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How To Know When It's Time To Replace Your Roof

October 6, 2020
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Maintaining your property and ensuring it remains up to code at all times is one of your most important responsibilities as a homeowner.

Like other investments in life, your home will require regular maintenance and upkeep as the years pass to provide maximum comfort, safety, security, and longevity.

As the years go by, you likely consider investing in a new roof to replace your old roof more and more.

But before moving forward with the decision to replace your roof entirely, you should look for a few things on your current roof to determine whether or not the time is right for a new roof.

For more information about getting a new roof, check out our article 5 Things To Know Before Putting On A New Roof

We'll discuss a few of the things to look out for in the article below.

Consider Your Roof’s Age

One of the first things to consider when you begin inspecting your roof for cracks, breaks, and other issues, is its age. 

If your roof is 25 years to 30 years old or older, you may need to replace it no matter what your inspection turns up. 

Roofs that are that old were often created with materials that are no longer useful or reliable today.

But if your roof is in the 10-20-year-old range, it may be time for a thorough inspection. 

You may potentially need to invest in an entirely new roof, especially if your current roof is laid over a previously installed roof.

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Begin By Inspecting Your Roof From the Inside Out

Once you've decided to inspect and take care of your roof, you should start inspecting your roof's condition from the inside out. 

Take a flashlight with you to your attic to look for potential signs that may indicate a more serious issue.

First, daylight shining through are typical in a roof that will require repairs or need a replacement. 

Inspect the inside of your roof to catch and identify any light shining through into your attic during the day.

You also need to look for drips and potential leaks in your attic. 

When your roof leaks, other areas of your home and its foundation are put at risk of damage.

The risk is intensified the longer you go without addressing the roofing problem. 

Water dampness can lead to additional rot and mold growth that can contribute to breathing and other health ailments.

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Curled or Buckled Shingles

Once you're ready to inspect the outside of your home, one of the first things to look for are curled or buckled shingles.

These are sure signs that your roof has some years on it.

Buckled shingles typically occur because of moisture in the attic that has forced nails to push up and out of the roof’s decking.

This can leave your home exposed to the outside elements and make it prone to shingle blow-offs during storms.

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Wind Damage

Wind damage is a very common problemWhen doing your inspection, you need to keep the temperature and climate of where you live in mind.

If you live in an area prone to significant storms like hurricanes or tornadoes, your roof may require more attention or reinforcements depending on the type of roof you have.

If your roof is solid and currently in good condition, it will remain flat even during massive storms and heavy winds. 

But if the shingles begin to curl up, fly away, or even break apart after a big storm, it may be time to start questioning the overall health of your roof.

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Tar Streaking or Algae Growth

Tar streaking and algae growth are caused by bacteria eating away at the shingles weatherproofing properties. 

Some cheap shingle manufacturing companies use fillers like limestone to keep the cost of shingle production low.

Remember, you usually get what you pay for. 

These algae will eat away the limestone causing the black streaking and thus compromising the weatherproofing properties.

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Missing Granules

A sure sign that your roof is losing its weatherproofing capabilities is when your shingles in areas of your roof start losing granules. 

The easiest way to see missing granules is to check your gutters for granule build up.

You can also check your downspout splash pan for granules.

If you don't notice any granules there, shake your gutter to see if you can hear a rattling.

This is another sign that your shingle’s granules are falling off, and your roof may need to be replaced.

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Flashing is common on roofs around chimneys, vents, and even skylights. 

Flashing helps to seal various seams to protect your home from weather. 

When you inspect your roof, you need to check all potential flashing areas to determine whether or not the areas are leaking or have cracks in them.

Many old homes typically use a cement flashing system, which is considered outdated today. 

If you think of updating your flashing system, consider an all-in-one metal solution for longevity and durability.

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Excessive Growths On Your Roof

If you've recently noticed moss or other types of nature growing on top or out of your roof, don’t panic. 

Nature will grow over any structure in its path if it is not adequately managed and maintained.

When you inspect your roof and the new growths, make sure to check both the interior and exterior of your roof. 

The majority of plant growths are likely to be visible from the exterior and outside of your roof.

If there are more severe issues at-hand, nature may also be growing on its own indoors without your knowledge.

Often, treating and eliminating nature growths from a roof is a way to remedy the issue without further investments or repairs. 

If you do notice excessive growths around your roof or even inside of your home, you should work with a professional to determine the root cause and reason for the growths.

When growths in nature have completely overtaken a roof, your roof may need to be replaced entirely to stop the process in its tracks.

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Moisture and Mold

If your attic is not vented correctly, warm air can get trapped. 

When warm air gets trapped in your attic, condensation develops on the roof's underside, which can cause rusty nails and, eventually, mold growth.

If left long enough, your plywood can rot out, and you’ll need to replace your entire roof.

This can happen with new or old roofs because it can be caused by over-insulating, which blocks some vents. 

Mold and mildew are an extreme health hazard, so your roof must have proper intake and ventilation.

Act immediately to impede any extra costs of replacing all damaged wood as well as mold remediation.

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Rotting Roof

A rotting roof is a sure sign it needs to be replaced.A rotting roof is something no homeowner wants to stumble upon. 

If there are multiple damp areas throughout your roof, mold spots, or the darkening of specific beams, your roof could be rotting or at least have a dampness issue.

If your roof has sagging or areas that drip with moisture, there's a good chance your roof is rotting. 

It is possible to replace and repair specific beams and areas of a roof that has been affected and impacted by water damage. 

But, in most cases, replacing your entire roof is advisable if you discover that your roof is rotting or soaked with water.

Unless you can completely repair your roof's sunken and dampened areas, you should replace the entire roof. 

A saturated or rotted roof is more than an eyesore. 

It can lead to less energy efficiency, but it can also pose severe health threats to children, the elderly, and even the immunocompromised.

A dampened, soaked, or a rotting roof that isn't repaired can produce and spread mold. 

When the mold spreads, it can find its way into your airways, vents, and ducts, and ultimately into your lungs. 

Mold-related illnesses include lung issues, bacterial infections, and even pneumonia. 

Addressing waterlogged wood, roofing, or other home structural elements is extremely important when you conduct a roofing inspection on your own.

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Attic Temperature Different from Outdoor Temperature

Make sure the temperature of your attic is consistent with the weather outside.

Your attic should have sufficient ventilation that circulates air in and out.

If your attic is warmer than the outside temperature, you may need to improve your ventilation

There may also be signs of blistering/peeling of exterior paint due to poor ventilation in your attic.

Your roof should have a ridge vent to remove excess heat and moisture.

This can also save on your energy bills and prevent premature peeling of interior paint.

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Don't Panic - Contact A Professional

It can be stressful to discover a crack, leak, or even discolored shingles on your roof, but there is no need to panic.

Even if your roof requires a bit of work, there is no guarantee that you will need a new roof.

If you're not sure whether you need a brand new roof or a simple repair, you should consult with a professional roofing contractor that you can trust and rely on.

If you're concerned about the health of your roof, contact TK Roofing and Gutters so they can find any areas of concern and suggest repairs. 

And if your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, they can go over the costs involved and find the right plan for your new roof. 

To schedule your Free Inspection and Estimate with one of our certified roofers, click on the button below.

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Check out our other articles:

The Pros and Cons of Asphalt Shingles

What Should You Do To Your Roof To Help Your Home Sell?

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