You’ve been putting it off for months — maybe years — but you can’t ignore it any longer: Your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. Ignoring the warning signs that it’s time to repair or replace your roof could lead to bigger problems for your home. It’s time to make roof repair a priority. Here’s how to know when to repair your roof and how to spot the signs you need an entirely new roof.
Roof Repair vs. Replacement
If your roof is old or damaged, you’re probably trying to figure out if it needs to be replaced entirely or if it’s possible to repair the damage. Unfortunately, it’s hard to determine whether your roof needs to be repaired or replaced without the advice of a professional. But before you call a professional, take the time to thoroughly inspect your roof for signs of damage. If you identify multiple indications of damage, that might be a sign that it’s time to invest in a new roof.
Signs of Roof Damage
According to the National Roofing Contractors Association, homeowners should perform a regular roof inspection twice a year, especially in the wake of winter weather like ice and snow accumulation. While you work to remove debris from rooftops, drains, gutters and downspouts, take some time to check for signs of storm, wind, hail or water damage. Here are five signs that your roof is damaged and in need of repair or replacement.
1. The Roof Is Leaking
If you notice water coming into your home, it may be time to call a professional to see if you need a roof replacement or repair. To help minimize the risk of long-term water damage, it’s important to regularly check your attic for leaks — especially after a big rainstorm. Likewise, water stains on your ceiling or walls could indicate a leak coming from your roof. Make sure you locate the cause of the leak before you repair the ceiling or wall. If the originating issue isn’t repaired first, the staining will continue to occur.
2. There Are Damaged or Missing Shingles
Loose or missing shingles or damage to the materials will often lead to moisture seeping into your attic or ceiling crawlspace. If left untreated, these could lead to wood rot and mold, and require expensive repairs. What are your roof’s shingles telling you? Here are the tell-tale signs it might be time to repair or replace your roof:
- Loose shingles
- Curled shingle edges
- Cracked shingles
- Dark streaks
- Missing shingles
- Bald spots from missing granules
3. You Can See Daylight
A little natural light coming into your home is good…right? Well, only if it’s coming through your windows. Look for any spots in the attic where daylight is coming through the roof boards. Daylight coming through your attic is a clear warning sign that you need a new roof.
4. The Roof Is Old
How long has it been since your home’s roof was replaced? How long a roof lasts depends on what materials were used. For instance, asphalt shingles typically last 20 years, but a metal roof can last much longer. You may need a new roof even if you think your current one doesn’t look aged or worn. Review your home improvement records to see how old the roof is. Knowing when a roof was installed (and what it's made of) offers insight into how much life it has left.
5. Algae Is Growing on the Roof
Inspect your roof for algae and fungi. Algae growth on the roof could be an indication of excessive moisture, which means the roof may need to be repaired or replaced.
Catching small issues before they become bigger problems is important when it comes to the health of your home. Regular inspections and maintenance by a professional can help you prolong the life of your roof. When it comes time to make repairs or replace your roof, be sure to do your research on home contractors.
6. Your Roof’s Flashing Is Made of Cement or Tar
The flashing around vents, skylights, and chimneys seals the seams of the roof from rain and weather. Cracks and breaks in the flashing can lead to leaks and should be repaired right away. If you have an older home with flashing made of roof cement or tar, you may want to consider upgrading to the more durable metal flashing systems used today.
7. The Roof Is Sagging
A droopy roof is a sign of roof damage and needs to be remedied right away to avoid further structural damage to your home. Keep larger issues at bay by regularly checking the roof’s surface for signs of trapped moisture and rotting boards, especially near the roof’s lowest points.