There is not much investigating when it comes to this consideration. The average roof lasts about 20 to 25 years, so if yours is that old, chances are it is a good idea to get a new one. You might get by with repairs, but it is probably best to buck up and make the purchase. This is particularly true if your roof is this old, and is currently sitting on top of a layer or two of old shingles from a previous roof.
The best way to assess true shingle damage is to do an inspection in the direct sun. If you see curling or they seem to be losing granules, you are either dealing with shingles that are defective or have moved beyond their life expectancy. If you notice any shingles missing, this is another indicator a new roof may be in order. It is particularly important to check the ‘valleys’ of the roof, as this is one of the most important parts. Missing or damaged shingles here make you more susceptible to leaks, which can be quite inconvenient and costly.
Check Your Gutters
Make sure you are keeping tabs on your gutters. Once shingles start to break down, they shed and lose their granules, which end up in your gutter after some rain. If your shingles have deteriorated to the point you are seeing remnants in your gutters, you may have some serious problems down the line if you leave your roof as is.
Is the Sun Peeking Through?
Another way to check if you need a new roof is to head on up to your attic. Do you see any sunlight shining through the roofboards? You also want to check the insulation for moisture, which indicates leaking. If you have a shake roof, however, this is not necessarily an issue as the wood swells during wet months, helping prevent leaks.
Checking for Water Damage
Check for signs of leakage in the attic, particularly near vents, chimneys and other holes in the roof. If you do see dark water spots, you want to test them to see if they are from recent or older leakage. If it is still wet, that is obvious. But, don’t assume dry spots are okay—test them with a screwdriver. If the spot is soft, it is a current issue. Sagging ceilings are another indicator of a current leak in the roof, or poor roof ventilation.
If the decking between the rafters is deteriorating or sagging, that is a sign of excessive wear and tear of both the decking and the roof. It is probably time to replace both.
Working with a Contractor
The roof is a core element of your home, and this is not the place to get lazy with researching contractors, and educating yourself on what to look for in a good one. So, no matter whether you are looking for residential roofing services in Colorado Springs ,California or Kansas, do your homework. Make sure you check if the company has any unresolved complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Confirm their licensing and insurance are in proper order. Check relevant organizations for roofers in your area, such as the National Roofing Contractors Association. You can also find more regional organizations, such as ones that service a particular city or region of the country. Choose wisely.
Here are some tips to help you determine if you need a new roof:
1. Roof age – How old is your existing shingle roof? Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years. That also depends on whether the old roof was removed and you only have one layer of shingles and if it is properly ventilated. If the roof you have was installed over another layer or layers and it is older than 20 years, chances are you will be looking at a new roof.
2. Curling and buckling of shingles – Shingles that are curled or buckling are another sign that you may need a new roof. By looking at the slopes of your home that have direct sunlight and you notice the shingles are curling and losing granules it could mean the shingles are past their life expectancy. There could also be a possibility that the roof is defective.
Contact a licensed roofing contractor to see if you could be eligible for reimbursement.
3. Valleys – If your shingles are falling apart or missing in this area, it is a definite sign you may need a new roof. Valleys are one of the most important areas of your roof. Snow and rain flow through valleys and into gutters. If the valley is compromised you could be susceptible to leaks.
4. Missing shingles – These are another sign your roof could be failing. Check to see if all of the “tabs” are intact.
5. Chimney flashing – This is another area to be concerned about. If your flashing consists of roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with a long term, water-tight fitting which would be a metal flashing system.
6. Shingle granules in the gutters – Look in your gutters to see if they are loaded up with granules. Roofs tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle.
7. Daylight through the roof boards – Check your attic to see if there is any daylight coming through the roof boards. Also check for moisture in the insulation.
ndoor Roof Inspection
Following is a checklist of problem signs you can look for during an indoor roof inspection.
- Sagging decking between the rafters. If the decking is sagging or deteriorating, the decking will also require replacement when a new roof is installed.
- Outside light that can be seen through the roof. This may be common (and not a problem) on shake roofs, since the wooden shakes will swell during the wet months, effectively preventing any leaks.
- Signs of leaking in the attic (dark spots in the wood, especially around vents, chimneys, and other holes to the roof).
- Test dark spots in the wood to decide if they are old or current problems. If the spot is still wet, or if it is soft (test with a screwdriver), the spot is a current problem. If the spot is dry and hard, it is most likely an old problem that has been fixed.
- Signs of water damage or leaking (usually in the form of water stains, or sagging ceilings)–this could be due to an active leak in the roof or to condensation caused by poor roof ventilation.
If you observe any of the signs listed above, you need roof repairs or a new roof. Depending on the degree of damage, you can decide what is best for you and your house. Often the cost of fixing or replacing a roof is less than dealing with the damage an old roof can cause to your home.