What Are the Signs You Need a New Roof?

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the significance of your roof and the vital role it plays in keeping your home protected and shielded from the elements. A high-quality roof provides year-round temperature regulation and waterproofing. It also maintains the structural integrity of your home and contributes to its overall appearance and curb appeal. 

Your roof is a crucial component of your home, no matter its size or shape. For as durable and long-lasting as roofs are, they are susceptible to damage, deterioration, and malfunction. A roof that’s leaking, not regulating the temperature of your home, or has sustained structural damage needs to either be fixed or replaced as soon as possible. 

As overwhelming as it might be to think about the costly investment of a new roof, it’s wise not to ignore any roofing issues you encounter. This blog post from your friends at Woodiwiss Roofing will discuss the most common signs that indicate that you need a new roof so you can take the steps necessary to prioritize the comfort of your home and the safety of its occupants.  

Age of Your Roof

Just like appliances in your home—your washer and dryer, for instance—your roof ages 

over time and succumbs to normal wear and tear. The age of your roof is a huge factor in helping you decipher if it needs to be replaced. Whether you had the roof installed decades ago, or you recently moved into a house with a visibly aging roof, it’s important to determine exactly how long your roof has been safeguarding your home. 

The longevity of your roof also depends on the roofing material in which it is clad because each material has its own distinct lifespan. Asphalt shingles can typically last up to 25 years, while roofs comprised of clay tiles or concrete tiles can exceed more than 50 years. Again, depending on the quality of the roofing materials and how long they have been in place, you can easily calculate if your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. If that’s the case, a replacement roof might very well be necessary.   

Curled, Cracked, or Missing Shingles

Humor us for a moment: let’s compare your roof to a T-shirt in your closet. One day, you 

excitedly reach for a T-shirt you enjoy wearing often, only to find that there’s a small hole in the sleeve and a big hole in the center of the back. As much as you like the T-shirt, the holes leave you no choice but to pick out another T-shirt to wear that day. Curled, cracked, and missing shingles are really no different than that T-shirt with holes in it—they are problematic and simply cannot be ignored. 

When it comes to your roof, one or more shingles can either be missing entirely or be cracked or curled. Damaged shingles are equally as bad as missing shingles because they won’t work well to protect your home from the elements. Damaged shingles can trap moisture, introduce mold growth, and compromise the integrity of your entire roof. If you don’t address these issues as soon as possible, the cracked or curled shingles—or the shingles that are missing altogether—can make your roof more vulnerable to leaks and other issues that can become widespread quicker than you might think.  

Roof Valleys and Missing Shingles

Roof valleys—the areas on your roof where sloping planes meet—are crucial components of your roof and its functionality. They collect and divert water away from your home, sending rainwater and melting snow into your gutters or downspouts. Roof valleys must be properly sealed so they prevent leaks and establish a watertight barrier. If shingles in and around your roof valleys are missing, those roof valleys won’t be able to stop water from accumulating or pooling on the surface of your roof. In many cases, this necessitates the need for a new roof.

Granules in the Gutters

Roofing granules aren’t just for aesthetic purposes. They contribute to the overall performance of your roof by reflecting the sun’s powerful UV rays, which can prevent asphalt shingles from degrading and cracking due to prolonged sun exposure. Shingle granules also coat the asphalt and fiberglass mat, adding extra layers of protection from the elements in your specific climate. 

Over time, roofing granules erode. They can even make their way into your gutters. If you find granules in your gutters, this could be a tell-tale sign that your roof needs to be replaced. The same goes for seeing fiberglass or noticing that the edges of your shingles are starting to shine. (If you have wood shakes, clay tiles, or concrete tiles, hire a professional to determine if the shakes or tiles are degrading, as these can be a little trickier to assess.)

Sagging Roof Deck

Roofs that are installed properly are completely level, with flat and straight surfaces. If 

you notice that your roof deck no longer looks normal and is sagging in one or more places, it could be due to age, leaky shingles, excessive load-bearing, or faulty construction. The wood underneath your roofing materials is susceptible to rotting, decaying, and bending. A sagging roof deck usually indicates the need for a new roof because the roof’s structural integrity has been compromised, which can create a serious safety hazard. 

Daylight Through the Roof Boards

Another sign that you need a new roof? When you see daylight shining through your roof boards. If you’re able, go to your attic on a sunny day. Conduct a visual inspection by checking to see if daylight is shining through the roof boards. Keep an eye out for water stains, mold growth, and warped or rotting wood, too. If light intrusion is occurring in your attic, it means that you have gaps in your roof—gaps that can quickly turn into leaks if they haven’t already. If you can’t conduct a visual inspection in your attic, a roofing inspector can venture into your attic or climb onto your roof to check for damaged shingles, loose flashing around chimneys and vents, or sagging sections that demand immediate attention. 

