Roofs last a long time, but unfortunately they do not last forever. To avoid serious damage, homeowners should recognize some signs when it's time for a roof replacement. Roofs that are well cared for will usually last to their full service life, but it is still important they are routinely inspected for damage, and any signs that a residence needs a roof replacement. If any of the following conditions are present, it is probably time to start considering a new roof and the services of a good roofing company.
Indications of Water Staining
Many times, the first indication there is a problem with a roof is water staining on the ceiling, or in the attic. Undetected holes and leaks can go on for a while before they begin causing damage inside a home, eventually resulting in ceiling stains. There may also be evidence of water leakage in the attic in the form of wet or rotting beams, wet insulation, mold growth and other symptoms. Whenever seeing any of these problems, homeowners should have their attic and roof inspected to determine the extent of damage, and whether roof replacement is necessary.
Missing Shingles or Missing Granules
As asphalt shingles age, they can become brittle and break off, or the protective granule layer can begin to fall off. Shingles can also be torn off during storms, or in especially windy conditions. In any of these cases, missing shingles or missing granules on shingles prevent a roof from actually protecting a home. One or two missing shingles may be replaceable, but if the damage is more widespread, a new roof may be in order. When the protective granule surface starts falling off, this is also another common sign that a roof should be replaced before more serious damage occurs.
Buckling or Blistering Shingles
Buckling is when entire shingles rise up in the middle and lift off the flat roof surface, inviting water underneath and preventing a watertight roof seal. Blistering occurs when air and moisture get trapped underneath shingles, creating bubbles that lift them off the flat, roof surface. In either case, watertightness is compromised, and serious damage to the roof structure below can occur due to the presence of moisture. Roof replacement on the residence is recommended for those with roofs experiencing either of these issues.
Curling or Splitting Shingles
As shingles age, they can also curl up on the ends, allowing moisture beneath, and increasing the chance they will be blown off by high winds. Shingles can also dry out from years of extreme heat, and begin to split and crack, allowing moisture to seep onto the actual roof surface. Since both of these problems are typically widespread across the entire roof surface, or on many different areas on the roof, the recommended service is a roof replacement to prevent the likelihood that any shingles left behind will begin experiencing the same problems.
Roof rot is caused by moisture continually saturating a roof, without being given any chance to dry out. It can also start from moss, mold, or other vegetation growing on the shingles. Rotting shingles will eventually begin to break apart or lift up, allowing water to soak under the roof. Many times, a roof with rotting shingles may already exhibit damage under the shingles in the form of rotting roof decking or beams. Advanced roof rot requires the roof to be replaced, along with a thorough check of roofing structures to ensure there is no other damage than that to the shingles.
The key to having a functional, protective roof is proper maintenance, routine inspection for damage, and knowing when it is time to schedule roof replacement services. The timeframe may differ, based on the condition of the roof, and how well it ages; but at the first sign of any of these problems, homeowners should contact a roof replacement company to determine whether the problems can be repaired, or if existing wear or damage means an entire roof replacement!