Most homeowners agree that their roofs’ health and stability are of the utmost importance when it comes to the safety of their homes. In addition to maintaining a safely functioning roof, many will also prioritize keeping up their roof’s appearance, as it can make a huge difference in the curb appeal and resale value of their home.
Though the roof’s functionality and well-kept appearance is a huge consideration for homeowners, many end up ignoring their roof maintenance responsibilities until a significant problem like a leak is present, forcing them to pay attention. If you’ve sprung a leak, you’ve probably been due for a roof replacement for a while.
Leaks aren’t the only sign that a roof needs replacing. However, paying attention to roof wear and tear warning signs can help you determine whether or not you need a roof replacement before disaster strikes. This can make the roof replacement process much smoother overall while preventing expensive damage to other parts of your home.
How Do I Know When It’s Time to Replace My Roof?
Wondering if it might be time for a roof replacement, but not sure where to start? There are several important details to check when evaluating your roof’s stability, but their locations can generally be separated by interior and exterior. Most roofing specialists suggest starting with the interior, as it is generally more easily accessible and can tell a homeowner a great deal about the state of their roof.
3. Interior Checks
If you need a roof replacement, your attic will be full of warning signs—be sure to grab a flashlight and any gear you might need to protect yourself from cobwebs or dust. The most important marks of roof damage to look out for in the attic are stains, streaks, and beams of light streaming through the ceiling. Stains and streaks are a sure sign of potentially long-standing water damage, and beams of light clearly indicate that an inconsistency in the exterior shingling is causing the roof to have a breach of security.
Other walls and ceilings.
If you don’t have an attic or some other ceilings and walls make direct contact with the top of the house, make sure to check those areas for staining, streaking, and beams of light as well as sagging. If you notice any spots on your ceiling or walls that appear to be sinking lower than the rest, try gently prodding them with your hand or a broom or mop handle. If the spot seems to give easily or even feels wet to the touch, you are certain to have water damage on your hands caused by a faulty roof.
If you’ve performed your interior checks and have discovered indisputable signs of extreme roof damage, you may want to call your local roofing specialist as soon as possible to determine whether or not replacement is needed and get started on any repairs.
However, if your interior checks were inconclusive and you’re still not sure about the state of your roof, the time has come to check the exterior for more signs of roof damage.
2. Exterior Checks
Just as you did with your attic and other roof-adjacent ceilings in your home, thoroughly check your exterior walls for any signs of water damage like staining, streaking, discoloration, sogginess, and sagging. Different types of damage could cause moisture to pool in different areas, so even if you didn’t notice signs of water damage in your home’s interior, it could very well be present on the exterior. A good rule of thumb to remember is that if something looks abnormal, it probably is abnormal and should be investigated right away.
Signs of rot, moss, and algae.
Not all roofs are susceptible to rot but wooden, and asphalt roofs are known to be. Common signs of rot and decay in these types of roofs include discolored shingles, broken or missing shingles, and visible buildup of mold among shingles, and a rotted roof will usually have to be replaced entirely. Unlike mold, algae and moss are commonly found on roofs, especially in regions with high humidity levels. They are not usually dangerous to the health and functionality of a roof. If you’re unsure whether the abnormal growth you see on the exterior of your home is innocuous moss and algae or dangerous rot, a roofing specialist will be able to help you make the distinction.
Shingle granule buildup in the gutters.
When roofs have experienced years of wear and weather damages or are simply reaching the end of their typical life cycle, the shingles will start to shed granules, which can be found piling up in the gutters. If this is the case for your home, it may be time to replace the roof. Also, check your shingles for discoloration, as that can be a sign that granules have eroded.
Flashing refers to the thin sheets of material, often metal, designed and installed to prevent the permeation of water into an outdoor structure. Flashing is used on several appliances often found on roofs, including chimneys, vents, and skylights. Examine the flashing around any structures on your roof and make a note of any cracks or breaks; if these damages are found, they may have already led to water damage in your roof and ceiling or will almost certainly cause water damage in the future. In some older homes, flashing is made of tar or cement, which is less durable than modern metal flashing. Compromised flashing could be a sign that a huge amount of roof damage has already taken place.
If the shingles of your roof are patchy, uneven, or generally don’t look right, whoever installed your home’s roof or performed its most recent repairs probably didn’t do a great job. If you notice shoddy shingling that you missed when buying your home or didn’t inspect your roof for incorrect installation after your last repair, a higher quality roof specialist may have to start from scratch.
Blistering refers to the moisture that gets trapped inside shingles, generally causing a leak. This is often caused by poor ventilation and usually creates damage that can’t be entirely eradicated with a localized roof repair alone.
General wear and tear.
During your exterior examination, you may find that though your roof doesn’t appear to have any visible shingle inconsistencies, flashing damage, or signs of rot, it just looks old and worn. This can be reason enough to replace a roof, and a preventative measure like this can save you money in the expensive ceiling and wall damages by stopping them before they happen.
1. Other Ways to Know If Your Roof Needs Replacing
Whether or not your interior and exterior checks revealed any signs of damage or wear, there are a few other ways to determine whether or not your roof is due for a replacement.
Your neighbors are replacing their roofs.
Oftentimes, many of the houses on the street or in a neighborhood will have been built around the same time. If you notice that a few of your neighbors are having their roofs replaced, it could mean that it’s time for your roof to be replaced as well.
The last repair was a while ago.
Depending on when you moved into your home, you may have gone years without worrying about the state of your roof, having been told by your realtor that the roof was recently repaired or replaced. However, just because the roof was repaired or replaced doesn’t mean it was necessarily done expertly, and it’s easy to get stuck in the mindset that you don’t have to worry and end up missing warning signs. If the last repair to your roof took place before you moved in or you have no record of the last repair, schedule an appointment with a roofing specialist right away.
Your roof is getting on in years.
Make sure you know what material your roof is made of and do your research on how long that material typically lasts. Most shingled roofs last between 20 and 25 years, but repairs and damage can certainly reduce the lifespan. If your roof is approaching 20 years without visible signs of damage, it may be time for an evaluation to consider taking preventative measures.
Finding a Reputable Roofing Contractor in Georgia
Though the task of roof replacement may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. The team at Division Kangaroof is the team to call for all your roofing needs in Gainesville, including:
- Roof Replacement
- Roof Maintenance
- Roof Inspections
- Shingle Roofing Installation
- Metal Roof Installation
- And many more…
Our installers are well-trained, high-quality professionals who are dedicated to getting the job done right. Division Kangaroof knows Gainesville inside and out, from the beautiful warm temperatures to the plentiful rain, so working with us for your roofing services will feel like working with a neighbor.
We strive for excellence in all that we do and lead with integrity from the moment you call to the moment of job completion. To schedule a roof inspection in the Gainesville area, contact Division Kangaroof today.