When To Replace Your Roof

Your roof is one of the most important elements of your home, but you may not know when to replace your roof until it’s too late.

This is problematic because keeping your roof in peak condition is essential to maintaining the structural integrity of your home.

If your roof is in good shape, it acts as a barrier against the elements and helps with energy efficiency. And, if it’s in bad condition, your home is susceptible to leaks, mold, mildew, rot, poor energy efficiency, and other issues.

Ensure you know when to replace your roof to keep your home problem-free for years to come.

Five Scenarios in Which You May Need To Replace Your Roof

1. Significant Time Has Passed Since Installation (or Replacement)

Roofing ages just like everything else. Over time, the materials can deteriorate because of prolonged exposure to the elements or just from old age.

Typical asphalt shingle roofs must be replaced every 20 to 25 years, even if you haven’t noticed any leaks or other problems. If you wait too long to replace your roof, you could end up with other structural issues that will cost more to repair.

It is imperative to start considering roof replacement for newer homes 20 years after completion of construction.

For homes over 20 years old, you should refer to the property’s home improvement records to determine the last time the roof was replaced. If it’s been more than 20 years since it was installed or replaced, it’s time to call a roofing contractor!

2. Water Damage Inside Your Home

If you have visible water damage inside your home, especially in your attic or the ceilings of rooms directly under the roof, this is a clear indicator that you need a roof replacement.

There’s no time to waste after you’ve noticed water damage — the extent of the damage needs to be assessed by a professional, and your roof needs to be repaired or replaced before the damage gets worse (and before you have to break out the buckets).

Even if you don’t notice any water damage inside your home, you should check inside your attic every three to six months, using a flashlight to look around for active leaks or stains and streaks.

You should also switch off the flashlight and look for light coming into your attic through your roof, which indicates potential leaks.

3. Moss or Algae on Your Roof

Plant life, specifically moss or algae, growing on your roof can mean that your roof is holding moisture. This can significantly damage the affected shingles and break them down over time, leading to further water damage.

Sometimes, moss and algae growth is not serious and can be regularly scraped off using a stiff brush. But make sure to address any underlying issues, such as poor drainage on your roof. You can also install copper ridges on your roof to prevent future moss growth.

If your roof has major issues with moisture retention, you might need to replace the whole thing to resolve the problem.

4. Buckling or Curling Shingles

Shingles should always lie completely flat against your roof to provide protection against the elements.

If you spot any buckling or curling shingles, this is a sign that they are no longer adequately attached. These shingles can be blown off in strong winds and lead to more damage.

Inspect your roof twice a year and after any strong windstorms for signs of buckling and curling (or missing) shingles. If you see any, you should have the roof professionally inspected to determine the extent of the problem.

If there are only a couple of damaged shingles and no other significant issues, you might be able to repair the effected area simply. But, if the damage is extensive, this should be when you replace your roof.

5. Significant Electrical Bills

As we mentioned earlier, one of the most significant consequences of neglecting your roof’s condition is poor energy efficiency.

Heat rises, so in the winter, it can significantly increase your utility bill if heat escapes through your roof. Leaks in your roof can also allow cool air to escape in the hot summer months.

In general, it’s a good idea to always keep track of how much you’re paying for your utilities month over month so you notice any spikes in costs.

There are many issues that could cause a drop in energy efficiency, most of them related to how well your home is sealed. If you notice that your monthly electric bill suddenly shoots up, a leak in your roof could be the problem.

Getting this taken care of sooner rather than later will save you money in the long run by reducing your utility costs.

When Not To Replace Your Roof

If you notice any of the issues discussed above and your roof is significantly less than 20 years old and was installed correctly, don’t panic  — you might be able to repair your roof instead of replacing the whole thing.

For example, minor water damage can be remedied, small leaks can be patched up, moss and algae can be removed (and the area can be treated to prevent subsequent growth), individual shingles can be replaced, and other minor roofing problems can be fixed.

When in doubt, always call a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof and advise the best course of action.

Remember that even though roof replacement might seem expensive right now, it will ultimately cost you less money by preventing other major structural repairs due to damage caused by a roof in poor condition.

Let Woodland HomeWorks Help You

Woodland HomeWorks specializes in roof repairs and replacements. Let us fix your home’s roof, so you don’t have to worry about its structural integrity!

Trying to determine which type of roofing material is best for your home? Check out last month’s blog on metal vs. shingle roofing!