Although it may not be as fun or as glamorous as other home renovation projects, a roof repair or replacement is arguably at the top of the list of most essential. In addition to giving your home a classy appearance, quality roofing is an initial means of protecting your home from air, moisture, and sun damage, with poor roofing leading to subsequent repairs to your home’s interior and, when left unattended long enough, even making your home unlivable.
As such, it is extremely important that you keep your roof in good condition and stay ahead of any potential problems. To help, homeowners should know about the following signs that provide an idea when a roof replacement is necessary.
1. Interior Damage is Present
If your roof has degraded to the point that the interior side is showing signs of damage, then the need for a roof replacement is critical. How do you look for interior damage? Take a flashlight and head to the attic. Any of the following indicates a roof nearing the end of its useful life:
- Dark streaks and stains on the underside of the roof or running down the walls.
- Damp or spongy polyiso roof insulation.
- Daylight beaming through the roof boards.
- Noticeable sagging areas.
2. Granules in the Gutter
“As asphalt roofing shingles age and degrade, one of the primary symptoms that they are near the end of their life is the shedding of granules. As these granules shed, they are washed from the rooftop and into the gutter, so any inspection that reveals a buildup of asphalt granules is a sure sign of a roof that needs replaced.”
– Greg Scott, a Houston Home Remodeling Contractor
3. Dark Streaks on the Exterior
Just like streaks found on the interior walls and roof underside, dark streaks on the home’s exterior are a sign that the roof is not doing its job. Significant dark streaks found high on the siding, on the roof fascia or soffit, and/or on the frieze board could be an indication that water is leaking through the roof and not flowing correctly into the gutter. As soffits enable proper airflow in the roofing system, any damage may require soffit repair as well.
4. Rotting or Missing Tiles
These are common problems for wood and asphalt roofs that have been neglected for an extended period. If there are any missing tiles, or the tiles are cracked, faded, rotten, or show a moldy buildup, then the roof should be given immediate attention. Depending on how neglected your roofing is, you may want to consider replacing your roof with a sturdier material.
5. Moss Buildup
According to Jeff Guthrie of Phoenix Roofing and Repair, moss buildup is not uncommon on roofs, especially in hot and humid regions such as Florida. And while moss buildup in and of itself does not necessarily mean that the roof is damaged and in need of replacement, there are a couple of points to consider:
- Moss buildup is unsightly, so, at the very least, you will want to thoroughly clean the roof of all moss using a garden hose or pressure washer.
- Moss buildup is a likely sign that the roof has been neglected, so while the moss itself may not be causing damage, check carefully for any of the other indicators that may have popped up concurrently.
6. Age of the Roof
While the roof’s age is not a visible sign of damage, it can give you an idea as to when a roof needs to be repaired. For most common roofing materials, such as wood shakes and asphalt shingles, the typical useful life is between 15 and 20 years. Therefore, if the roof is in this age range and any or all of the aforementioned issues are starting to present themselves, you can feel confident that it is time to move forward with a roof repair or a possible replacement.
Ensuring the integrity of your roof is a critical aspect of maintaining a safe, secure, and well-insulated home. Any time you start to notice dark streaks on the interior or exterior, granules in the gutter, or your roof approaches 20 years of age, it is time to consider a repair or replacement. To help ensure that you get the most bang for your buck in a roof repair, take a long look at synthetic roofing options or ask a roofing contractor about it. Not only do these innovative shingles eschew many of the aforementioned issues common with traditional roofing materials, but they pair well with a wide variety of siding and exterior door trim ideas to maximize curb appeal and increase the value of your home.
If your home seems to show any of these roof replacement signs, then contact us today for a free estimate!
Chuck Waltman is a Houston based home remodeler and home improvement writer. He specializes in writing content for both homeowners and home builders on various remodeling design ideas, trends and tips.