Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

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Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

A leaky roof is proof enough that you need a repair. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your roof entirely?

Best practices state you should spot check your roof twice a year, typically in the fall and spring. How often you’ll need a full inspection depends on what your roof is made of. Different roofing materials decay at different rates, so composite, asphalt, and wooden shingles usually need a professional inspection every three years, whereas a tile roof may need one every five years.

Your Roof’s Age

The age of your roof is a good starting point to determine when it’s due for a replacement. Experts usually say a roof should last about 20 years, but that also depends on the composition of the roof. For example, this is the typical longevity of the following roofing materials:

  • Asphalt roll roof: 5 to 10 years
  • Composite shingle roof: 15 years
  • Wood shingle roof: ~25 years
  • Standing seam metal roof: 30 to 50 years
  • Wood shake shingle roof: 35 to 40 years
  • Clay tile roof / Spanish tile roof: 40 to 100 years
  • Slate roof: 100+ years

Buckled and Curled Shingles

Your shingles should lie flat against the roof. If they are curling, buckled, or damaged, your roof is showing signs of substantial wear.Another way to check? Inspect your gutters and downspouts for shingle granules. Roofs that are nearing the end of their life tend to shed these easily after a storm.

Missing Shingles or Tiles

If your roof is missing shingles, tiles, or tabs, at minimum you need to repair the missing components. At worst, this may be another sign your roof’s useful days are numbered.

Sagging and Moss

A roof that’s trapping moisture is usually one that needs a replacement. You can spot signs of moisture in your roof a few ways:

  • Examine the insulation in the attic – if it’s moist, you likely have a roof leak.
  • Check for moss, mold, and fungi on and around the roof.
  • Look for sagging in the roof and for rotting boards.

Gaps in Chimney Flashing

The flashing around the vents, skylights, and chimney on your roof help fortify these openings against leaks. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure there are no cracks or breaks in the flashing, especially if it’s made of cement or tar, which erodes over time. Metal flashing typically has a longer life.

Remember, some damage doesn’t necessarily mean you need to replace the roof entirely. But if you see a few of the signs listed in this guide, call a professional to get your roof inspected and to get an expert opinion. If you’re in a hurricane-prone region, this might be a good opportunity for you to make your roof more wind-resistant, too.