Roofing 101:10 Signs to Know When to Replace Roofing

In this article, you will learn:
1. How to determine when it’s time to replace your roof.
2. 10 signs of a compromised roof.
3. A summary outlining the importance of roof replacements.

What do people like to say when they want to indicate life’s going alright? They say they have food on the table and a roof over their head. Since we can all agree it’s an important element to “living the good life,” we should be diligent to take extra care of it. 

Maintaining a roof offers peace of mind, protection, and – in the long run – cost savings. Catching a small leak here or a slight crack there will help maintain the integrity of the roof and the protection of your loved ones.

Knowing when to replace roofing will allow you to budget accordingly and increase the overall functioning of your home. In this article, you’ll learn how often you should inspect your roof, 10 signs that you may need a new roof, as well as an overview of the benefits of replacing your roof.

1. Roof Age

The answer to, “When should I replace my roof,” isn’t exactlyset in stone. The age of your roof will depend upon the materials it was built with. Here’s the long and short of it all: 

  • Asphalt shingles and composite roofs tend to last about 20 years.
  • Roofs with fiber cement shingles can last about 25 years.
  • Wood shake roofs can extend out to 30 years.
  • Copper, slate, or tile roofs can survive as many as 50 years.

The most common material, asphalt shingles, are the ones to keep an eye out for. Since these last about 20-25 years, you’ll want to see how they’re holding up if you purchased an older home.

If your roof is constructed with shingles, it’s wise to get an inspection twice a year. Aim for the fall and spring when the weather is mild. This will allow you to spot any problem areas before a harsh winter hits. 

2. Curling and Buckling Shingles

If you’re uncertain about the exact age of the roof, there are still plenty of tell-tale signs that might indicate you need a new roof. Curled or buckling shingles are one of the easiest things to spot.

These shingles will be less effective when high winds or rain hit. Water leaks may also start to become a problem. But, these curled shingles are also going to contribute to another kind of leak: air leaks. With air leaks, your home loses some of its efficiency, and may not retain its warmth or cool air. 

3. Missing Shingles

You don’t have to Google “when to replace roof” to know missing shingles are an indicator that something’s wrong. This could go on to contribute to several of the signs we’re about to discuss, from sunlight getting in, to leaks, to – dare we say it – rodent problems.

But, while we’re on the subject of shingles, there’s something else people occasionally do which is a big no-no. Some folks will advise you to lay new shingles over your existing roof because it will save you some money upfront.

Sure, that may be true. However, laying new shingles over the old ones will only cause the new ones to prematurely age. This immediately starts to diminish the money you’ve invested while adding unnecessary weight to the roof.

And, on that final note, a sagging roof may not be easy to perceive at a quick glance, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye out for. All this will do nothing to improve your curb appeal. 

4. Flashing

Roof flashing may be tiny but, boy, is it mighty. This tiny little material is what keeps water from getting underneath the shingles. Laying shingles gets a tad tricky whenever things like chimneys, dormers, and skylights, come into play.

Places where the roof intersects will create a small gap. This is where flashing comes in. Typically, flashing is made from galvanized sheet metal (because it’s less likely to rust). But, there are quite a few materials to choose from, including the fabulous copper.  

If you take a walk across your roof, inspect the areas where angles are formed. See if you can spot the flashing in these areas. If anything’s amiss, this may be where your next water or air leak will start to form. 

5. Granules in Gutters

Asphalt shingles tend to look a bit like heavy-duty sandpaper, don’t they? Shingles are manufactured with granules for a couple of reasons. They help to keep the sun’s UV rays off the asphalt coating. They also increase the shingles’ resistance to fire. 

When you start to see lots of granules falling off your roof and into your gutter, you may have the answer to, “When does a roof need to be replaced?” Without these granules, your house is going to start to lose the battle against the elements. Take a close inspection at your shingles to see if they’re lacking that “sandpaper” texture. 

6. Daylight

Ah, yes. We all love the sight of natural light streaming into our home. But, if that light is coming in through the roof, we have major problems. This is something that needs to be acted upon immediately. If light can get in, so can water… and animals. 

Check the areas that might also require flashing. This will help you rule out some of the easiest problem areas. If it’s simply because there’s a difficult angle in your roof and someone didn’t install the flashing properly, then you have a manageable problem on your hands. 

If however, there’s light streaming in through the roof decking (the joints, singles, and tar paper), then there’s a slightly larger problem. Daylight should never stream in through the roof decking and, if it is, then it’s time to call in the pros

7. Trouble In Your Valleys

The valleys on your roof are the places where two slopes meet, forming a V-shape. Water is going to run off these two areas with twice the impact, so experienced roofers know to take extra care in these areas (similar to the areas that require flashing). 

If you’re noting a lot of water pooling at the base of a valley, then you might want to inspect the roofing material at the bottom of that valley. If it appears to have a significant loss in granules or any sort of visible rotting, it would be wise to correct the problem before the water actually makes it into your home. 

8. Animal Damage

Like natural light, most of us love nature, too. But, the moment nature starts to invade our home, it’s game over. Animals quickly go from lovely little creatures frolicking in the wild to abject rodents.

If one of your furry friends has managed to gnaw its way through your roof, then those are some seriously sharp teeth and claws! (Actually, raccoons are capable of this type of destruction.)

The problem is, animals may not make it all the way through the roof decking, but they are diminishing the integrity of the material. If they’re able to make a dent, then it would be worth your time to do an entire roof inspection to see how the decking is holding up all in all. 

9. Leaking

This one doesn’t need a terrible amount of explanation. If you’re sitting in your recliner at night and feel a droplet of water hit you between the eyes, it’s officially time to panic. 

Okay, don’t panic. But, at this point, you’ll want to seal the leak for the night and put in a call to a local roofer in the morning. When water is actually making it into your home, things have already progressed to a level that will require professional care. 

10. High Energy Bills

Consistently high HVAC bills can be crippling. And there’s just no way around it. If an HVAC system has to work harder to accommodate hot air that’s blowing in through cracks, then the costs are going to rise.

A new roof will simultaneously improve the ventilation in your home and improve your HVAC system’s efficiency. And, since we’re on the topic of money, a new roof also contributes to your property value. If buyers know it’ll be several years before they have to invest in the cost of a new roof, you may find yourself with quite a few more prospects. 

Know When to Replace Roofing

The moment you become a homeowner, it’s important to know when to replace roofing. If your roof’s not brand new, then try to perform regular roofing inspections and work with qualified roofing professionals.

Knowing your home is properly sealed offers a peace of mind that can’t be bought. We want to protect our loved ones from the elements (and the creepy crawly things that go bump in the night). Best of all, as you reap the rewards of your peace, you’ll also enjoy major cost savings through your roof’s efficiency.

When you’re ready to lay down new shingles and rise up to meet the elements, we hope you’ll give us a call. Here at T. Simpson Roofing, we love patching homes together with expert-level care.

With 12 locations, we’re happy to serve a wide radius of customers. And, with over 25 years in the business, we’ve also expanded our services to include windows, doors, siding, insulation, skylights, and more. Feel free to request a quote today and start rebuilding your home tomorrow. 

T. Simpson

Originally founded by a 16-year-old Tony Simpson as a way of acquiring funds to help pay his way through university, T. Simpson Roofing, propelled by Tony’s strong work ethic and commitment to delivering quality work and unbeatable customer service, quickly grew into a thriving business.

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