Knowing the type of material your roof is made of is one way to determine if you need a complete replacement or just a patch and repair work. In general, copper, tile, and slate roofs can last 50 years or longer, cement shingles around 25 years, and asphalt shingles about 20 years.
Aside from the standard lifespan of roof materials, another thing you have to keep in mind is the climate and the geographical location of your house. For instance, premature rusting is more prevalent in coastal areas than desert regions because of the high amount of moisture in the air.
The list below explains the top 10 signs that your roof is ready to retire.
(Note: Yorkshire Roofing, one of the leading roof contractors in Northern California, recommends twice a year roof inspection, which is ideally conducted before wet and winter season.)
- The paper trail says your roof is past its prime years.
Evaluate your home improvement records to see what type of material your roof is made of and the last time it was re-shingled or replaced. This information will help you decide whether roof replacement is better than repair.
If your house has a previous owner, you may not know the last time the roof was replaced. In this scenario, you may want to have it examined by a roofing contractor.
- The attic looks dilapidated.
A roof that looks okay outside doesn’t always mean that it has no hidden issues. To make sure that it’s in ship shape, climb up under its eaves and use a flashlight to check if there are signs of a leak or wear and tear.
Also, look for beams of light passing through the attic, which is a sign of a leaky roof.
- There is a presence of dark streaks and stains reaching the bottom of the wall.
Stains generally indicate that there is moisture reaching the ceiling. When left untreated over time, this leak can even reach the bottom part of the wall.
- There is a presence of water damage.
If water damage looks severe–i.e., cracking and flaking of the wall and ceiling paint, pooling of puddles, wet spots, moldy smell that doesn’t go away–it might be a sign that your home needs a new roof.
- Critters have made your roof their home.
Surveys show that most roof damages caused by wildlife are from female raccoons searching for a place to nest. These small mammals are known to tear off the insulation, roof shingles, and ventilators to gain access to the attic, which is a perfect nesting site for them.
Meanwhile, small holes in the roof are often repairable once the invader is removed.
- The shingles have visible damages.
The shingles should lie flat against the roof; there should be no warping or cracks. Also, there should be no granules in the gutters, which are usually a clear sign that your roof is ready to retire.
- There is moss on your roof.
Moss is a clear sign that there is trapped moisture in the roof. Oftentimes, it also comes with a moldy smell, which is a health hazard, especially for young children, people with compromised health, and individuals who have adverse reactions to mold and its spores.
But if the moss is only limited to the shaded corners of your roof (because of tree branches, for example), you may not need roof replacement or repair but a stiff brush to address this problem.
- The chimney or vent flashing looks damaged.
Metal and cement flashing is often used to seal the area around chimneys, skylights, and vents. If there is visible damage in your flashes, it might be a sign that your home needs a new roof; this is particularly true if the shingles look patchy and have severe warping.
- The roof has signs of wind or hail damage.
If there are too many missing shingles, a roof replacement might be better than a simple patch repair. But if the problem is not severe, the damaged part should be addressed immediately to prevent further damage.
- The ceiling is sagging.
Visible sagging almost always entails a complete roof replacement. The problem is caused by excess moisture from a leak that causes the ceiling to soften and droop to the point that it looks like soggy cardboard.
To learn more about roof replacement, repair, and maintenance, contact Yorkshire Roofing at (800) 794-7444. We offer gutter services, solar panel installation, and home insulation.