A good roof is what stands between the interior of your home and exterior forces like rain, snow, hail, ice and even fallen branches. When it is in good shape, your roof will protect the rest of your home. When it starts to age or gets damaged, it can leave the rest of your house susceptible to water, mold, rot, and even higher utility bills. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your roof?
1. Your Roof is More Than 20 Years Old
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), slate, copper and tile roofs can last more than 50 years, wood shake roofs can last about 30 years, and fiber cement shingles last about 25 years. The most common roof in Connecticut is an asphalt shingle/composition roofs which typically lasts about 20 years.. Climate and weather conditions, such as snow, hail and wind damage from hurricanes, can cut the life span of any type of roofs.
2. The Attic Now Has a Skylight
Having a bright attic is not a good sign. If you can see any sunlight in the attic and there isn’t a window, you may need a new roof. If light is getting in, so will water, and that’s when the damage begins.
Some light in the attic is normal. You may see light through the an attic exhaust fan if you have one. You may also see light coming from the roof’s ridges, eaves or vents that are installed under the eaves of your home to promote airflow. But if the light is coming in from through the roof boards, you should get a thorough inspection.
3. There is Water Damage in the Attic or on the Second Floor
Unfortunately by the time you realize that there is a slow leak in the attic, it may already caused significant damage in your insulation, ductwork and joists, not to mention any items stored in the attic.
Damaged shingles, loose flashing, bad sheathing, or simply a worn out roof can all cause a roof to leak into the attic and eventually start to flood the upper level of your home.
4. You Have an Unintended Rooftop Garden
Your roof protects your home from dirt, leaves and moisture but unfortunately, this is the exact recipe needed to grow your own unwanted rooftop garden of algae, lichen, moss or mold. You may notice dark black stains, streaks, or spots or even a blanket of mossy growth. While algae is not as dangerous to humans it can still overtake a roof quickly and cause underlying wood rot damage. Algae can turn into a mold problem and that is when health is a concern.
5. The Roof is Visibly Sagging
New England weather can be brutal and your sagging roof may be paying the price. If not well maintained or well designed, a roof can be damage by rain and snow allowing water to getting into the underlying structure. Water can also be a problem is the gutter system is poorly designed or damaged. All of this water can cause the roof to begin to sag as it become more and more damaged and unable to hold the whole structure up correctly.
Snow is also a big concern. Roofs are designed to withstand some weight but snow can be heavy and over a period of time, can cause your roof to sag.
6. You Have Missing, Curled or Buckled Shingles
One of these easiest things to spot is a missing shingle. While one loose shingle does not necessarily mean you need a whole new roof, there is a very good chance that there are several more that you did not see. Look for tar in the attic under the roof which is an indication that the shingle was actually torn from the roof and a leak may be beginning.
Curled or buckled shingles may be caused by high humidity in the summer trapped under the shingles. Homes have much more insulations than those in the past and this may mean that they are not properly ventilated to release that moister. Buckled shingle may also be a sign of incorrectly installed roof sheathing which was not spaced properly to allow for expansion and contraction.
7. Missing Granules.
Your roof will naturally lose granules over time as it starts to age. It should be fairly uniform in appearance and never a large amount. Granules are added to shingles to help protect your roof from sun exposure and increase fire resistance. Storms, wind, and hale will cause the granules to fall off even faster. If you start to notice a larger amount than normal in your gutters or downspouts, you may need to get an inspection.
8. Ice Dams
Snow on the roof will often melt in the sun during the day, only to refreeze again that night. When it freezes at the edge of the roof, it can form an ice dam preventing any melting snow to drain off. This can make the dam larger and heavier which can start to damage your gutters and the roof. Left unchecked, this will probably start to cause leaking and further damage to your roof and possibility inside your home.
9. Crazy Utility Bills
An older roof is less energy-efficient and cause you to have higher utility bills by putting a greater strain on your heating and cooling system. As your old roof ages, it breaks down (literally losing granules) and becomes much less effective at keeping the extreme temperatures out of your home. Shingles and roofing has progressed immensely since your last roof installation carrying an Energy Star rating and even preventing damage from winds ups to 130mph.
10. The Neighbors Are Doing It
Houses in a neighborhood are often built around the same time, sometimes by the same developer using the same materials. If your neighbor is having their roof replaced, it may be a sign that your roof is near the end of its lifespan as well. You might find that they have damage from a storm and that your house has incurred the same type of damage.
Contact Us Today
Not all roofing issues are obvious to the nonprofessional. Just because there is not a current leak does not mean that your roof is necessary sound or that it has other issues. Experienced professionals like The Northface Roofing Company can provide you with sound advice based on years of experience with exceptional customer service. Contact us today. In MA, call 774-203-9998 or in CT, call 860-255-8668.