A roof can be a pretty big investment. And whether you’ve been living in your home for a long time or you’ve recently purchased one knowing it needed a makeover, replacing a roof isn’t exactly on anybody’s bucket list.
But if you like living in a comfortable, safe, dry home, a good roof is pretty important. Most homeowners recognize leaks as potential threats, but there are other signs that your roof is ready to be replaced. We’ll cover the biggest ones here, so if you notice any of these signs of aging, it may be time to call in a pro and start budgeting.
1. Too Many Birthdays
Do you know one of those people who stopped counting birthdays when they hit 39? Well, if you do that with your roof, you’re going to be missing more than cake.
Signs of an aging roof can happen long before then – by age 20 or 25, in fact – and those signs could come in the form of anything we mention here.
But much like that person who stops aging at 39 (or at least does a great job of hiding it!) your roof can also hide signs of aging. The problem is that is spite of appearances, life still goes on. Things still start to wear down and fall apart.
If your roof is past its 25th birthday and especially if it’s past its 30th, it could be hiding some serious problems underneath. Other factors come into play, too, like whether your roof was installed over another layer of shingles, how well it’s ventilated and more.
So it may not show obvious signs of wear, but that doesn’t mean it’s a spring chicken. At a minimum, get a pro to come check it out to be sure that you’re not accumulating headaches.
2. Curls And Buckles
That’s not a fashion statement – it’s what happens to shingles that are starting to show their age.
When shingles are old (or so damaged that they should be replaced whatever their age), you may see the edges curl upward, or you may see buckling or wrinkling through the shingle.
Curling can also be a sign of moisture that’s accumulating as a result of a poorly ventilated roof. It can also be a sign of leaks, and that’s never a good thing.
Couple that with its age and you’re looking at some issues that would be best to address within the next year to several years at most.
3. Going Bald
We bet your 39 year old friend would never be caught bald. But your roof might, if it’s getting on in years.
Sometimes a balding roof is obvious. It starts to lose granules that you’ll notice in your grass and gardens, like coarse sand that wasn’t part of the original landscape plan.
Granules can shed into gutters and wreck havoc there, too, blocking water flow and causing moisture problems. So check be sure yours are clear.
Even if you don’t see the granules, your roof’s baldness might be obvious on a sunny afternoon. Stand back a bit and look for patches of inconsistent color. That’s a good sign that your shingles are losing their luster, and a common sign of age.
4. Cracks & Gaps
Cracking – much like balding – is a typical sign of age. Premature cracking may be a result of damage from storms and wind, so if you’ve got a relatively young roof, you can likely replace damaged shingles individually.
It’s when cracking is combined with age, and other signs like losing granules or curling, that you want to start thinking about a replacement.
If you’re on the fence about whether your shingles are cracked from a bout of bad weather or a bigger issue, take a look to see if the cracking is isolated to one or a couple of spots, or if it’s interspersed throughout the entire roof. If the problem looks more widespread, it probably is.
Keep in mind that as your roof ages, whether it’s a relatively young five, a middle-aged ten, or moving into retirement territory, it’s going to get harder to replace shingles from an aesthetic standpoint, whether the damage is cosmetic or not.
Not only do roof colors in manufacturing change over time, but even if you had the same exact color, it’s probably going to look pretty different after five or ten or twenty years of wind, rain and sun.
5. Sags & Bags
We’ll make this one simple: if you see your roof sagging at all, anywhere, it’s a serious problem that requires serious attention.
A sagging roof is usually a sign of a structural problem and age or not, you’ll want to address it.
You may not necessarily see your whole roof sagging, either. Plenty of times it’s just a dip or a droop in one part or another. And while you’re probably not in any danger of an imminent collapse, it’s far better to deal with it before it becomes a major problem.
6. Curb (Un)Appeal
Try this: stand out near the street and do a visual appraisal of your roof. If you’re not loving what you see, age is the likely culprit.
Typical signs of age and wear include streaking, cracks, color inconsistencies, buckled or irregular edges, warping, missing pieces, and even worn areas around chimneys and vents.
There’s no question that the beauty and appeal of your roof will wane with age, so if yours isn’t looking so hot, chances are it’s nearing its end of life.
Yes, we said this was a more recognized sign of aging, but sometimes leaks are not as obvious as you might think. Sure, you may see water stains on your ceiling, but then again you might not. Check your attic for water stains after a rain or snow melt if you suspect a leak or if your roof is getting on in years and you want to preempt bigger problems.
Leaks can also sometimes cause paint on interior walls to peel or bubble, so if you’re frustrated by ugly patches on walls, that could be a sign of roof damage.
And sometimes leaks aren’t a result of water at all. Did you know that your roof can also leak light?
If you go into your attic during the daytime and you can see without a bulb, chances are that’s a sign of light leaking. And if light can get in, so can water, and bugs, and mold, and other unpleasant things.
8. Increasing Energy Bills
When your roof stops acting as a good insulator, your energy bills go up as heat during the winter and cool air during the summer literally float away into the sky.
Of course, rising energy bills could be a result of poorly insulated doors and windows, too. But your roof is the last line of defense when it comes to regulating the temperature in your home, so if it’s getting older, or showing other signs of age at the same time that you’re watching those bills go up, then it’s definitely a good time to consider replacing it.
If your roof is heading into retirement, or if you’re not sure and want a professional opinion, get in touch with us for a free evaluation and estimate. We’re available to answer your questions and help you make the right decision for your home!