Homeownership comes with lots of responsibilities, and one of the most expensive is replacing your roof at the end of its life expectancy. But before choosing to replace your roof, there are some things to consider—and you should always consult a professional before making any decisions.
How Often Do Roofs Need To Be Replaced?
How often a roof will need to be replaced depends on a number of factors, such as the quality of the roof’s installation, quality of materials used, and the type of roof. Generally speaking, this is how long a roof made of each material can last:
- Composition shingles: 12-20 years
- Asphalt shingles: 15-30 years
- Wood shingles: 30-40 years
- Rubber roofs: 30-50 years
- Metal roofs: 40-70 years
- Clay tile roofs: 50-100 years
- Slate tile roof: 75-200 years
Harsh winters and severe humidity can cause these materials to wear down faster. Looking at your roof after high winds and intense storms can help you keep your roof in top shape. Whether conducted by yourself or led by a roofing contractor, an annual inspection of your roof can help you spot any damage before it becomes too costly.
If you suspect that your roof is damaged it’s important to take action and call a roofer. Here are some signs that you need a new roof:
Leaks & Water Damage
Moisture marks, brownish-yellow spots, and peeling paint on walls and/or ceilings all indicate a damaged, leaking roof. As roofing materials weaken, water can seep in through the shingles and into the rest of the house. This leads to water intrusion, and often, visible puddles during rainstorms. Sometimes small leaks can be patched or repaired by a roofing contractor, but in many cases, leaks go undetected until they become a much bigger problem.
Initial signs of water damage to your roof may go unnoticed until the damage becomes substantial. These are some signs of water damage to look out for:
- Fungal and mold growth, which can reduce air quality
- Bulging or bowing, which will be visible on the roof from the outside; the shingles above this part of the roof might not work properly, and the roof decking can eventually fall in
- Damage to wood in your home, including structural wood
- Damaged insulation, which can increase the cost of heating and cooling your home
- Damage to other home systems, such as your electrical system, particularly if wood rot goes unresolved
Getting an annual roof inspection could save you thousands of dollars in costs by helping detect minor damages in time. A trained professional also has the tools and safety techniques to get up on your roof and check for damage up close.
If you already have a persistent roof leak, it’s time to consider calling a roofer. Phoenix provides certified roofers that offer free inspections onsite.
Loose, Cracked, Or Missing Shingles
Missing, loose or damaged shingles can be detrimental to the integrity of your roof and can lead to problems such as water damage and lack of insulation. Finding exposed spots on your roof where shingles are missing or damaged can be difficult. Professionals are usually much faster at spotting missing shingles than homeowners, but if you’d like to take a look for yourself, you can safely do so with both feet on the ground using binoculars or with the help of a drone. You’ll want to look at each shingle to ensure that they’re sitting flat. If enough shingles are damaged and the roof is of age, patching your roof probably won’t suffice; you will need a total replacement.
Shingles are the gateway to your roofing system, so you’ll want to be on the lookout for missing, curling, or cracked shingles.
Some of the most common forms of visible shingle damage include:
- Cracked shingles
- Damaged or curled shingles
- Loose or missing shingles
- Damage or discoloration around vents
- Missing granules
- Moss or algae growth
- Damage around chimneys or skylights
It’s also a good idea to check your gutters for shingle debris. Debris in the gutters can indicate that the shingles are reaching the end of their lifespan and beginning to disintegrate.
If you see any signs of damage on your roof, it’s a good indication that it’s time for a roof replacement. Schedule an inspection with a roofing professional to help you determine the extent of the damage and the best way to proceed.
The Roof Is Sagging
Another way to know that you need a new roof would be to look at the shape of your roofline. Your rooflines should be straight and strong. If you notice dipping, curving, or visible sagging you need to investigate the cause immediately. While a sagging roofline could be caused by a framing issue, it can also be caused by a water-saturated roof deck. If this is the case, you may need a new roof to fix the problem.
If a sagging roofline is accompanied by visible shingle damage, leaks, or water damage, it’s important to act quickly to fix the problem before it gets worse. In some cases, a sagging roofline can lead to a partial or complete cave-in.
Storm damage is one of the leading causes of roof replacements. This is because heavy storms can wreak havoc on roofs, no matter what condition they are in before the storm.
Hail damage is a big issue in the South and Midwest; a good portion of the time tornado-type circumstances create situations where rain turns into ice. Add in wind speed, and even a nickel size hailstone (.88″) can leave a deep enough impact to create water infiltration through your roof. Phoenix contractors have seen even smaller sizes (dime sized hail, .75″,) damage older roofs as well as the exterior cladding of the home. This includes aluminum siding and aluminum capping of the fascia, trim and windows, as well as the gutter and downspouts systems. A seasoned roofer who knows what constitutes hail damage in insurance terms is the contractor you need to hire to inspect your roof for potential hail damage.
Additionally, high-speed wind can rip shingles completely off of a roof, or lift them and cause them to crack. As a result, this opens up the roof to leaks and UV damage. Debris carried by the wind can also blow into your roof and puncture the shingles.
Whether your roof is aging, you can see signs of damage, or the roof recently sustained a heavy storm, it’s important to act fast when you suspect a problem. Although roof damage can be repaired if it’s caught early, if left alone, it can progress quickly! Scheduling an inspection with a residential roofing company is the best way to determine if a repair will be enough to fix the damage, or if you need a new roof.
Your Current Roof Was Installed 20+ Years Ago
If your roof was installed 20 or more years ago, consult a professional home inspector or roofer. Roofs typically last about 20 years, and your roof may be reaching the end of its life span.
Think You Need A New Roof? Contact Us Today!
If you suspect you need a new roof, our team of experts provides free roof inspections! Phoenix Exteriors is a residential roofing company that specializes in shingle replacements, as well as metal and specialty roofs. If you’re looking for Solar Panels to pair with your new roof, we are certified installers.
We currently have branches located in Chicago, IL, Memphis, TN, Austin, TX, Fort Collins, CO, and New Orleans, LA. We also provide roof repair and solar installation services to help maximize your home value. Schedule a free estimate with Phoenix today to get started on your new roof!