When Should You Replace Your Roof?

Residential Roofing

March 14, 2012

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Your roof is one of the most important parts of your home, but how do you know when to replace your roof? Without a solid roof, water can get into your home and cause all sorts of damage. Everything from damaging drywall, ruining carpets, rotting wood, promoting mold growth, and damaging personal belongings. A small leak in your roof can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs, so it’s better to be proactive than reactive.

Obviously, you want to get as much out of your current roof as possible, as replacing your roof is a large investment. But if you wait too long to replace your roof, you’ll pay for a new roof plus interior and exterior repairs if water gets in. One of the biggest mistakes many people make is waiting until their roof leaks to replace it.

To avoid this happening to you, here are 5 signs that will alert you when it’s time to replace your roof. It’s important to catch them early, so be sure to look up there occasionally!

If you see any of the signs below or are concerned about your roof, call (208) 487-6617 for a free roof consultation. New Heights Roofing is a Post Falls roofing company ready to help you with all your rooftop needs.

1. Missing or blown-off shingles

If you find shingles in your yard or see that you have shingles missing from your roof, that’s a sign your roof is about at the end of its life. This usually means that the tar strip has worn out and the shingles are getting weak from granule loss & UV breakdown. You can get your roof repaired at this point, which will keep you going for a little longer.

The big problem is when this starts happening, it’s usually not a one-time thing. The next big wind storm you’re liable to lose more shingles; if it rains after you lose some shingles, you could have water pouring into your house. If this happens, all you can do is get your home re-roofed as soon as possible to prevent further damage, then repair the damages on the inside of your home.

2. Curled or cracked shingles

If you can see shingles on your roof that are curling or the surface is cracked, then they have reached the end of their life. The sun has slowly broken down the shingle’s asphalt layers, causing it to shrink on itself and curl up. This makes your shingles vulnerable to catching a gust of wind and flying off your roof, leaving an open spot for water to get in. Cracked shingles will also be more vulnerable to blowing off, or letting water in through the cracks if they’re bad enough.

3. Dark Spots on your roof

If you see areas of your roof that are darker than others, then it may mean that your shingles are losing granules and are ready to be removed. Granules protect the asphalt in the shingle from being broken down by the sun. If your shingles are old and have lost a lot of granules, the asphalt is unprotected and will weather extremely quickly. Shingles in this condition are usually very brittle and frail and should be replaced as soon as possible to prevent water from getting through into your home.

4. Damp or dark spots in your attic

It’s a good idea to take a look in your attic if you’re concerned about your roof to see if there’s any visible damage. If you see dark spots, water spots, or any damp areas then it may mean your roof is compromised. Possible causes of this are wind-blown rain, worn out or improperly installed underlayments (felt paper), or deteriorated flashings. If it’s near the bottom of your roof (the eave), then it may be caused by ice damming, which can be solved by high-quality Ice Shields and proper ventilation.

5. Excessive Moss growth on your roof

If you have excessive amounts of moss on your roof, it may be a sign that it’s ready to be replaced. Moss digs its roots down into the shingle, and as it grows, those roots expand, pulling the shingle apart. Moss will also start to get in between shingles, separating them and making them vulnerable to being blown off. Then as water soaks into the moss and freezes and expands, the problem worsens.

Some cases of heavy moss on a roof can be cleaned off, but it may be necessary to tear it all off and replace your roof. To prevent moss from growing in the future, the roof should be sprayed once per year with a moss-killing chemical (the one we use is biodegradable and safe).

These 5 signs that you need to replace your roof are the most common, though there are others. The most important thing you can do is catch these signs early and replace your roof before you have leaks. Since even small leaks can cause so much damage, this will save you a lot of money in the long run. Plus, shingle prices are always going up, so it’s likely you’ll invest less to reroof your home now than you will if you wait for 3 years (especially if you have interior repair work to do as well).

Contact Us Today For a New Roof

Our goal is to give you peace of mind and take the stress out of your roofing project.  If you’re unsure whether or not you need a new roof yet, we will come out and inspect your roof for free and give you our honest assessment of your roof. Don’t let your roof be a source of stress any longer.

Call us today at (208) 487-6617 for a free roof inspection.

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