If you want to keep that roof over your head, you’ll need to replace it. It seems counterintuitive, but roofs get worn much quicker, unlike the masonry that lasts for your home’s lifetime.
Think of replacing your worn roof as preventive maintenance. It may not be at the end of its life yet, but if you wait too long, your roof may spring a leak. The question is, how do you know when your roof’s expiration date is coming up? It can be tricky, but we’ve been disposing of old roof materials for years, so we know what to look for. Read below for ten signs that our construction waste removal experts should replace your roof.
1. Look Up (On the Inside)
Before heading outside, look at your roof’s interior from the attic. Some signs you need a new roof are easier to see from the inside.
Grab a flashlight if you don’t have any lights in your attic, and head up during the day. Look for light shining through or wood rot. Sunlight peeking through and wood damage from water indicate your roof isn’t doing a great job of keeping the elements out—time to replace it.
2. It’s Been a Couple of Decades
Nothing lasts forever. Your roof is no exception. The shingles on your roof constantly battle heavy wind, extreme temperatures and precipitation.
While newer shingles last long and are more durable than shingles made in the past, they only stay 20-25 years. Check your files to see when the last time you replaced your shingles was.
3. Your Neighbours Got a New Roof
Can you remember when you last replaced the roof? Maybe you moved to the area and didn’t ask your realtor when the roof was last replaced. If your neighbours are replacing their roofs, you should too.
Plus, houses in the same area face the same weather conditions. Notice some shingles missing on your neighbour’s roof after a bad storm? Chances are your roof is missing some too.
4. Broken Shingles
Shingles are made to be flat, so they should lie flat on your roof. Shingles keep all the roofing material below them dry and protected from the weather. Bulging, cracked, or damaged shingles can’t do their job.
Prop up a ladder by your house and give your shingles a once-over. Don’t forget to check your shingles after harsh storms.
5. Pests in the Attic
Animals are looking for shelter, too and may create holes in your roof to find it. Animals in the attic are a good sign you should replace your roof because we’d bet they didn’t get in through your front door.
Small holes in the roof caused by animals are usually an easy fix but do it quickly. If left open too long, your roof (and attic) are prone to water damage.
6. Missing Granules
Have you noticed the sand-like material on your shingles? These tiny granules protect your shingles from wind and sun damage but get worn out over time.
They also prevent asphalt shingles from sticking and provide a grip for roof installers to reduce the risk of falling. Shingles with sparse granules or ones with bald spots should be replaced.
7. Gutters Are Always Full
If you don’t see any patchy shingles, that doesn’t mean they’re not losing granules. Loose granules or roofing material in your gutters indicate your roof is deteriorating.
Remember, gutters are meant for rainwater. Roof debris clogging up the system could cause flooding, leaks and overflow.
8. Dark Streaks
Most homeowners think stains or streaks on shingles are just dirty or water-damaged. However, it’s airborne algae that cause these dark streaks.
Algae have a UV protectant black coating to protect them from the sun’s rays. That coating is what makes your roof unsightly.
Algae is usually harmless, but you should get rid of it as soon as possible. Airborne fungus can combine with roof algae and form lichen. Lichen will eat fibreglass and crushed limestone in shingles, reducing their lifetime.
Do raindrops keep falling on your head? If you are inside, it’s another obvious sign you should replace your roof. A small leak can become much bigger if not addressed quickly.
A sagging ceiling could also mean rooftop leaks, especially in single-storey houses. If the ceiling feels soggy, call a roofing professional to see if the excess moisture results from roof leaks.
10. Metal Roofs
Some of the signs above are only applicable to traditional asphalt shingle roofs. Here are three signs your metal roof should be replaced.
- Faded Paint: A couple of coats of paint are a great way to jazz up a metal roof, but the colour only lasts so long. Most metal roofs have a waterproof coating on top of the regular paint. Once that fades, your roof is susceptible to rusting, and the colour will fade faster.
- Punctures: Metal roofs are typically strong enough to support the weight of someone walking on them. However, the metal can weaken over time, and holes or tears can occur from excess pressure. Small holes can usually be filled with caulking, but if it’s a recurring issue, it’s time to replace the roof.
- Corrosion: The waterproof coating can protect your roof from corrosion, but water damage is not the only way metal roofs can become corroded. If your roof has dissimilar metals touching (like carbon steel and copper), it could cause a chemical reaction that erodes over time. Corrosion can eat through your roof panels and cause leaks.