Everything has a lifespan from your small gadgets to your cars. Your home is no exception, especially the roof. It is your house’s first line of defense against the elements. Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 30 years, some even longer. Time and exposure to the elements —rain, snow, hail storm, and even the sun’s blazing heat, can take a toll on it and damage it over time.
An old roof may begin to manifest some signs that it needs repair or replacement. Unfortunately, most homeowners figure they need a new roof after the damage becomes bigger and harder to repair. This is where contractors offer the option of re-roofing.
Unlike repairing or adding a roofing system to a newly constructed home, re-roofing involves the installation of a new roof, either on top of the old roof, or by removing the old roof and replacing it. This can reduce the stress and expense of paying for repetitive repairs and maintenance. Re-roofing may be quite hard on the wallet, but it will definitely help you save more money in the long run.
So how would you know that you need to call a contractor and replace your roof anytime soon? Here are some of the telltale signs:
Signs from the house’s exterior:
Eroded or damaged roof shingles are one of the most obvious signs that you need to replace them. Asphalt shingles tend to curl over time as the asphalt layer separates from the backing material. If they are already curled, cracked, dark, dirty, moist, or missing, the best action is to have it checked and know the extent of the damage. More than likely, these are indications that the shingles are nearing the end of their lifespan. If it has spread across a large part of the system, however, you’ll definitely need a new roof.
Granules in the gutters
Granules of eroded shingles (they look like large grains of sand) can be found in the gutters once the rain washes it off. It is normal to find a few you found a few, as the gradual washing away of granules is due to a waterfall effect. However, a lot of granules in the runoff and in the gutters mean the asphalt has begun to come loose from the backing material. This will develop into “bald” shingles over time. Roofs tend to lose more granules towards the end of their life cycle. Having an excessive amount of shingle granules in the gutters is a sign of advanced wear.
Discoloration of roofing materials
Darker or inconsistent color on some sections of the roof is another sign that the granules have worn away. As granules of the shingles were washed away by rain water into the gutter, the remaining intact pieces will appear lighter than normal.
Check for signs of moisture, rot or mold on the shingles. Note that wet spots may not be directly under your faulty shingle; water can travel down to its lowest spot before it drips. Mold, fungi and bacteria can grow quickly — within 24 to 48 hours of a water-related problem.
Flashings located around walls, skylights, chimneys, valleys, etc. and can all be subjected to lifting, separation and dried out caulking which occurs due to contraction and expansion. The fasteners can become loose, causing the water to seep into your home. Flashings can also have rust due to excess water. This is a sign that you might need a re-roofing service soon.
A leaking roof is the most obvious sign that it’s time to replace your roof. However, it may be a sign that the damage is massive. The most common sign of a roof that requires replacing is leaking. Water trails or moisture build up and dark spots are all indications of water damage.
Looking in your attic space can help you easily spot these signs. If it’s only happening in one location, you can probably get away with a roof repair. If it’s happening in several areas, it is recommended to re-roof the entire house.
Sagging roof deck
Roof lines should be arrow straight. If you can see a dip, curve or swag on the peak when standing in the street, your roof has a problem. If you notice that the decking or rafters in your attic are sagging downward instead of remaining straight, chances are it may be because of the weight of water due to the leaks.
Visible water trail
Water can enter your home through a leaking roof. If you notice a trail of water stains or discoloration on your chimneys, vents, pipes, then your house probably needs a re-roofing.
Higher energy bills
If there is a sudden spike on your monthly electricity bill for using your air conditioning or heating costs more than ever, you might want to check on your roof’s condition as well. The cool or warm air may be leaking out through your roof.