We often take the roof over our heads for granted. It’s usually out of sight and out of mind, but it’s bearing the brunt of your home’s protection duty. It’s easy to forget about your roof and miss the first hints of roof damage. You may be wondering, “When should I replace my roof?”
One telltale sign is when you notice a loss of granules on your shingles, some of them have blown off, or you have small leaks popping up, but there are many more ways of knowing when it’s time to replace your roof. So if you’re wondering whether those streaks, missing shingles, or rusted flashing merits a roof replacement, keep reading.
1. Significant Leaks or Extensive Damage
If you go into your attic and see signs of water damage, or beams of light from the outside, your roof may have structural damage. To prevent further deterioration to your beams and trusses, you should repair or replace your roof as soon as possible. Get a professional roofing inspection from a contractor or home inspection firm to evaluate the full extent of the damage.
While you’re in the attic, check the underside of your sub-roofing layer. If you see bowing, dark stains, mold growth, or other signs of damage, you may need to replace more than your shingles. If the plywood or OSB on your trusses have been damaged, you may need to replace any damaged panels.
The roofing contractors at SK Exteriors offer a free evaluation and repair quote for all of our services. Call us today to see how much our roofing repair services will cost and compare materials by square foot.
2. Your Roof Sustained Storm Damage
If you’ve just been through a storm, your roof may have substantial damage. Wind can lift shingles, twist metal roofing, and drive rain into small crevices. Winter storms can also be incredibly destructive because cycles of freezing and melting can force ice and water underneath the layer of shingles or other roofing materials. Once the vapor freezes, the moisture will expand, and that can push shingle layers apart and create gaps in their roofing material.
If tree branches or other debris were carried by the wind and landed on your roof, there could be physical damage to your roof structure. Leaves can also clog gutters and force water to back up under the lowest layer. If any holes develop in your roof, you need to repair them immediately. If a recent wind, rain, or snowstorm recently hit your house, it may have created leaks or damaged your outer roofing later. To find out, you should get a professional inspection to determine the extent of the damage.
Your roofing system can have a long life if regularly inspected, maintained, and repaired. SK Exteriors can help you determine how damaged your roof is, and whether it needs a simple repair or a complete replacement.
3. Your Roof is 15+ Years Old
Most roofing materials will last at least 20 years. With proper maintenance and a mild climate, your residential roof may max out its projected lifespan. But if you live somewhere with a harsher climate, warmer temperatures, and more frequent storms, you may need to replace your roof more frequently. Even if your roof looks like it is in good shape, it could be on the verge of breaking down if it’s gone through extreme weather conditions on a routine basis.
The first step is to find out when your roof was installed. If you built the house or last replaced the roof yourself, it’ll be easy to estimate your roof’s age. If you bought the house from a previous owner, you might have to do some digging.
If you have contact info for the previous owner, reach out with a phone call, letter, or email and ask them if they remember what year they installed the current roof. If you can’t reach the previous owner, try reaching out to your real estate agent. If they can’t put you in touch with the prior homeowner, and you know what company installed the roof, you can ask if they have a record of the project. Failing that, you can check with the county office that deals with building codes and permits. They should be able to provide you with a history of any permits issued for roof repair at your address.
Once you know the installation date for the roof, you can use it to estimate its lifespan. Based on the type of material used, the maximum lifespan may vary. Here are the estimates for a roof’s lifespan under ideal conditions:
- Asphalt shingles typically last 15-30 years
- Architectural shingles can last 25-30 years
- With regular maintenance, wooden shingles will last about 30 years
- Clay tiles – up to 50 years or more
- Metal roofing can last as long as 70 years
- Slate tile is the most durable, lasting 50-100 years or more
4. Your Roof Has Cosmetic Issues
If portions of your roof don’t get much sunlight, it could harbor moss and algae. Airborne algae can land on your roof and result in black streaks along the surface. While algae won’t necessarily harm your existing shingles layer, it can result in unsightly coloration that makes your roof look old and decaying.
If your existing shingles are growing moss, that is a more severe issue. Moss growing out of asphalt shingles retains moisture, keeping your roofing layer damp longer than it should be. Over time, that moisture will degrade the integrity of your shingles or other roofing materials. You can remove the moss, but you must take care not to damage the shingles in the process.
For asphalt shingles, losing their granules signifies that they are near the end of their usability. High-quality materials like architectural shingles will last 30 years or more, and may just need a good cleaning to revive their appearance. A professional inspection can help you determine whether your issues are cosmetic or structural.
5. You’d Like to Sell Your Home
Roofing is the most critical aspect of curb appeal if you’re trying to spruce up your home. While roofing costs can be steep, it provides an excellent return on investment. Home Advisor reports that the average cost of replacing a roof can range from roughly $5,000-$11,000, depending on the square feet involved. However, those who sell their homes within five years of replacing their roof usually recoup about 61-66% of that investment due to an increased home value and final sale price.
If your existing shingles aren’t looking their best, consider repairing or replacing your roof to bump up its curb appeal. SK Exteriors can help you evaluate your roof’s condition and decide which steps to take. Whether you like the look of tab shingles, architectural shingles, or metal roofing, we can professionally install it and grant you peace of mind.
6. Seals and Flashing Have Degraded
Flashing is a thin layer of metal cut and bent around chimneys, ventilation pipes, and joints between different roof slopes. When installed properly, it prevents water from seeping through seams and getting to the layers beneath. It’s a good idea to check flashing seams regularly for leaks and damage.
If your flashing is rusty, has pulled away from the roof, or if you see a bunch of cracked and flaking sealant, it’s time to replace it. Flashing is one of the prime areas where water can enter your home. To properly replace flashing at roof joints, it may be necessary to pull up a portion of your roofing. That’s why roof replacement is the prime opportunity to redo flashing and ensure all the joints and seams of your roof remain secure.
7. Increase Energy Efficiency
Older homes are often drafty, and windows commonly get the blame. But did you know that your roof could be raising your heating bills?
If your roof wasn’t insulated very well or poor seam handling has led to gaps, you could be spending more each winter on heating bills than you need to. Warm air naturally rises, and a poorly insulated roof offers weak resistance. Much of the air that you’re paying to heat is drifting right out through your roof.
Replacing an old roof can do far more than just keep water out of your house. It can increase your home’s value, raise the curb appeal, and save you money on heating bills. If you use Energy Star designated materials, you might qualify for a tax credit through the IRS. With all of these advantages, the solution is obvious. Call SK Exteriors for a free quote on any roof repair or replacement you may need. We have many satisfied customers that attest to our excellent work. We’d be happy to work for you, too.