Replacing a roof on time is very important in order to prevent bigger problems down the road. A roof can come to the end of its lifespan naturally, without major roof failures, even when you are doing regular and proper maintenance.
It can, on the other hand, experience damages and deterioration from natural elements, such as hail or heavy storms and rains. Whatever the reason is, it is crucial you know how to recognize the signs and know when your roof is up for a replacement.
Here are some of the most common signs you should look out for, which indicate that your roof is nearing its end.
1. Beams of Light in the Attic
Some of the signs of a deteriorating roof can come from the inside of your house, so that is where you can start your inspection. Start with the part of the house that is closest to the roof – the attic. If you start to notice rays of sunlight coming from the attic, that is not a good sign, as it means that there are some holes and damages to your roof. If the beams of light can get in, so can the water from the rain or melted snow, as well as the cold air.
Apart from the light, look for any water stains or streaks, as these are signs of an active leak. The extent of the damage can vary and the size of the hole or the leak will usually determine whether you need a roof replacement or a repair. A professional roofer will come to a conclusion depending on those factors, as well as on the age of the roof and the possible structural issues.
2. Water Stains or Paint Damage
We mentioned in the previous section that water stains in the attic are signs of a leaky or a deteriorating roof that may be nearing its end. The water stains in the attic, however, are not the only indicators, as the stains can be present in other parts of your home, i.e. on the walls and ceilings of other rooms.
If you notice such marks or water dripping into your home, you should try to find the source as soon as possible. The leak can be a small one and the roof still salvageable, but if it is a greater one, you may need to replace your roof in order to prevent further damage to the rest of your home.
A direct consequence of the leak and of the water coming down your walls can also be paint damage. You will notice paint peeling off from your walls or ceiling, or even blistering and forming bubbles, and there can also be some swelling in the woodwork inside or outside your home.
This means that there might be some water pooling underneath the surface. The most probable cause is a damaged roof, so make sure to call a professional to have it inspected and replaced if need be.
3. Damaged or Missing Shingles
Curling and cracked shingles are never a good sign, but missing shingles are an even worse one.
When it comes to curling, the edges of the shingles can curl upwards or the middle part of it can start to come up, which would look like swelling for example. This is a serious problem that can indicate the end of the lifespan of your roof and, depending on the extent of the curling, you may need a roof replacement in one to five years.
When it comes to cracked and missing shingles, they can be the result of the harsh elements outside, and if there are only a few minor cracks or a few missing shingles, a roofer can patch it up. However, if the problem with missing shingles continues and you constantly have to replace them, that is an obvious sign that you need a new roof.
Similarly, if the problems with cracked shingles continue, especially if the cracks are found all over the roof and not only in one specific area, you will probably need a new roof in about three to five years.
4. Granules in the Gutter
If you have started to notice an excessive amount of granules in your gutters while you clean them, it may be a warning sign that the quality of your roof is deteriorating. Of course, if you have just installed a new roof, then it is perfectly normal to encounter granules – those are simply the extra ones. However, if your roof is more than 10 years old, this may present a problem.
With granules coming off, the shingles start to lose their quality and can start cracking and breaking. When you notice that a great number of your shingles are losing granules, i.e. have bare patches on them, that is a sign of your roof coming to its end. You still have a few years until you need a roof replacement, but you can start thinking about it now.
5. Sagging Roof
If you notice a sagging roof, a depression or a droop in the roof, those are pretty much signs that you need a roof replacement as soon as possible. It can mean that you have structural problems or it can lead to significant structural issues if you don’t resolve it right away.
Call a roofer before the damage progresses and while the sagging is still localized and small. It will be easier to resolve.
6. Age of the Roof
The average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is about 20 to 30 years. Therefore, make sure to keep track of when you had your roof installed so that you know how old it is and when the time will be for its replacement.
If you are nearing 25 years, for example, make sure to have a roof inspection to determine how much time your roof has left. If it has been properly maintained and there are no serious issues, you may still have about 10 years left. If, on the other hand, your roof is 30 to 40 years old, it is probably high time for a replacement.
Signs of deterioration and damages to your roof can sometimes be as obvious as a missing shingle or a big water stain on your ceiling. The signs, on the other hand, don’t have to be that obvious and you may not notice them until there are some serious damages to your home.
That is why it is important to be aware and conduct regular roof inspections, where a professional roofer will determine the extent of damage and tell you if it is time for a residential roof replacement.