An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure – especially when it comes to roofing. You don’t want easily detectable and repairable roof damage to turn into a big, expensive problem later down the road. That’s why every homeowner should be on the lookout for these seven signs that they may need a new roof (or at least some timely repairs).
Your Roof Is Growing Old
A roof may last for an incredibly long amount of time. One church in Kempley, England still possesses the same oak roof after 900 years! But you should be much more realistic with your expectations for your own home’s roof.
A roof’s average lifespan depends on the material it is made of. If you know when your home’s current roof was installed (or even if you have a rough idea), check and see whether it’s nearing the end of its average lifespan. Replacing it before inevitable degradation causes leaks to appear is the best way to avoid a costly headache.
- Asphalt Shingle: 15–30 years
- Architectural Shingle: 25–30 years
- Metal: 40–70 years
- Wood Shake: 20–40 years
- Wood Shingle: 30–40 years
- Clay Tile: 50+ years
- Slate Tile: 100+ years
Your Roof Is Showing Obvious Signs of Damage
Even if your home’s roof was installed just recently, you should still visually inspect it for damage once a year (or immediately following any heavy hailstorm). Immediately visible damage to your roof must be mended as quickly as possible to prevent further damage to surrounding areas. That’s how leaks are born!
Be on the lookout for missing, cracked or curling shingles. These are no longer preventing rainwater and meltwater from penetrating your roof. Likewise, inspect your gutters and downspouts for granules. Significant granule deposits indicate that your shingles have lost their protective outer layer and are in need of immediate replacement.
If your shingles exhibit randomly placed divots, dark spots, or areas which are soft to the touch, then they have likely incurred hail damage. And have you noticed any shiny shingles? These have become so worn down that their fiberglass backings are now able to reflect sunlight, and must be replaced before further damage occurs.
Your Roof Is Sagging
A sagging roof isn’t necessarily at risk of immediate collapse, but it demands repair if you wish to avoid leaks and probable structural issues. A roof begins to sag when moisture has warped its decking. Distorted decking no longer allows shingles to remain flat, effectively compromising their ability to repel rainwater!
You may need to physically inspect your roof to detect whether its decking is in need of replacement. If a roof feels spongy to the touch or bounces while you walk across it, that indicates that its decking is giving out.
Your Flashing Is Damaged
Missing, rusted or damaged flashing no longer creates a watertight seal wherever it is installed. Inadequate flashing will fail to direct water away from a skylight or chimney, and may also permit water to infiltrate the walls and windows beneath. Damaged flashing may even allow your home’s insulation to become saturated, which can threaten pervasive black mold colonization.
Things Are Growing on Your Roof
Moss, mold and mushrooms – these are the three lifeforms which tend to grow on very old roofs, and their root systems (or hyphae systems, in the case of fungi) only work to accelerate roof decay. If you notice any of “the three M’s” growing on your roof, it’s a good sign that moisture is accumulating within the shingles instead of freely running off them. Shingles which retain moisture are too weak to endure harsh weather. And if they grow heavy enough, they may gradually damage your roof’s underlying structure.
Problems Arise in the Attic
You can locate several problems simply by inspecting the inside of your attic. Water stains indicate that meltwater or rainwater is seeping through your roof, and that repairs are necessary to prevent damage to the walls and frame below. “Shiners” – aka nails which penetrate the decking without entering the frame – may allow moisture to infiltrate your home as well. And you certainly don’t want to see daylight shining through your roof!
Finally, look for evidence of bats. Droppings and the smell of ammonia both indicate that you have unwanted visitors, as well as at least one hole big enough to let inclement weather inside your home.
Your Neighbors Are Getting New Roofs
Do you live in a housing development? Then that means all of your neighbors’ roofs were built at roughly the same time as your own. It’s reasonable to assume that your roof has aged and weathered at the same rate as your neighbors’ roofs, so seeing a lot of roofing contractors in your neighborhood strongly indicates it is time to hire their services as well.
Do you need a roofing contractor in Minnesota? As storm damage repair experts, Angell’s Construction team is poised to quickly repair or replace any roof in Central Minnesota. We welcome you to contact us today for an inspection and estimate!