It usually takes a sprung leak or an overflowing gutter before homeowners take notice of the roof over their heads. Performing regular checks and maintenance is key to preventing more costly problems. Eventually, there comes a time when ensuring the safety and structural integrity of your home will require a roof replacement job.
As for when it should happen, there are several telltale signs to consider that will make it easier. Let’s take a look at some simple ways to identify when to replace your roof.
You can expect your roof to last a certain amount of years depending on the materials. For instance, asphalt shingles hold up for close to 30 years, but some might need replacement within 15 years. With proper annual upkeep, wood shingles will last around the same amount of time, while clay tiles will easily remain intact for half a century.
Premium metal roofing has a lifespan of up to 70 years. Cheaper, thinner metals will hold up for closer to 25 years. Slate tile roofs hardly ever need replacement, but remember to consider the age of your house here.
How long your roof has been covering your home can be a reliable guideline, but it doesn’t tell all. Your next step should be to head up into the attic and look out for any incoming streaks of light. Stains are another sign of leaks that call for repair or replacement. It’s a good idea to take this step after heavy storms.
Take a look at your roof from the outside. Do you notice any curling or buckling among the shingles? Some might be losing granules, which will be lying in the gutter. This is a sign that they’re nearing the end of their life expectancy. You can repair these damages and avoid a full replacement by having a professional maintain your roof.
Don’t forget to check whether the shingle tabs are all present and intact. It’s best to address any issues sooner rather than later as the damage can worsen over time.
Flashing is a thin material used to insulate the seams between your roof and components such as vents, chimneys and skylights. This prevents water from entering when it rains.
It’s a good idea to examine your flashing to check for any cracks or breaks. Cement and tar flashing is particularly prone to damage, which is why most homeowners upgrade to the more durable metal flashing.
Rotting and Moss
Of course, a droopy or sagging roof needs to be replaced. Check for rotting and trapped moisture on the surface. It will be most visible in lower areas. Moss and fungi are another sign of excess moisture. You can use a stiff brush or moss killer to get rid of it, but addressing the underlying problem is better in the long term.
The above indicators should help you decide whether or not to replace your roof. In some cases, a bit of maintenance is all that’s necessary. But even if your roof does need to be replaced, it will probably be the only time you have to do it.