather.
If your roof is more than 10 years old and you haven’t experienced any impacts, and you see these small minerals scattered on the ground or gathered in the gutters, then you have a sign that the outer layer of protection has been compromised and the roof materials need to be repaired or replaced to prevent further damage.
Cracked Slate and Tiles
Whether you have slate, shingles, or tile, your roofing material is the first thing you notice when looking at the roof. It’s also the most common sign people see when they need a roof replacement. While these roofing materials can last a long time, eventually, they can deteriorate from poor maintenance or severe storms. When they do fail, water eventually makes its way to the underlayment beneath the tile and slate. If leaks are constantly penetrating that underlayment, the weather will wear away at it, causing structural damage to the roof system.
Damaged Flashing Near the Source of Longtime Leaks
Damages to your roof flashing can also tell you if you’re in need of a roof replacement.
Flashing is a thin sheet of metal used to help prevent water from entering your home. It accomplishes this by channeling the water away from the seams connected to fireplaces, vents, and other features. With such an important role, it’s essential that you know your roof’s flashing is doing its job correctly or risk water leaking into your home.
The most common reason why flashings can fail is poor installation and quality. But other factors, such as aging metal and weather damage, can also cause your flashings to bend or break. If that happens, you’ll see signs of water trapped inside your roof or, worse, spilling into your home. Unaddressed over time, your roof’s performance will degrade, and eventually, a replacement will be necessary.
3. Degraded Performance
A maintained performance roof will keep your home protected for decades. But there are a few signs and symptoms of a degraded performance roof that you should definitely look out for. If you notice any of the following problems, a roof replacement should be at the top of your to-do list.
Reduced Energy Efficiency
Noticed that your energy bill is higher than normal? Then you may need to look at your roof for the answer.
A home’s roof spends most of its time getting hit by the sun, especially on hot summer days. That means many of us usually have to turn on the AC or other devices to get some relief. That is, until the energy bill comes in the mail.
To save energy and money, many homeowners invest in an energy-efficient roof. These are specialized roofing materials that help reflect the sun’s heat, reducing the energy you use to cool down your home.
But as time passes, the materials will start to break apart or deteriorate, allowing heat to build into the living areas. As a result, your home will begin to get warmer. If you’re spending more and more on your energy bills, it may be time to install a new energy-efficient roof.
4. End of Life
Although a high-quality roof can offer you decades of protection, that doesn’t mean it will last forever. As time passes, you will naturally have to replace your roof. That being said, you don’t have to wait until severe damage happens to finally replace your roof. You can identify the signs of a roof nearing its end with the following.
Age is the most obvious reason for your roof being at the end of its life.
Like with everything, your roof will eventually age and become weaker. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to figure out the age of your roof, especially if it was already there when you moved in.
So, if you see more wear and tear to the roof, or if it looks like it’s seen better times, it may be due to its age. If that’s the case, it may be time for a new roof. On older homes, a roof replacement may be necessary if the roof is more than 10-15 years old. Fortunately, most homeowners will only have to replace a roof once in their lifetime.
While aging is a common reason, the most significant determining factor of whether or not your roof is at the end of its life is if it’s beyond repair. This usually occurs because there have been so many repairs made to the roofing system that a permanent fix cannot be made. That will leave the homeowner chasing problems that are persistent and new ones will keep popping up. To get rid of these problems once and for all, you’ll need to replace your roof and start fresh.
5. Storm Damage
Storm damage or “Acts of God” are unpredictable natural events that have the potential to devastate your roof and home.
Some storm damage comes from
- Strong winds
- Lightning storms
- Hail storms
If you live in an area with a lot of extreme weather, your roof is more likely to suffer severe damage to the point of needing a roof replacement.
Get an Inspection to Find Out
If you are still unsure if your roof needs replacing, you can always have a professional roofing company inspect your roof.
A roofing company contractor is there to help determine if there are any damages to your roof and suggest a plan.
If your roof is damaged enough, they will suggest roof replacement. If not, they’ll be able to give you alternative solutions that will get your roof back in shape. Whatever the case, getting a professional opinion will always be the best option for a piece of mind.
Your Next Steps
Now that you know all the major signs of a roof replacement, it’s time to act before it’s too late. You can get in touch with our Schulte Roofing contractors today to get a full inspection and start the roof replacement process. Our contractors are here to help you each step of the way.
Don’t forget to also take advantage of our 3D Roofing Visualizer tool for your next roofing project. Receive accurate pricing, get answers to your questions, and go even further by experimenting with new styles and colors to elevate the look of your new solar roof.