Asphalt shingles are reasonably durable and cost effective, which is why they are the standard option most homeowners consider when shopping for a new roof. It’s important to know the signs that it’s time to replace the shingles, though, so that you don’t inadvertently postpone your roof installation for too long. Here are three signs that you need a new roof.
Damage can often be spotted from the ground or the top of the ladder. Avoid actually walking on the roof, though. Not only is this dangerous, but walking on a roof can lead to more damage.
Cupping is when the center of a shingle appears to sink while the edges curl up. Cupping and curling occur due to aging, moisture exposure, and manufacturing defects. Once a shingle begins to curl, moisture can seep beneath it and then leak into your home. Cupped and curled shingles require prompt replacement to prevent further issues.
Cracks, broken shingles, and missing shingles are all invitations for a leak. Older shingles are most prone to damage, but a storm can result in damage even on newer roofs. If your shingles are missing, visibly damaged, or hanging unevenly, then you need to have the damaged area repaired or the entire roof replaced.
Granule loss on shingles is a major concern, since the granules are what protects the shingle from weathering and UV damage. Sometimes you can spot bald, shiny spots on the shingle from the ground.
More likely, you will find an increased amount of gravel granules in your gutters, at the base of your downspouts, or on the ground along the roof’s dripline. You can’t repair shingles once they lose their granules, so replacement is necessary.
The age of the roof must play into your decision of whether to replace the roof now or wait until later.
An asphalt roof can be expected to last for about 20 years. If your roof is approaching this age, then it’s time to start planning for a replacement. You can often save time and prevent major damage if you replace the roof before it begins to fail and leak. At the very least, annual roof inspections should become a part of your yearly home maintenance plan once the roof approaches the end of its service life.
Appearance may not be everything, but with your house, the exterior appearance can affect the home’s value. An older roof can begin to fade, become discolored, or just look worn. This can drag down the appearance of your entire home.
A leak can lead to damaged attic insulation, rotten roof rafters, electrical concerns, and ruined paint and wallboard.
Moisture in the attic is the main concern when it comes to a leak. If you find wet insulation, water stains on the underside of the roof, or signs of mildew and mold, you may have a roof leak. Some moisture can also form due to poor attic ventilation, so you should call a roofer to see if you need a new roof or just additional roof ventilation.
The flashing creates a waterproof seal around vent stacks, chimneys, and other rooftop appliances. Most flashing is made of metal, but rubber boots are also sometimes used around certain roof protrusions. It may be time for a new roof if the flashing begins to curl, warp, or crack, or if the tar and caulk holding it in place begins to crumble and fail.