Replacing the shingles or tiles on a roof can be a major expense that can cost homeowners anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000. When it is absolutely necessary, replacing a roof is worth it, because it protects the structure of the roof and people and belongings underneath. But if you’re a homeowner with a damaged roof, you want to be sure that it is necessary before setting aside the funds.
In a previous blog post, we explained many of the signs that a roof may need to be replaced, including repeated needs for repairs, missing or loose shingles, water damage, granules in your gutters, and others.
Wondering how to know when to replace a roof? You’re not alone. Find any challenges below that apply to your home, and be sure to get professional assistance if you need rapid repairs.
How often do you need a new roof? Below are 11 clues that signal roof trouble. They don’t all spell disaster for your roof—some are repairable, but some can lead to major damage if not repaired soon. Others may call for major replacements. Remember to always use all necessary precautions when inspecting your roof.
Keep records of your home improvements and repairs. Note the date that your roof was last reshingled or replaced. Usually, a roof with asphalt shingles installed over previous shingles needs to be replaced every 10 years. In contrast, a fresh asphalt roof may last up to 25 years. A roof with DMG Exteriors provides a 50 year non prorated warranty.
If you bought a home without records of the last reshingling, you could talk to your new neighbors. If some houses were built around the same time, they would probably have a similar roof maintenance schedule.
You could replace your roof shingles proactively at the same time as a neighbor—before it springs a leak. Or you can schedule an inspection and other roofing services with DMG Exteriors, the experts.
If you have serious storms in your area, inspect your roof after each one. Look for sections of shingling that are cracked, buckling, or damaged in other ways. Search your downspouts and gutters for granules that have come off of shingles.
Also, see if any shingles have been torn free by winds and look for dents caused by hail. If damage is limited to a few shingles, they may be replaced. But extensive damage and leaks could be a serious problem, and you may need to consider a complete replacement job.
“How do I know when I need a new roof?” One way is to inspect your attic or other rooms where you can see the underside of your roof directly without your indoor lights on. If you see any daylight showing through the roof, shingles may be damaged or missing, or the structure of your roof could be damaged.
This could lead to leaks and further damage, which could grow more difficult to repair over time and cost even more of your hard-earned money. You should find out whether a repair is enough to prevent leaks or if a replacement is necessary.
Check on the flashing that surrounds chimneys, vents, and skylights. Flashing is used to prevent moisture from entering through the edges of these features. Look for any damage, breaks, or cracks. This may be the source of the leak, rather than damaged shingles.
Flashing is often made of metal, but older versions may be tar or cement. If your traditional flashing is damaged, you could take the opportunity to switch to metal, which often works better but may take more skill to install than cement or tar. If your metal flashing is seriously damaged, it may require replacement.
If you see any green or dark patches on your roof, it may be mold or moss. These organisms are able to grow when areas of moisture are present on the shingles, and that moisture can jeopardize the structure of the roof.
It’s sometimes possible to treat mold and moss using a specialized cleaning solution and a mister. You may also need to use a brush to directly remove it. However, to be completely sure it is gone and your roof is not being damaged further, request professional assistance.
If any dark markings appear on your ceilings, rain may be leaking past your shingles and into the structure of your roof. Liquid may also seep into your walls and leave long vertical stains. Even if you don’t see a dripping interior leak, these stains may point you to areas of the roof that should be repaired.
If some of your shingles are crooked or installed in some other less-than-ideal way, it can cause shingles to wear out more quickly. You may see shingles curling in the wind or losing granules. This may require a new shingle installation, whether you do it yourself or have a service provider perform the job.
Sheathing is the layer of plywood that forms the bottom layer of the roof, over the insulation. Periodically inspect any room where you can see the sheathing exposed to see if it is damaged.
At the same time, other ceilings where the sheathing is not visible may still give you a clue that it is decaying if they start to sag. Other clues include leaks, missing shingles, and damaged gutters. If the sheathing is deteriorating, you may need an experienced roofer to replace it.
A chimney cricket is a small roof structure that sends water and materials around a chimney, reducing excess moisture and the chance of leaks. If your chimney is at least 30 inches wide, it should have a chimney cricket.
If it does, the flashing around the chimney may become rusted (if metal) or damaged in other ways. You can hire a roofer to install a new chimney cricket, especially if you don’t see any damage yet to the surrounding roof. Also, if you are currently replacing your roof, you can check to make sure a chimney cricket is included in the plans.
During a visual inspection of your roof, look carefully for exposed nails. They can rust in the rain and also leave space for rain to leak into your roof structure. If they stay exposed for too long, they may cause extensive damage, but catching them quickly can prevent or minimize it. This is another reason to inspect your roof after every storm or period of high wind and at least every other season.
A plumbing vent is an exposed pipe on your roof that vents to the air. The boot is the material around the base of each pipe that is meant to prevent leaks and damage to the roof. A boot may be made of metal, plastic, or a combination of both.
Inspect each of your vent boots for breaks or cracks. Metal boots may break along their seams. There may also be rubber around the pipe; check if it is torn or rotted, which can let water through.
If you find damage to a boot, often it should be completely replaced. This will prevent leaks and may stop serious damage to your roof. However, if the boot is undamaged and the problem is just that the nails have been pulled out, you may be able to simply replace the nails with screws and rubber washers.
An experienced professional from DMG Exteriors can inspect the underlying structure of your roof to be sure. Call us today for any roofing help you need in Indiana, and ask about financing options for bigger jobs.
50740 Princess Way Suite 700, Granger, IN 46530
(574) 367-4600 Valparaiso Location
3104 Grand Trunk Dr Unit 11N, Valparaiso, IN 46383