Roof Maintenance: 8 Ways to Know When It’s Time for Roof Replacement?

The roof is one of the most vital parts of our home. Aside from the walls, our roof is a part of the house’s structure that protects us from external elements like sunlight, wind, and rain. That’s why it is essential to consistently have a roof maintenance plan, whether it’s monthly or annually.

Not many might know that our roofs are not permanent. As it’s the part of the house primarily exposed to the elements, the roof has the highest chance of damage. Consequently, it can lead to greater issues such as water seepage. Much like how our walls need a new coat of paint, or how furniture needs to be reupholstered, roofs need to be replaced.

While it doesn’t need to be replaced frequently, it’s still best to always have your rooftop under control. Before any further damage happens, make sure to have a roof maintenance plan ready in case. Here’s a checklist on how to know that it’s time to have your roof replaced.

You have an old roof

As mentioned, to some extent, roofs have a limited life span. Review your home records and see how long it’s been since your roof has been installed or replaced. It is also helpful to know the material used for your rooftop. Different materials have different shelf life and reaction to damage. Also, materials used in the past may not be as durable as it is currently, requiring your exterior for an upgrade.

Asphalt roofs usually last around 20 to 30 years. In cases of installations of roofs over an existing old layer- instead of replacing them completely- needs to be replaced after 20 years. If your roof is around 10 to 20 years old, it might be time to consider investing in roof maintenance. It does not matter if your rooftop seems to be in good condition just by looking at it. There might be small signs you are missing that tell you about potential damage. Having an expert check the roof with you may help pointing these out.

The roof shingles are curling

Roof shingles are the flat and overlapping rectangular-shaped covering in your roof. These are good indicators for if you need to have your roof fixed. If you see them curled or buckled, that’s a sign that the roof has aged poorly. It may lead to further damages like water seepage and losing pieces due to strong winds.

Curled shingles can take two forms: cupping (the edges of shingles turn upward) or clawing (edges stay flat but the middle part starts to come up). Buckling or curling may occur due to the moisture in the ceiling, forcing the nails to push out the roof’s decking.

Some shingles are missing

When you see shingles missing during roof maintenance, you should repair them immediately. Water can enter your house more easily if there are missing pieces. 

That being said, you don’t have to renovate the entire rooftop. It may be possible to patch empty spaces with newer ones in certain cases. You would face the biggest challenge in this situation finding a color that matches your current ones exactly. The sooner you call for professional help and replace your entire roof, the better.

The shingles are cracked

If you are living in a particularly windy area, you need to have a more stable roof maintenance plan as you’re subject to a higher risk of damage. Strong winds usually result in cracked shingles. Of course, no matter how small it is, these cracks can cause water seepage into your interior. 

If the crack is present in an isolated or one particular area of your roof, then individually replacing them may work. However, if several cracks are present throughout the whole space, then it may be time to invest in a new roof.

Also, cracks can happen both inside and outside the roof, so a thorough inspection is needed. Aside from strong winds, there are also other possible reasons for these cracks. A professional may help in determining the root cause of the damage.

There are granules in the gutter

Missing granules is a sign that your roof is losing its waterproofing properties. Granules protect the asphalt from the sun. Once it falls off, the shingles start to bake, deteriorating the structure of your rooftop.

Check your gutter if there’s an accumulation of asphalt granules, as well as your downspout splash pan. If there’s no visible build-up, try shaking it; the rattling sound can mean granules from the shingles have come off.

Moreover, consider the age of your roof. If you just had it restored, the granules may just be remnants of the restoration process. However, if your roof is around 10 to 15 years old, it might mean your roof needs repairing.

The shingles are covered in moss

Moss tends to grow on rooftops, especially when it is not kept properly. With that said, it doesn’t immediately mean danger. Growths outside the roof is more an aesthetic problem. If you’re bothered by how it looks, then have them cleaned. Once moss starts growing inside the roof, then it can cause more serious damage.

During roof maintenance, extensive observation determines the urgency of repair. A professional can help you distinguish if there are any problems. Even something as simple as cleaning your roof should not be taken lightly. When you do it on your own, there may be a tendency of scraping of granules, which deteriorate your roof later on. So, asking professional help is still advised.

Your entire roof is sagging or rotting

It’s not until you notice your entire roof sagging that you should call for help. Problems with the decking or the foundation may be causing the issue. Even if this problem is small and localized, it is best to address it now before it spreads across the entire area.

Furthermore, rotting roofs do not bode well for a property. It may be a sign that your roof is rotting if you notice multiple damp areas and mold spots on it, as well as the darkening of structure beams. With expert help, you may address the problem by targeting only the areas damaged by moisture. However, it is usually advised to replace the roof altogether. 

If not addressed properly, rotting roofs give way to the formation of moulds, which can lead to illnesses such as lung issues, bacterial infections, and even pneumonia.

Sunlight seeps inside the house

Aside from the exterior, you need to look inside your home for any signs of damage to your rooftop. If you live in a single level house, check your ceilings, but if your home has other floors, check the topmost floor or attic. Sunlight passing through inside your house is an obvious sign that your roof needs fixing. 

If sunlight passes through your ceiling, so can other elements like rain. While at it, look for other factors, such as water leakage, that can cause future problems. Also, if you spot out discolouration and stains in your interior, it may signal a problem that needs a deeper solution.