If we were to ask you when the optimal time to replace your roof is, most homeowners would answer something along the lines of: “when it starts leaking” or “when there is visible damage”. The reality, however, is much different. In fact, the best time to replace your roof is before it starts to leak. Every roof has a different average life span, which is dependent on the material, how well it was maintained overtime, the climate you live in and so on. While it is not always obvious your aging roof needs replacing, there are some clear signs that it is time to replace your roof. While new roofs have an ROI of 67.5%, it is true a replacement roof can be costly. However, looking for the signs that a roof has worn beyond repair can save you money, extensive emergency repairs and homeowner headaches down the road. Here are 4 signs it is time to replace your roof.
A roof leak is an obvious and serious sign your roof needs either repairing or replacing. Ignoring roof leaks or doing a quick, band-aid fix puts many of the other parts of your home at significant risk. If you spot a leak or have tried fixing the same leak without much success, you should hire a professional roofing contractor to inspect and identify the cause. Sometimes, if a specific reason can be found for the leak, the roof can easily be fixed. And oftentimes, what may look like a leak is actually a flashing problem. Without tight flashings around all of the areas of your home including chimneys, vents, skylights and junctions, incoming water can cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems.
2. Rain Slots and Notches
Many homeowners can easily identify a leaking roof and know that it is a problem. However, leakage is not the only roofing issue. If you have a roof with asphalt or fiberglass shingles, take a look at the rain slots (notches) between the tabs. If the notches are a lot wider than they are on new shingles, are rounded off on the corners, or the surface of the shingles is bent, warped, cracked, curled or dented, it is a good idea to have a complete inspection of your existing roofing system to identify how much life is left in the materials. Chances are, if you notice any of the previously mentioned problems, your roof will need replacing as soon as possible.
3. Shingle Granules
Another sign your roof may need replacing is the build-up of shingle grit and granules in your gutters. The older the shingles get, the more cast off granules you will see. Likewise, if you inspect your shingles, and see much of the asphalt layer peeking through the colored granule coating, the life of your roof has come to an end. If your roof is comprised of metal, note any damage, rust or loose panels. If your roof is made from tile or wood shingles, damaged or loose shingles indicate it is most likely time to replace your old roof. A professional and skilled roofing contractor can easily diagnose these signs of aging and inform you of how many more years (if any) your roof has left.
4. Weather Damage
Unfortunately, aging roofs are not the only reason roofs need replacing. Sometimes roofs get very severely bruised and beaten from weather damage. It may be the outcome of a severe storm, or it may be caused by improper installation of your existing roof system, or that it was constructed with subpar materials. In any of these cases, it is wise to look at your warranty and ask your insurance providers what you are covered for.