Leaks and Water Damage

A leak in your roof—no matter how big or small—needs to be promptly addressed. Stains and streaks are good indicators that your roof is leaking, and you might notice these on your ceiling and/or walls. Ignoring this serious roofing issue can lead to structural damage and make it easy for mold to begin to grow. Mold growth can be harmful to you and your family, especially because vulnerable family members with allergies or weakened immune systems can have serious reactions to mold and even develop respiratory illnesses. Remember, a leak that seems small now can become even bigger as more moisture accumulates, so it’s best to explore the option of a new roof without delay. 

Higher Energy Bills

Has the price of your latest energy bill taken you by surprise? If so, this could be a good indicator that you need a new roof. A roof that’s working well regulates the temperature of your home. Owens Corning adds that “having the right amount of ventilation in your attic can have a positive effect on the lifespan of your roof system,” so if your attic is not properly ventilated, this can be a sign that the insulation has gotten wet and has lost its effectiveness. If your roof is failing, an unexplained surge in heating/cooling costs can imply that your roof is no longer insulating your home like it is designed to. Since there’s a strong correlation between poor home insulation caused by a failing roof and increased energy bills, get in touch with your preferred roofing contractor so you can avoid additional exorbitant energy bills that may cause you financial stress.  

Moss, Algae, and Fungi Growth

Your roof shields your home from sun, rain, snow, wind, and other elements. Its 

waterproof barrier excels at preventing the growth of moss, algae, and fungi. These growths are problematic—and must be kept at bay—because they trap moisture underneath your roofing materials and accelerate deterioration. When moss and algae begin growing underneath shingles, for example, they can pry your shingles loose; as we addressed above, loose or missing shingles can lead to numerous problems that compromise your roof’s integrity and effectiveness. Don’t ignore the growth of moss, algae, and/or fungi; these growths are not just cosmetic issues but warning signs that you may need a new roof.  

Neighboring Homes Getting New Roofs

Look around your neighborhood. Are other homeowners near you who have been 

getting their roofs replaced? If so, take that as your cue to assess if your own roof needs replaced, especially if you live in a development wherein all the houses were built around the same time. If you’d like, you can even have conversations with your neighbors about their roofs, especially if you recently moved into a region with a climate that’s unfamiliar to you. Your neighbors could give you information about the local weather patterns and even discuss common roofing issues that they’ve experienced. Fellow homeowners who take pride in their homes can encourage you to take a proactive approach to roof replacements and key maintenance practices, and that can help increase the property values of homes throughout your neighborhood. 

Final Thoughts from Woodiwiss Roofing

A new roof certainly won’t be cheap, but it will be an incredibly worthwhile investment 

for your home. Let’s recap the most common signs that your home may need a new roof: your roof is old; the shingles on your roof are cracked, curled, and/or missing; roof valleys are not sending water away from your roof and into gutters or downspouts; you notice roofing granules from your shingles in your gutters; your roof is visibly sagging; you can see daylight through the roof boards during an attic or visual inspection; you’ve noticed leaks or signs of water damage, such as streaks or stains on walls or ceilings; your energy bill is literally “through the roof”; moss, algae, and/or fungi are growing on your roof and perhaps loosening the shingles; and your neighbors have been getting their roofs replaced. We encourage you to visit the blog post titled “Do I Need a New Roof?” by Owens Corning Roofing to view photos of many of the common roofing problems we’ve discussed in this post. 

At Woodiwiss Roofing, we can help homeowners determine if they need a new roof. If your roof is less than 20 years old, we might be able to repair it. If it’s over 25, however, a replacement might be in order. Our friendly and knowledgeable roofing professionals can thoroughly inspect your roof, report their findings in detail, and answer all your questions as thoroughly as possible. As a homeowner, you play an important role in how well your roof functions and how long it lasts by having it inspected, maintained, repaired, and replaced by qualified and experienced roofing professionals.

To learn more about how Woodiwiss Roofing can help you with all your roofing needs, get in touch with us at your earliest convenience. If you suspect that your roof is compromised in any way, call us at 925-458-2193, email info@woodiwissroofing.com, or request a free estimate online. We can inspect your roof and provide a detailed outline of the next steps. We’re committed to providing all our customers with fast, stellar customer service and we’re confident that our professional roofing services will keep your home safe, dry, and protected so you can continue to enjoy the comfort that your home affords you and yours year-round.

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