How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? Most roofs are made of asphalt shingles, which typically need to be replaced once every 20-25 years.
But even before a roof reaches its 20th birthday, homeowners should look out for several important warning signs.
A best practice we recommend is to inspect your roof twice per year and after any major storm to check for damage and signs of aging. Wait, twice per year? Yeah, we hear you… who does that? At a minimum you should check in once a year to see if your roof presents any of the following warning signs. If you do, the next step is to decide whether you need to replace or repair your roof.
Signs You Need a New Roof
You don’t need special training to spot many common issues from inside your home or from the street outside.
We created a handy list of what to look for:
1. Leaks and water damage. These are the most obvious signs that your roof is in need of repair or replacement. In your attic, check any dark corners with a flashlight for signs of water infiltration or sagging between the rafters. If you see any signs that water has leaked through the roof, it’s time to call in a professional.
2. Missing shingles. Do you notice any missing shingles when you look at your roof from the ground? If any shingles have blown away or detached from the roof, the underlying roof decking is not adequately protected and will become vulnerable to water damage.
3. Cracked or curled shingles. Do you see any shingles starting to wrinkle or buckle? Any curled edges? Use binoculars to get a closer look from ground level. Shingles will experience some normal weathering over time, but any pronounced curling or buckling could mean that your roof is coming to the end of its useful life.
4. Granules in your gutters. Granules are tiny, ground-up pieces of rock that give your roof its color, and, more importantly, they add weight, strength, and UV protection to an asphalt shingle. It’s not unusual to find some granules in your gutters if a new roof has just been installed. However, if there was no recent work done to your roof and you’re finding large amounts of granules in the gutters, or if you’re noticing open blisters on the shingle where the asphalt is revealed, it’s a sign that the shingles are getting old and worn out.
5. Cracked or broken flashing. Flashing is what seals your roof around openings like chimneys, vents and skylights. If metal flashing is not installed properly or if it cracks, it makes the area much more susceptible to leaks. To check your flashing, start by inspecting it with binoculars from the ground. If you need to climb a ladder to get a better view, follow this guide to access your roof safely.
6. Discoloration or dark stains. This issue is cosmetic, but it can be bothersome to many homeowners. Dark, mold-like stains on a roof are usually due to algae and are more likely to develop in warm, humid climates. The algae doesn’t cause damage to the roof from a protective standpoint, so it’s not a reason to rush to replace the shingles. When it is time to replace the roof, however, look for a shingle that offers at least a 15-year algae-resistance warranty, such as CertainTeed’s Landmark Pro or Premium. In the meantime, you may want to try washing the algae stains with a bleach-water mixture.
If you notice any of these warning signs, it might be time for a roof replacement. If you’re still unsure, or are ready to start on your project, speak to a Boston Renovation expert. Give us a call at 978.697.4625 or visit Boston Renovation.com.