signs you need a new roof

Good Roof, Bad Roof: 7 Warning Signs You Need a New Roof

Most homeowners’ insurance policies cover damage from roof leaks – EXCEPT when the damaged is caused by lack of maintenance to the roof. In that case, the total cost of repairs is the homeowner’s responsibility.

Could it be time to repair or replace your home’s roof? There are several easy-to-spot signs you need a new roof. Read on to learn more about the seven most common signs that it’s time to call a roofer.

Factors That Age Your Roof

Other than time, three main factors can shorten the lifespan of your roof. The more you can address these factor, the longer your roof will last.


Rain is a destructive force. The more precipitation your area receives, the faster a roof will break down. Regardless of the material your roof is made of, moisture causes shakes and shingles to retain water.

They become waterlogged. It also causes metal roofs to rust.

No one can control the weather. Though, you can keep your gutters clean. Do so keeps water from pooling on your roof. Rain has less opportunity to steep into your shingles.

Do you live in northern states where the winters bring snow and ice? Once the snow melts, check your roof and gutters. Winter may have left its mark, which calls for repairs before Spring arrives.

You can also schedule a roof inspection every year or two. An experienced roofer can spot trouble areas and recommend ways to limit the opportunity for water damage.

The Sun

Sunlight is no friend to your roof, either. Asphalt shingles and wooden shakes are especially susceptible. Sunlight dries out roofing materials. The more sunlight, the more damage. As your roof dries out, it begins to lose structural integrity.

You can coat some types of roofing to protect it from harsh sunlight. The coating is reflective and keeps the roof from absorbing heat. Repairing any minor damage helps in this area as well.

Again, having a roofer check your roof annually helps you keep minor issues from becoming more significant problems.

Adverse Effects of a Damaged Roof

If your roof is damaged or worn out, you’ll find that your energy bills are rising. Roofs are a form of insulation. They prevent the cold and heat from coming into your home.

When the roof goes bad, cold and heat can make their way in with little to no resistance. Your heat and air conditioning system then must work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.

Signs You Need a New Roof

The rest of this article contains seven telltale signs you have a bad roof. In some cases, a partial replacement of shingles is enough. For some others, a full roof replacement is your best option.

1. Age of Your Roof

A standard roof lasts between 20 and 25 years. If your roof has already been replaced once, you should know whether it was replaced entirely. Often, homeowners replace only the shingles.

The roof must also be adequately ventilated. If a new roof was installed over another layer (sometimes even several layers), you might need to start over. If the existing roof is over 20 years old, you most likely need a new roof now.

2. Buckling and Curling Shingles

Buckling and curling shingles are signs that you need a new roof. Look at the slopes of your home that receive the most direct sunlight.

If you see any shingles curling and losing granules, the shingles are most likely past their life expectancy. They may also appear frayed at the edges.

Curled or buckled shingles may be a sign of exposure to sunlight and moister. No replacing curled shingles means your home isn’t insulated properly. Moisture, cold, and heat are seeping through your roof and into your home.

Your roof could also be defective, especially if it’s not that old. A professional roofing contractor would be able to see if you’re eligible for any reimbursement.

3. Damaged Roof Valleys

It almost goes without saying that you need a new roof if the shingles are deteriorated or missing in the roof valleys.

Valleys have a particular function. Rain and snow flow through the valleys and into the gutters. If the valley is damaged, you are at high risk for roof leaks.

4. Cracked or Missing Shingles

Cracked or missing shingles are obvious signs that your roof is failing.

Cracked Shingles

A cracked shingle is one that is severely deteriorated. You can check to see if the shingle tabs are still intact. If the shingles are indeed cracked, they are past the expiration date by a few years at least.

Cracked shingles on your roof allow moisture to seep into the roof’s wooden structure. It also allows cold and heat to seep into your attic, as well.

Missing Shingles

Shingles that are altogether missing from your roof are an open door for heat, moisture, and cold are to make their way into your home.

You may not need to replace the entire roof. Depending on the number of missing shingles, you may only need to replace those few. In that case, a partial replacement gets the job down.

If you are missing shingles over a large area, chances are the rest of them are going bad, as well. A full roof replacement is in order.

5. Chimney Flashing

Around the chimney is another area to watch. If your flashing contains tar or roof cement, it needs to be replaced after a time. You’ll want to replace it with a water-tight fitting designed to last for an extended time.

Replacing flashing on the roof with metal flashing is in order here. Metal flashing is both watertight and long-lasting.

6. Loose Shingle Granules

Loose granules from the shingles is a sign of deterioration. Check your gutters. If you see shingle granules, your shingles have reached the end of their lifecycle.

Also, if some parts of the roof are darker than others, the cause is lost granules. The inconsistent color on your roof is a strong indication your roof needs replacing.

7. Daylight Through the Roof Boards

When installed correctly, new roofs prevent light from coming through to the attic. If you see daylight coming from the roof into your attic, you have a problem. If your home is new, there may be some kind of defect.

If your home is older, light in the attic is an indication that something else is wrong. If you are able to climb onto the roof, chances are you will feel a bounce when walking on your roof.

That spongy feel means the decking beneath is weakened from moisture. There may even be moisture in the insulation.

Check your home’s attic to see if there is any light coming through the roof boards. Also, check for moisture in the insulation. These are also signs of a roof leak. If daylight can get it, so can rainwater.

Light in the attic means your roof is at least in need of repair. Most of the time, it means your roof is in need of replacement.

Time to Call a Professional Roofer

If you have surveyed your roof and found one or more signs you need a new roof, it’s time to call a professional. The time to repair or replace a bad roof is always right now before you start having roof leaks.

If you are in the Indianapolis area, please contact us with questions. We can inspect your roof and recommend the best solution for your home.

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