There’s an old adage that says, “A stitch in time saves nine.” Nowhere is this more applicable than when it comes to your home maintenance, especially the roof. Your roof shields your home and its contents from the harsh elements of weather. However, like everything else, it has a lifespan and needs periodic inspections and maintenance. For homeowners who have asked themselves, “Where are roofing contractors near me?” this guide can help you recognize signs that may suggest you need a new roof before you reach out for professional help.
Sign #1: Age of the Roof
One of the most important tell-tale signs that you need a new roof is the age of your existing one. Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years. This lifespan can vary, depending on whether the old roof was removed before the new one was installed and whether the roof has proper ventilation. If your roof is over 20 years old and was installed over another layer of shingles, there’s a good chance you need a new one.
Sign #2: Curling and Buckling Shingles
Shingles can reveal a lot about the health of your roof. Over time, shingles may start to curl and buckle, a sign of wear and tear that can lead to more serious issues. Curling or buckling shingles are a clear indication that your roof may be nearing its life expectancy. Often this condition is observed on the slopes of the roof that get direct sunlight.
Sign #3: Roof Valleys
If shingles are falling apart or missing in the roof’s valleys, it’s a definite sign you may need a new roof. Snow and rain flow through valleys into gutters. If the valleys are compromised, you could be susceptible to roof leaks.
Sign #4: Missing Shingles
Another obvious sign that your roof may need replacement is missing shingles. While a few missing shingles can be replaced, widespread areas of missing shingles can signal a larger problem. Over time, the loss of the protective granules causes shingles to become brittle and break off. In these cases, the damage is usually too extensive to patch up, and contacting a roofing company may be required.
Sign #5: Chimney Flashing
Chimney flashing is another area to inspect. If your flashing consists of roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with a long-term, water-tight fitting, which would be a metal flashing system. Inadequate chimney flashing can allow moisture into your home, leading to structural damage over time.
Sign #6: Shingle Granules in the Gutters
A close look into your gutters can reveal whether your roof is in its declining years. Roofs tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle. The inconsistent or darker color on some parts of the roof is another sign the granules have worn away. You may also notice granules in the gutter.
Sign #7: Daylight through the Roof Boards
If you notice a spongy feel or trampoline bounce when walking on the roof, this means the underlying decking is weakened from moisture. Check your attic to see if any daylight is coming through the roof boards. Also, look for moisture in the insulation.
Sign #8: Higher Energy Bills
A failing roof can be a source of increased heating and air conditioning costs. If your attic is not properly ventilated, your heating and cooling system has to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. If you notice a sudden increase in your energy bills, a failing roof could be the culprit.
Sign #9: Damaged Roof Vents
Proper ventilation is crucial to the longevity of your roof. Damaged or poorly maintained roof vents can result in a buildup of moisture and heat that impacts your roof’s lifespan and can lead to damage such as rusting, cracking, or rotting. Check for broken louvers, rust spots, or cracked or missing flashing around your roof vents.
Sign #10: Ice Dams Forming in Winter
In the cold, snowy months, you might notice large icicles hanging from your gutters, or ice ridges forming at the edge of your roof. These are ice dams, formed when roof snow melts and refreezes at the eaves. While they may look picturesque, they are a serious sign of roofing trouble. Ice dams occur because of uneven roof temperatures, suggesting inadequate insulation and ventilation in your attic.
Sign #11: Blistering or Peeling Exterior Paint
If your attic is poorly ventilated, moisture or increased humidity can build up near the roofline, leading to blistering or peeling of exterior paint. While paint issues can result from many causes, it’s worth examining your roof if you notice such signs.
Sign #12: Sagging Roof Deck
A sagging roof deck is a clear indication that you need a new roof. If you notice that certain areas of your roof are sagging or drooping, this could be a sign of long-term water damage or structural failure. It’s crucial to address this issue quickly, as a sagging roof can potentially collapse if not fixed.
Sign #13: Stains and Mold on Interior Ceilings or Walls
Mold or stains on your ceilings or walls can be a sign of various problems, and a failing roof is one of them. Water intrusion from a leaky roof can lead to these types of damages. It’s important to find the source and rectify it as soon as possible, as prolonged water intrusion can compromise the structural integrity of your home.
Sign #14: Persistent Leaking
While a single leak during a heavy rainstorm may just mean minor repair is needed, persistent leaks are a strong indicator that your roof could require replacement. Persistent leaks can often signal widespread issues that patching or minor repairs won’t fix.
Sign #15: Unwanted Pests
A sudden influx of rodents, birds, or bugs could mean there’s a hole or opening in your roof. It’s important to regularly check for any signs of infestation, as pests can cause further damage to your roof and home.
Sign #16: Rotting Roof
A rotting roof is undeniably a serious issue. This typically happens to wooden roofs and occurs when moisture builds up and the wood begins to decay. Over time, this can lead to serious structural issues and even a complete roof failure. If you notice any signs of your roof rotting, it’s essential to take immediate action.
Sign #17: Neighbors Getting New Roofs
If you live in a neighborhood where the homes were all built around the same time and you notice your neighbors getting new roofs, it could be a sign that your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan too. Environmental conditions affect all roofs in the same vicinity similarly, so if several neighbors start installing new roofs, it may be time for you to do the same.
Looking Up: Concluding Thoughts
Your roof is an integral part of your home. Recognizing the tell-tale signs that you may need a new roof is essential to maintaining the health of your home and can save you from more expensive repairs in the future. The age of the roof, the condition of the shingles and valleys, the state of the chimney flashing, the presence of granules in the gutters, daylight through the roof boards, and a surge in energy bills are all signs that your roof might be on its last legs.
If you notice these signs, it may be time to consult with a professional. It’s always a good idea to get multiple estimates and choose a reputable contractor. You are not just buying a new roof, but also the contractor’s service and expertise. When you pay attention to these signs, you are not just investing in a new roof—you’re investing in the safety, security, and future of your home.