All roofs need replacement eventually, but when?
Nobody wants to replace their roof prematurely. Likewise, nobody wants to wait too long either. The sweet spot is right in the middle, where your roof has reached the end of its useful life yet hasn’t gone past it. If you’re wondering where your roof is on that spectrum, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ll discuss 10 easy to see signs that your roof may need replacement or repair.
1. Roof age and extent of damage
The age of your roof and the extent of the damage can mean the difference between needing a reroof or some minor repairs. The younger your roof and the more isolated the damage, the more likely repairs may suffice. The inverse is also true, that the older your roof and the more prevalent the damage, the more likely replacement is needed.
If you live in a neighborhood where the houses were all built at the same time and your neighbors are replacing their roofs, it’s a sign that yours may be at end of life. For a more exact measurement of age, check your records for date of roof installation, any repairs since, types of materials used, and the reputation of the contractor who installed the materials.
If the latest shingle installation overlays existing shingles, it can mean any problems with the previous shingle installation were never solved, which can significantly reduce the lifespan of your current roof.
2. Evidence of leaks
Leaks can be large or small, and the damage they cause can be obvious or subtle. The damage can manifest as water stains, rotten wood, or mold. Leaks can be difficult enough to identify that by the time they’re noticed, a reroof is needed. If you see any water where it doesn’t seem it should be, or if you find any water damage, you’ve found sufficient enough evidence that there may be a larger hidden problem.
3. Attic moisture or daylight.
If you walk on your roof and it feels less firm than you would expect it to, it can mean that moisture seeped through to the underlying structure and has compromised its integrity. In the attic, moisture from a compromised roof system is often found near the eaves and in the insulation. Look for daylight shining through the roof. A faint glow at the eaves or along ridge vents can be normal, but beams of light shining through the roof can signal that the system has been compromised.
4. Misshapen, misaligned, or missing shingles
Shingle deterioration occurs in a wide variety of ways. Edges can curl up or claw down with a bulging center, signifying a loss of durability and increased susceptibility to wind uplift. Cracked and broken shingles don’t shed water well and can lead to moisture damage. Shingles can buckle up in a line upwards along the roof. Harsh weather can tear these shingles off easily, and buckling often signifies improper underlayment installation. Misaligned shingles can appear as if they popped up above the flat roof surface and can mean the roof is not ventilating effectively.
5. Excessive granule loss
Granules protect shingles from sun exposure. Loss of granules shows up in gutters, as bald spots on shingles, or as inconsistent coloration of the roof. As shingles lose their granules, the rate of deterioration of the shingles increases and can result in more extensive damage to the house. Some granule loss is normal, and older shingles lose granules more quickly.
6. Compromised roof valleys
Roof valleys are integral to a properly functioning roof because they receive the greatest impact from harsh weather, and improper valley installation is not uncommon. Distorted shingles or worse in roof valleys means that leaks may already have developed or are likely to soon.
7. Damaged, decayed, or missing flashing
Flashing plays the essential role of preventing moisture from entering the joints in the roofing system. Damaged, decayed, or missing flashing can be a sign that your roof is at heightened risk of water damage and that repairs now can save a lot of trouble later.
8. Excessive ice damming
An ice dam forms when snow on an upper portion of your roof melts and the resultant liquid water flows to the eaves and refreezes. As this happens multiple times, the accumulation of ice pushes water under the roof shingles, where it melts again and begins to leak into the house. However, if a roofing system is properly ventilated and heat doesn’t form in the attic, ice damming can be prevented. If your roof experiences excessive ice damming, it may be an indication of inadequate ventilation and related water damage.
9. Excessive moss growth
Moss growth may seem harmless on a roof, but over time it can cause serious damage. Moss absorbs rainwater and grows into any space between shingles that it can. Substantial enough moss growth, especially on an already compromised roofing system, can saturate the roof sheathing, from there causing significant decay.
10. Animal infestation
If you find small animals, like squirrels or birds, living in your attic, it may mean a part of your roof is missing. Animals can damage your roof without the help of harsh weather, yet often damage from weather provides them an easy opportunity to tear through your roof. Once a hole is formed, water has easy access to cause further damage.
Your roof is one of the most important components of your home, protecting it from just about anything the weather throws at it. Roof replacement can be costly, but not replacing until it’s too late is even more costly. The 10 easy to see signs your roof may need replacement or repairs are age, evidence of leaks, attic moisture or visible daylight, decayed shingles, excessive granule loss, compromised roof valleys, damaged flashing, excessive ice damming, excessive moss growth, or animal infestation.
What do you think are other signs that a roof is in need of replacement or repair? Tell us in the comments.
Do any of these apply to your roof? Call us today for your free estimate at 253-445-8950 or fill out our quick estimate form! CHASE CONSTRUCTION NORTH WEST, INC. has been MASTER ELITE® with GAF since 2011, and we would love to help solve any issues you may be having!
9 thoughts on “10 Signs That Your Roof Needs Replacement or Repair”
Thanks for mentioning that the signs of a roof leak can be subtle, like moisture in the attic and water stains. My home is very old, and we’ve been wondering if we need a new roof. I’ll be certain to show this to my father, so he can make an informed decision. Do you have any tips for hiring a professional roofer in our area to help us?
Reviews can be reliable. Look for quantity and quality of reviews. Contractors that have multiple reviews of great quality tend to be more reliable.
It’s good to know that I should look into getting my roof replaced if I have excessive granule loss. You mentioned that missing granules accelerates the deterioration of a roof, thus making it more susceptible to damage. If this is the case, I’ll look into getting my roof replaced before winter hits.
It’s always good to keep an eye on these things, since just one winter too long can lead to water damage that ends up being more expensive to fix down the road.
I’m glad you pointed out that although moss growth on your roof may seem harmless, it can grow in between your shingles while absorbing rainwater and lead to significant roof decay. I was up on my home’s roof recently putting up my Christmas decorations, and I noticed an area that had a bit of moss growth. I wasn’t sure if I should be concerned, so thanks for letting me know that moss growth definitely necessitates roof repair!
My husband and I noticed that some of the shingles in my grandmother’s roof are broken. As you mentioned, that is a sign of roofing problems. I will contact a roofing contractor to help my grandmother with her roofing problems.
I like how you said that cracked and broken shingles don’t shed water which can lead to water damage. I can see how having good shingles can protect your roof and home. I should probably get me shingles inspected sometime soon.
It makes sense that you should have your roof repaired if you notice that your roof feels less firm when standing on it. My uncle has noticed that a section of his roof is particularly soft, and he thinks that the roof was damaged by moisture. It might be best for him to hire a roofing service to make the necessary repairs.