A leaking roof is the most obvious sign that you need a complete replacement of your home roof. The majority of homeowners are not aware of the other simple signs that can indicate a damaged roof. So how do I know if my roof needs replacement?
Getting to know these signs yourself means that you can be aware of the condition of your roof and make an informed decision when it comes time to repair or replace it. If you ignore the maintenance needs of your roof until a serious leak occurs, you will risk causing extensive damage to your home and property. The best approach is to be vigilant and be sure to replace your roof before it presents a real danger.
As a general rule, typical home roofs will last between 20 and 25 years before they require replacement. When buying a house, it is wise to request information on the age of the roof as well as the age of the entire building. Once you know the approximate age of your roof, you can estimate how many more years it should last. Factors such as the climate you live in and the general upkeep you give your home can add or subtract years from this general figure.
Regular visual inspections from the inside and outside can give homeowners a good idea of the condition of their roof. From the inside of your attic, you can check for areas of sagging roof deck or water damage. Examine the inside of the roof for mold growth, dark spots, or trails. This discoloration could be evidence of water damage, especially if it occurs near the seams and joints of the roof. You can also test your insulation for moisture. Check during the day to see if sunlight enters through unsealed gaps in your roof. If sunlight can enter, that means rain, snow and cold air can also make its way into your home.
From the outside, you should be regularly checking your gutters for loose asphalt granules. Older shingles can start to lose their structural integrity, and one of the first signs of this is loose granules. Without walking on the roof or putting yourself in a dangerous position, visually inspect the shingles of your roof. If you notice more than a couple are missing, or that they are starting to curl upwards at the edges, this could indicate they are nearing the end of their functional lifespan.
Other key issues to look out for include broken or damaged metal flashing, extensive mold coverage, drainage problems and a high percentage of cracked shingles.
If you notice any of the warning mentioned above signs, you should get in touch with a qualified and licensed roofing contractor. Some specialists such as GreenPoint Roofing will even carry out an inspection free of charge. If your roof does need a complete replacement, it is best to get this done during the warmer months of the year. Temperatures below freezing make shingles brittle, difficult to work with and the roof will not seal as effectively. Avoid a hasty and difficult roof replacement by regularly examining your roof and knowing well in advance if it needs replacement.