Having a roof that you can depend on to protect your home from the elements is essential to your piece of mind. As your roof ages, it may start to spring minor leaks or show signs of deterioration from the curb or your lawn.
But how can you know if your roof needs a total replacement or just a few repairs to help it last a few more years? We always recommend a professional inspection to be sure, but we’ve put together a list of ways to tell that you may need a new roof.
How Long Does a Roof Last?
The lifespan of your roof will depend on several factors, including its materials, quality of installation, and exposure to the elements. Most roofs with asphalt shingles will last between 15 and 30 years.
However, if the shingles were installed improperly or the house has experienced particularly severe weather such as high winds and hail, it can decrease the lifespan of your roof by several years. Additional factors, such as poor insulation, can cause snow to melt and refreeze on your roof, which creates ice buildup that can damage your shingles.
What Can a Repair Fix?
A professional roof repair can fix minor damage in specific areas that may have come from storm damage, tree branches, or poor workmanship. Sometimes roof repairs can last for the natural lifespan of the roof, while other times they can only be a temporary fix until a total replacement can be performed.
Signs You Need a New Roof
One of the biggest (and most alarming) indicators that you need a new roof, leaks can spring in a variety of locations for several different reasons. Some are fixable, and if you catch them early you may be able to go several more years without a replacement. But if you have a leak that has been going on for some time, it may have caused enough damage that a roof replacement becomes necessary. Also, if your leak is due to age and not a specific cause, such as storm damage or poor caulking around a vent, you’ll want to install a new roof before more leaks start.
Soft and Sagging Spots
If you see areas of your roof that are beginning to sag or that are soft to the touch, that’s a significant indicator that you need a roof replacement. Soft spots are caused by rot and moisture that have softened the wood underneath the shingles. If this spreads to the rafters that hold up the roof, it can lead to sagging. The issue will only get worse over time, as additional water as well as mold, mildew, and even pests get into the wood and further impact its structural integrity.
After a severe storm, it’s always a good idea to look at your home from your lawn or the curb to see places where shingles may have been torn or removed due to high winds. Hail can also cause significant damage to your shingles, though the signs can be harder to spot. It’s a good idea to have your roof professionally inspected for bruising if your home has experienced hail damage.
Even if the damage your roof has sustained from a storm isn’t severe, it could become worse over time. That’s why it’s always important to make any necessary repairs while they’re still minor, so you don’t need to make major repairs further down the line.
Partially or fully missing shingles are the most obvious sign of damage to your roof, but shingles can be damaged in other ways as well. Over time, your shingles may blister and crack from heat and sun exposure. They may also start to warp and curl at the edges.
Another sign that your shingles are starting to age is a heavy loss of granules, which are the small pebbles that make up your shingles. If you start seeing a lot of granules in your gutters or at the bottom of your downspouts and other drainage areas, it’s likely a sign that your shingles are losing their effectiveness. If the loss is significant, you may notice black patches on your shingles where the granules have flaked off entirely.
Moss doesn’t just come with age, it’s also an indication that your shingles aren’t drying properly. You may also notice problems with moss if you have a tree overtop of your roof. The shade the tree provides can prevent the sun from fully drying your roof, and dead leaves on your roof can also lead to moss. If you have moss on top of your shingles, you may have mold, mildew, or even rot underneath.
Why Be Proactive About Replacing a Roof?
Many people choose to replace their roof during a home renovation to improve its curb appeal. A roof replacement and new paint or siding can make a dramatic difference in the look of your home. It can also improve the real estate value of your home if you decide to sell.
A significant portion of your energy bill goes to heating and cooling your home, so having an energy-efficient roof can represent significant savings year over year. A lighter-colored roof can reflect more heat, keeping your home cooler in the winter. A roof replacement can also take care of areas where air in your home may be leaking out, and it can also spot potential problems with your insulation.
As your roof ages over time, the chances that it can spring a leak gradually increase. If you have one leak due to an aging roof, it’s likely that you will see another before too long. Not only can leaks damage the interior of your home and your belongings, but they can also cause damage that goes unnoticed. Small leaks can introduce mold, mildew, rot, and pests to your attic that can significantly drive up the cost of a roof replacement when it eventually takes place.
Get a Free Inspection
Not sure if it’s time to replace your roof? Reach out to Jobson Roofing for a free inspection. We won’t give you a boring sales pitch, just an honest assessment of your needs.