As a homeowner, maintaining your property and being sure it remains up to code at all times is amongst your more important responsibilities. Akin to most life investments, a house requires upkeep as years pass to ensure maximum comfort and safety. The longer you have lived in your home, the more likely you have considered investing in a roof replacement. Before moving forward with the decision to replace your roof entirely, there are some signs to look for to determine whether or not the time is correct for you and your property.

If you’ve conducted just a little investigating into this question, you’ve probably come across the “25-30 year rule” for replacing your roof. That number is utilized as a benchmark. A great many residential roofs need a replacement within that window. However, there are quite a few factors at play, and not any roof is the same.

All roofs take a lot of external wear and tear with every year that goes by. Strong sunlight, powerful winds, debris, vermin, hurricanes, large amounts of rain, or extreme weather conditions – all of these have a direct correlation with a roof’s lifespan. How quickly your roof needs to be replaced depends on many things:

  • Weather.
  • Yearly maintenance and preservation.
  • How old the materials are.
  • Quality of the materials.
  • How well it was installed, to begin with.
  • Were repairs addressed when needed?
  • If wildlife was kept away.
  • External debris buildup.

Your Roof Is Over 20 Years Old

The average asphalt shingle roof lasts about 10-20 years. Metal or tile roofs tend to have a far longer lifespan. If your roof is nearing its average replacement age, you should probably start thinking about your next roof. If other roof repairs were installed over the top of your existing roof – a technique is known as overlaying – you should definitely think about getting a new roof. Overlaying is a quick fix that can hide bigger roofing issues underneath the shingle surface.

Conduct An Interior Roof Check

The first step is to scoop up a flashlight and get to the attic for all intents and purposes. Ensure to grab a flashlight with a bright beam so you don’t miss any damage, and always be conscious of your safety as you perform these types of inspections.

Once you are in your attic, see if you can identify one or more of these 4 signs that you need to replace the roof:

1) Daylight Through The Roof Boards

Prior to turning your flashlight on, try and identify any streams of light coming through cracks or punctures in your roof. If the light is spotted shining through your roof, fix it or replace your roof as soon as possible. If the light is shining through your roof, then water is also leaking into your roof.

2) Dark Streaking & Stains

This one is also straightforward to find. If you see dark stains or dark streaks on the underside of your roof or running down the walls from the base of your roof, then your roof is likely leaking, and moisture is deteriorating both your roof plus your home’s interior structure.

3) Sagging Areas

Much like how soggy cardboard is weak, water can also make your roof structure start to sag. If you come across sagging sections of your roof, take your hand or a stick to prod at the sagging spot lightly. If the spot feels soft and wet or bends easily with the prod of your stick, you know you have moisture damage.

4) Water Damage

Besides just searching for dark streaks and sagging areas, make sure to check for any obvious signs of water leaking or rotting your roof on the inside. If you locate any clear signs of water damage, it would be wise to contact someone to inspect your roof immediately.

Missing, Loose, Or Cracked Shingles

Checking out the shingles on your roof is another way to determine whether or not your roof needs further attention or a possible roof replacement entirely. While inspecting the exterior shingles on your home’s roof, try to find any cracks, dilapidated shingles, or shingles that have warped or angled upwards.

Shingles that are warped, broken, or misshapen may require a further examination to determine whether or not they can be replaced individually or if you are better off investing in an entirely new roof.

Discovering small granules throughout your roof or building up in your gutter may also be an indicator that the time has come for a complete and thorough roof replacement. Excessive asphalt granule loss is a big sign that the roof’s condition is not where it ought to be to provide maximum strength and insulation for your home.

Moss, Dark Spots And Algae Growth

Dark spots (or generally dirty-looking shingles) are caused by moss and algae growth. These may not be directly tied to when you have to replace your roof (or get it repaired), but such moss can spread out and cause unnecessary harm to other sections of the roof.

Noticing algae or other types of natural growth on top or out of your roof? Don’t panic. Nature has a tendency to grow over any structure in its path if it is not adequately tended to and maintained.

When inspecting your roof and the moss you have discovered, make sure to do so by examining both the inside and outside of your roof. While most plant growths are likely to be noticed from the outside of your roof, if there is a bigger problem on-deck, nature may also be showing up on its own inside the attic without your knowledge.

In many situations, eliminating natural growths from a roof can quickly remedy the problem without needing to do any meaningful roof repairs. However, if you see excessive growths around your roof or even inside your home, the recommendation is to find a roofer to identify the root cause and reason for the growths.

When a roof has been completely covered in growth in nature, you may need to replace the roof in its entirety to stop the process in its tracks.

The good news is, natural growth and buildup are not normally an indicator that you must repair or replace your roof. Rather, algae is moreso an eyesore on your roof and one that is quite common in hot places like Southern Florida.

If the situation calls for a full roof replacement in Fort Lauderdale, there then becomes a number of decisions that need to be made. Beginning with the roofing material to use, will you stick with asphalt or consider metal? Which roofing contractor will you hire? Whether there’s a valid insurance damage claim. For many homeowners having liquid cash to get a roof replacement may not be viable; there are financing options available for qualified homeowners offered by many roofing companies. Ensure to do proper research before choosing a roofing company.