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How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

Sep 29, 2022

Knowing when you need roof replacement can be difficult if the only thing wearing it down is the test of time, and no serious damage has occurred. It can also be tough if you don’t know exactly how long the roof has been in use. However, a roof that is aging could become inconvenient and even dangerous if it’s not taken care of.

If you wait too long to replace an old roof, it can cause bigger issues down the road, especially if it’s failing to protect you from bad weather, or pieces are actively falling off it. Keeping your roof up to code is important for your safety and that of others. While the best way to know if you need a new roof is to contact a professional, here are some signs you can look for yourself so that you can better determine if you need a roof replacement.

Signs of Roof Aging

The general rule for roof replacement is this: If your roof is at least 20 years old, you should probably replace it. At that point, the shingles have weathered enough wear and tear that they won’t be as useful in protecting your house.

Even though roof shingles are produced for their durability and longevity, older materials aren’t always considered as strong as today’s roof components. However, in some cases, you don’t know how long your roof has been put in place. If you don’t know and can’t find out when the last roof replacement was, there are other signs to check for yourself.

Energy Bill Spike

When your energy bills have either been steadily increasing or have suddenly risen out of nowhere, you may want to check your roof after you check your HVAC system. If there’s nothing wrong with your HVAC, consider checking the insulation in your windows, doors, and roof. The more deterioration there is in your insulation, the more energy you need to use to keep your house consistently insulated. Steadily rising bills point to smaller amounts of deterioration, while a large spike points to a larger culprit like your roof.

Curled Shingles

If the edges or your shingles are curved, curled, or cupped, that indicates a more aged roof. Shingles that just look generally rundown or aged also point to an old roof. That doesn’t mean you need an immediate replacement, but it does mean you’ll want to put it on the schedule and keep an eye out for other more serious signs. It’s also a good idea to get those individual misshapen shingles replaced.

Cracked Shingles

Shingles that are more than curled and are cracked or torn likely point to a more serious issue, and you should actively begin looking into roof replacement. Cracked shingles mean a very aged roof that might not last you another year.

Roof Bald Spot and Losing Shingle Granules

Asphalt shingles are equipped with granules to protect them from UV rays, and these granules fall off over time. However, if you’re finding lots of shingle granules in your yard or gutter, or you can spot bald spots on your roof where all the granules have fallen off, the problem is more serious. In this case, your roof is past the point where it’s protecting or insulating your home, and it needs to be replaced.

Moss or Plant Growth

While moss or plant growth doesn’t always point to an underlying issue, it’s necessary to keep an eye on these things. First, be sure all the plant growth is on your roof exterior and not anywhere in the interior. Interior plant growth is a more pressing issue as it means your roof is completely failing to protect your home from the elements.

If the interior of your roof is free of plant life, check moisture levels. Moss growth on your roof traps moisture against the roof and can cause damage to shingle granules over time. Moss can also indicate roof rot, but if you don’t discover any mold spots or waterlogged beams, this is likely not something you need to worry about. When cleaning moss off your roof, be careful not to damage the shingles yourself.

Dark Streaks or Discoloration

It’s important to inspect both the interior and exterior of your roof for streaks and discoloration. Dark streaks can indicate algae growth, and while this discoloration isn’t inherently harmful to the integrity of your roof, it does indicate that your roof requires attention. Often, dark streaks mean your roof needs to be cleaned, but they can sometimes point to an underlying issue.

Neighborhood Roof Replacements

In many developments, the houses in an area were all built around the same time, and they’ve been experiencing the same weather and climate. If one neighbor gets a roof replacement, there could’ve been a separate underlying issue they needed to fix. However, if a few neighbors have gotten roof replacements over the last couple of years, or have one in progress, it might be time to look into getting yourself a new roof.

Looking for Roof Replacements

If you’ve discovered that you need a new roof, it might be time to look at what metal roofs can do for you. Metal roofs are built for longevity and durability, and they last two to three times longer than an asphalt shingle roof. Built to withstand tougher weather for longer and designed to better protect your home from both heat and water, metal roofs are a fantastic option when planning your roof replacement. Also, metal roofs can last for 50 years or more, making them an ideal choice for long-lasting protection.

Metal roofs come in a variety of styles and colors as well, allowing you to customize them to your liking. Metal dimensional shingle roofs are a beautiful and textured style that appears like an asphalt shingle roof, with the durability of a metal roof and without the limitations of asphalt. Metal Spanish tile is also an option. It looks like clay tiles, giving a beautiful traditional look with modern functionality. If you’re looking for wood-appearing shingles, metal shake roofs are the way to go. Metal roofs come in a wide array of styles, and you can also choose the color to ensure you have the look you want for your home.

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