Handy Insight

How Do I Know When It's Time to Replace My Roof?

Most replacement needs are easily identifiable, like replacing worn out car brakes or furniture pieces. Roof replacement may not always be so straightforward. One way to determine when it's time to replace your roof is by inspecting its attic for signs of moisture penetration, which can be the precursor to major roof damages in time. Moisture penetration creates serious issues and should never be ignored. Shingles Are Missing One missing shingle may not immediately cause damage, but it still presents a problem. Exposing your attic to sunlight and moisture, it can expose mold or mildew growth inside, or even lead to structural damages that require major roof repair work. Missing roof shingles are an invitation for weather damage or pest infestation to enter, leaving your underlayment exposed and vulnerable. A newer roof may even come with its own warranty or homeowner's policy coverage to keep you protected in case this situation arises. If other houses in your neighborhood are replacing their roofs, it would be prudent to schedule an inspection for yours as well. Most subdivisions and developments were constructed around the same time with materials that deteriorate at similar rates; getting your roof checked now before all the shingles start falling off will help avoid potential safety concerns later on. Loose Granules Granules provide asphalt shingle tabs with an additional protective layer that shields their two layers of shingles from direct sunlight, but harsh weather and other factors may cause these granules to loosen or even fall off, leaving roofs vulnerable to sun damage. If you find granules in your gutters after a storm, contact a residential roofing contractor immediately for inspection. While some granules might come loose during installation or daily wear-and-tear, too many could indicate your roof has reached its end of its useful life and needs attention immediately. An experienced roof expert can evaluate potential physical causes for granule loss, such as tree branches brushing against it or pests chewing holes in it. Furthermore, poor attic ventilation could also play a part in its destruction and loss. Streaks and Patches Maintaining and inspecting your roof on an ongoing basis is key to prolonging its life, but at some point replacement becomes inevitable. Streaks and patches on your roof are telltale indicators that it may be time to call in a home improvement contractor to evaluate its condition. Such patches indicate the asphalt layer has worn away over time, needing replacement. Streaks of black on roofs are usually caused by algae (Gloeocapsa magma). This issue becomes especially prominent in northern climates where sunlight has difficulty dissipating moisture from lingering. While copper or zinc strips may help manage this situation temporarily, a complete roof replacement may ultimately be required to combat this threat. Holes Holes may seem minor, but they're an obvious telltale sign it's time for your roof to be replaced. Holes indicate rot as well as water damage within your home - they could even have been caused by something as simple as an overgrown tree branch falling onto it or misplacing satellite dish bracket. Animals may make their home their habitat by chewing through your roof looking for shelter, food, and warmth. Attic spaces may become especially inviting to them when insulation becomes infested. Sometimes animals even tear through holes causing serious structural damage to homes in this way. Other Houses in Your Neighborhood Are Getting New Roofs Roofs are one of the most essential parts of your home, protecting belongings, keeping out rain and sunlight, and helping regulate indoor temperature. Therefore, it's crucial that homeowners remain alert for signs that their roof may need replacing in order to monitor wear-and-tear symptoms as early as possible. Some homeowners can save money by reshingling over an existing roof rather than completely replacing it, instead. But Bill Ragan of Roofing Company warns against this decision as it can significantly decrease your home's value when selling. Buyers and agents will likely notice the double layer roof, creating leakage problems down the line. With an attic regularly checked by flashlight, it can help identify whether your roof is beginning to wear out or any early warning signs such as moss or mildew that indicate wear-and-tear damage.

Appreciation Spotlight


The articles provided on HandyPerson.com were useful, timely, and informative. I learned a lot of information that helped have more informed conversations with contractors -- all for free. Thanks, HP!

Alison K., Phoenix, AZ