Many homeowners ignore the health of their roof until they have a major problem such as a leak... or worse. However, there are several other warning signs that you need a new roof or at least make repairs before you incur major damage. Taking action early can save you tons of trouble later.
Your Roof May Need Replacing If...
1. You Notice Deformed or Damaged Shingles
Your roof may need to be replaced if its shingles display signs of damage or deformity. Shingles that are cracked, have curled edges or which show signs of cupping have been exposed to the elements for too long and may no longer reliably protect your home. If your shingles are shedding granules, especially after a storm, they will also need to be replaced.
2. There Is Sunlight Coming Through
One of the most obvious signs you need a new roof is if it has holes. While many homeowners only notice them once they have a leak, sunlight may be detectable far before you ever come across a storm. If your roof has holes, it means its shingles are no longer protecting the structure underneath and need to be replaced.
3. Bald Spots Are Forming
If your roof has any missing shingles, you may have to replace it entirely. While sometimes all it takes is a simple repair to cover any bald spots, in many cases the roof is old or has been damaged. Roof valleys are especially vulnerable given their role as channels for precipitation and should be watched closely for any shingle loss, which may be due to age or weathering.
4. Your Roof Is Simply Old
Like other parts of your home, your roof has a limited lifespan. Asphalt roofs can last anywhere from 20 to 25 years. Tile roofs can last for 50 to 60 years, but their underlayment needs to be replaced every 10 years or so. Metal roofs can last for up to a century. However if your roof looks old, or if your neighbors are replacing theirs, it may be wise to see if yours needs to be replaced as well.
5. You Have Old Flashing
Features on your roof such as chimneys or vents can present major vulnerabilities. Their seams are often protected only by tar or roof cement, which can degrade over time. This means water or other elements have many entry points and can easily damage your roof. Metal flashing can provide much more effective long-term protection but needs to be checked periodically for any damage.
6. Your Roof Is Sagging
This is one of the most serious types of roof damage homeowners have to deal with. It often arises from water damage and may require more serious repairs to your home such as mold remediation. Check your roof for any signs of sagging, especially in areas which tend to collect water. Look for trapped moisture or any visible signs of rot as well.
7. Moss Is Visible
Moss may seem relatively innocuous, but it indicates your roof is trapping moisture. If this is happening, you may also have a mold problem, which can be a hazard to your health. Remove any moss you find, if possible, and inspect the area around it for spongy or bouncy wood, which are tell-tale signs of water retention. Thankfully, this doesn't happen to us often here in Las Vegas.
Related: How Should I Be Maintaining My Roof?
Depending on the composition and age of your roof, a simple repair may be sufficient to fix any problems. Metal roofing is generally easier to repair than asphalt, which ages quickly. Speak with a qualified professional before making any decisions.