As a homeowner, your roof will be one of your biggest investments. Your roof protects you and your family from the heavy rains, snow and debris.
It can also protect your home from rot and intruding pests. However, it cannot last forever. Fortunately, there are warning signs that will alert you that your roof is nearing the end of its life.
Seeing wet spots on the ceiling or damp areas along walls and ceiling lines is a sign it’s time to replace your roof. This is especially true if the area affected is large and spreads across multiple rooms in your home.
If you can’t find the source of a leak by looking from outside your house, examine the inside of your attic or crawl space using a bright flashlight. Look for stains and dark spots on the ceiling indicating moisture reaching the structure, such as puddles or softened drywall.
Also, look for sagging sections of the roof and the presence of moss. Moss is a sign of deteriorating shingles and can lead to further damage if left unattended. Other signs of a need for a roof replacement are water-marked shingles and sagging or droopy roof valleys, which are vital to directing rain runoff to the gutters and away from your home’s foundation.
The shingles on your roof are more than just attractive; they help protect your home from water damage. That’s why it’s important to check them for signs of wear. If you see a lot of missing granules (the dark or light areas in shingles) or they look curled or blistered, it’s time to replace your shingle roof.
A shingle roof typically lasts up to 30 years before replacement is necessary. The good news is that you can usually tell when it’s close to replacement time by examining the shingles for any problems.
You should also check for damage around fascia and soffits, which can indicate leaks or issues with your gutter system. The deterioration of these areas can also affect your home’s energy efficiency. Make sure to trim any overgrown trees and shrubs that hang over your roof. These limbs can scrape against shingles during severe weather, leaving them punctured and vulnerable to water damage.
If you’re looking at your gutters and yard and notice dark stains or streaks, this is one of the most important signs that it’s time to get a new roof. This indicates that your shingles aren’t protecting the plywood sheathing underneath, which can lead to structural damage and water leaks.
You should also be wary if you see a lot of loose granules in your yard and gutters. These grit-like particles are designed to help protect the shingles from excessive sun damage, but they can lose their ability over time.
Observing your neighbors’ roofs is another way to determine if it’s time for a replacement. If you’re seeing many of them replace their roofs, yours is likely nearing the end of its lifespan. This is especially true if your neighborhood was built around the same time and uses the same materials. The roofs will all deteriorate at the same rate.
Mold or Mildew
Whether you live in Florida or any other humid area, mold and mildew indicate a need for a roof replacement. If they aren’t addressed immediately, they can cause structural damage. Mold and mildew may also cause respiratory problems in those with allergies or other conditions.
You can spot mold or mildew by its slick appearance and raised texture. If you have to scrub a wall to remove it, that indicates the mildew has penetrated deeper into the walls. Mold and mildew can also appear in the attic in areas where water collects or in clogged air conditioning condensation lines.
You may also notice a musty smell when you walk through your home. A musty smell is a sign of an infestation of mold, mildew or pests in the attic. You can also identify an infestation by mud or dirt on your ceilings or walls. This could indicate that your roof is leaking and not adequately protecting the rest of your home.