Your home is probably your most significant investment, so you must keep it in good condition. It’s usually evident when you need to repair or upgrade appliances, the electrical system, or home plumbing. But knowing when to replace a roof is more complicated.
Problems are not always apparent until they become severe enough to cause leaks or structural damage. The key to preventing a catastrophe is knowing when roofing materials have reached the end of life. Fortunately, there are clear signs that point to the need to replace a roof.
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The Roof Is Old
If your roof is over 20 years old, it may need to be replaced. Many long-lasting roofing materials are designed for durability, but the environment can speed up aging. For instance, improper ventilation, extreme temperature swings, moisture, and wind can all shorten the life of asphalt materials.
A roofing contractor can inspect your roof and tell you whether it has reached the end of life. They can also help with your roof replacement.
Holes in the Roof
Any time there is a bald spot or a hole in a roof, you may be looking at a replacement. A hole allows rain and snow to enter and damage your home’s structural materials or even your belongings, which means the roof needs replacing immediately.
Unlike many roofing problems, spotting a bald spot or holes is easy. You can step back away from the house and visually inspect the roof. It’s also simple to locate issues from inside the house. Bob Vila suggests taking a flashlight into the attic and looking around for leaks, stains, or beams of light coming through the roof.
Cracked, Curling, or Missing Shingles
Notice the condition of shingles. They should lie flat, and if any are cracked, buckling, or damaged, there’s a problem. In some cases, replacing damaged shingles can extend roofing life.
However, if large numbers of shingles are missing granules, there could be a more significant issue. Check downspouts and gutters for signs of shingle granules. Roofs that have reached the end of life typically lose a lot of granules.
You should contact a roofing contractor if you notice that shingles are entirely missing. Uncovered areas are likely allowing water to seep into your home.
According to Owens-Corning roof experts, moss is not just unsightly. Moss often grows on roofs shaded by trees, mainly if they are located in cool, moist areas. It can trap moisture against your roof’s surface, and when temperatures reach freezing, shingle granules may be damaged.
It is possible to brush off moss, but it may damage shingles. A contractor can clean off the moss and determine whether the damage requires a roof replacement.
Signs of Mold
An improperly vented attic can lead to mold that will damage a roof beyond repair. If warm air is trapped in an attic, condensation forms on the roof’s underside and often leads to mold growth. Left untreated, the problem can rot plywood and rust nails. In that case, replacing the roof is the only solution.
Over insulating may encourage mold growth in old or new homes. In addition to destroying your home’s structural materials, hidden mold can also become a severe health hazard that requires expert mold remediation.
Time, weather, and the elements can damage a home roof to the point where it needs to be replaced. Several signs indicate a roof has reached the end of its life. They include damaged or missing shingles, holes in the roof, and mold or moss growth. Any asphalt roof over 20 years old should be inspected to determine if it needs replacing.