Over the years, you've seen your share of neighbors replacing their roofs--sometimes it's been obvious to the naked eye that the roof was in horrible shape, but other times the roofs in question looked perfectly fine. It isn't always easy to spot problems with your roof--after all, how often are you up there? There are a lot of tiny signs that your house may be ready for a roof replacement, but you'll need to get up on that ladder and take a closer peek. Before going up there, take a look at this list of telltale signs that your roof needs replacing:
1. Curling, cracked, or missing shingles. Pay close attention to your shingles--they're an easy way to recognize roof problems. Shingles curl in two different ways--they can cup (curl up at the edges) or claw (flat edges with a bowed middle). Wind damage often causes cracked shingles, either from the force of the wind itself or from large branches falling on the house. If you notice cracked shingles all in one small spot, it's possible that these can be replaced. However, if you see cracked shingles in various spots throughout the roof, this indicates a need for roof replacement. Missing shingles don't necessarily create a structural problem with your roof, and they can be easily replaced. The drawback is that replacement shingles rarely match the original color of the rest of the roof, due to weathering and changes in manufacturing. You may prefer to replace the whole roof rather than having a patchy look. Depending on the extent of your curled and cracked shingles, you may have between one and five years left before you need to replace the roof.
2. Granules in the gutter. If you've recently replaced the roof, granules in the gutter are completely normal (there are always excess granules that come loose during installation). If it's been ten years since your roof was replaced, finding granules in the gutter means that your shingles are losing necessary protection from the sun. The shingles will being to rapidly deteriorate in the scorching heat of the sun--if you are noticing these granules, your roof is about halfway through its lifespan.
3. Sagging roof. Obviously, you don't want to see your roof sagging in the center. That is certainly a cause for drastic action. Sagging roofs indicate a serious structural problem in the attic or even with the foundation. You should contact a professional immediately upon noticing any sagging or drooping in the roof. .
4. Sunlight in the attic. Unless you've got a beautiful attic room with lovely windows lighting up the place, seeing slants of sunlight beaming into the attic is definitely a bad thing. Light getting into the attic indicates damage in the roof that will also let in rain and snow. Once you notice light filtering into the attic, keep an eye out for any water stains--pay special attention when it rains or snows, so that you can pinpoint the leak (or leaks). Small leaks can be patched, but leaks in large areas can spell trouble--leave it to an expert to determine the best course of action.
5. 25 years. As we mentioned earlier, roof problems are not always noticeable to the naked eye. Asphalt roofs tend to last between 20 and 30 years--so if your roof is 40 years old, it's definitely time to replace. Once your roof reaches that 25th birthday (even if it looks fine), you probably have about five years left before it needs replacing.
In some situations, the need for roof replacement is obvious--for example, when a roof is sagging and looks close to caving in. Sometimes, the roof looks fine but is simply too old, which will eventually cause problems like leaks. Keep an eye on your roof, and if you notice any of these signs, please feel free to contact us. An experienced roofing professional can help determine the best course of action to keep your home in tip-top shape.