When should I replace my roof?

September 17, 2023 by

As a homeowner, you know that there are many maintenance tasks that must be completed in order to keep your home in good condition. One of these tasks is replacing your existing roof when it reaches the end of its life span. But how can you tell when it’s time for a new roof?

Whether it’s asphalt or fiberglass shingles, clay tiles, slate tiles, a metal roof, or wood roof, there are signs that indicate it’s time to replace your entire roof.

Your roof is old

One of the most crucial factors in deciding when to replace your roof is its age. How long does a roof usually last?

The average life span of roof materials is 20-25 years, all things being equal. If your roof is approaching or has already reached this age, it’s time to start thinking about a replacement anyway.

Hole in roof

Damaged shingles can cause roof leaks

There are many factors that can affect this number, any of which can lead to premature roof failure. For example, the type of roofing material, the climate, and the amount of regular roof maintenance it has received over the years can all play a role in a roof’s life span. And was the roof installed correctly to begin with?

If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, your roof may not last as long as someone who lives in a more moderate climate, whether your roof is composed of asphalt shingles, composite shingles, clay tiles, or metal. Even concrete tiles can see their life expectancy shortened by strong weather.

Severe weather is the biggest factor in aging your roof. Intense winds can lift shingles (especially on an asphalt roof) off the decking, while hail and heavy rain can cause them to crack or break.

Snow and ice will also damage shingles eventually, especially if they’re not installed by an experienced roofing contractor or regularly maintained. The weight of the snow and ice can even cause your roof to collapse, while the freezing temperatures can cause the shingles to crack and break. In addition, the melting of the snow and ice can lead to serious water damage as well as the growth of mold and mildew.

Old roof needing repairs

The Gunner team begins repairs on an old roof

Additionally, if your roof experiences a lot of foot traffic or other wear and tear (like from flying debris and falling tree limbs), it may also need to be replaced sooner than average. This is especially common on a flat roof, but also can happen with sloped roofs.

Things don’t look right

You’re seeing signs of wear and tear. Another indicator that it’s time for a new roof is if you’re noticing signs such as leaks, cracked, curling, broken, or missing shingles, or excessive granule loss with the roofing material. This is especially common with asphalt roofing.

Blue tarp on roof

Temporary tarps are used for emergency roof repairs

There are many signs you have roof leaks, including dark spots or stains on your ceiling, the gutters or downspouts are full of shingle granules (from that granule loss on an asphalt roof) or other debris, you see rusted spots on your flashing or metal roofing, or you hear dripping sounds inside the home.

You also might notice leaks around your chimney, vents, or skylights, which might indicate issues with the flashing as well. Gaps in your roofline where pieces of the roof have come apart or sagging in the middle of your roof are also warning signs.

Cracked, curling, or broken roof shingles might be a result of your roofing system being too hot during the summer or inadequate ventilation in your attic for a significant length of time. Cracking is a common issue for clay tile roofs, which can even be damaged by the house settling.

Another telltale sign is moss or mold growth on the roof. Moss and mold are bad for your roof because they can hold moisture against the shingles, which often leads to premature deterioration of the roofing materials.

Moss and rust on roof

A roof needing replacement

Additionally, moss and mold can also cause the granules on shingles to loosen, which can lead to the shingles losing their protective coating and becoming more susceptible to damage from wind and sun.

Energy bills are up

If you’ve noticed a sudden spike in your energy bills, it could be due to heat escaping through your roof. This is a sign that your roofing material is no longer providing adequate insulation and needs to be replaced. This lack of energy efficiency also might be a sign you have roof leaks.

Hole in shingles

A hole needing repair

A new roof will help to significantly reduce your energy costs, and it will also improve the overall appearance of your home, of course. Asphalt shingle roofs and metal roofs are especially good at this.

If you’re not sure if it’s time to replace your roof, you can always consult with a professional roofing contractor like Gunner. They will be able to do a roof inspection and give you an expert opinion on whether roof repairs are a good idea or that it’s time to have a roof replacement.

So if you’re noticing any of these signs, it’s time to start thinking about a roof replacement. Don’t wait until it’s too late and there is considerable damage to your home. A new roof is a big investment, but whether it’s a slate roof, clay tile roof, cedar shake roof, or composite shingles, it’s one that is well worth it in the long run.

And if you do need, say, an asphalt roof replacement, remember that all roofing contractors are not the same. You can be confident that Gunner will do the job professionally and correctly. We have hundreds of satisfied customers and many industry certifications to back that up.