Most people do not spend a whole lot of time thinking about their roof, but in fact it performs a very important function. A roof adds to the overall stability of a home’s structure and also offers protection from rain, wind, heat, hail and snow. Perhaps you have started to notice that your roof is looking a little worn, or maybe you have noticed a shingle or two on the ground following a wind storm or a small leak in your house after a heavy rain. Small issues that are ignored or disregarded can snowball into large problems. It is important to regularly inspect your roof for signs of damage and general wear. Here are some signs that may indicate it is time for a roof replacement.

Aging Roof

Find out when your home’s current roof was installed. The type of roofing material greatly influences a roof’s lifespan. For example, wood shingles may only last 20 years on average, whereas asphalt shingles can last longer than 25 years. Metal and slate roofs can last even longer depending on how well they are maintained, but these materials can be very expensive and are not suitable for every climate.

Worn or Damaged Shingles

Curling, splitting or missing shingles are an indicator that you need a roof repair or replacement. One of the best times to take a closer look at your roof’s shingles is immediately following a big weather event. If you notice missing or buckling shingles or see granules from the shingles collecting in your gutters, then it is likely time for a new roof. Cedar shake roofs that have exceeded their useful life will often show signs of rot. Asphalt shingles should lie flat against the roof. Asphalt shingles that curl upwards are no longer fully protecting the roof’s underlayment. In this situation, you will need a roof repair or roof replacement.

Damaged Flashing

Flashing is a thin material (often metal or composite) that is placed around chimneys, vents and skylights to prevent water from entering the home. If you notice visible damage such as cracks or holes in your roof’s flashing, or any interior leaking near a food fixture. then it is likely that you will need a flashing fix. Sometimes, flashing degrades with age, resulting in water getting underneath the shingles and causing additional damage. In such cases, it may be necessary to replace the roof.

Interior Damage and Other Signs

Interior structural issues, such as a sagging ceiling or damage in the attic, may be related to roof issues. If you notice discoloration, drips or dampness on the ceiling or walls, this likely means your roof is not adequately protecting your home. Here are some additional signs than may mean it is time for a new roof:

  • Excessive gutter build-up due to damaged roof tiles.
  • Visible sunlight through the attic roof boards.
  • Evidence of ice dams during winter storms.
  • Appearance or black streaks (algae or mold) or white or green patches (lichen or moss) on the roofing.
  • Evidence of uninvited critters (squirrels, mice or bats) in your attic or home.

Making Your Roof Last Longer

A new roof is a big investment, but it is possible to extend its life with careful maintenance. New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania are prone to seasonal hurricanes, heavy rain and winter snow, ice, sleet and hail. Make a habit of checking on the health of your roof a few times each year using the above checklist. Ensure that attics and vaulted or cathedral ceilings are properly insulated and have good ventilation. Have your gutters cleaned regularly and have downspouts checked for clogs. Also, only permit a soft wash for your roof – never a pressure wash. The concentrated spray from a pressure wash can damage shingles, including loosening the granules from the top coating of asphalt shingles. This damage can void a roofing warranty.

Call an Expert to Inspect Your Roof

If you think you may be in need of a roof repair or roof replacement, have an experienced roofing professional conduct an inspection. Homeowners in Warren County and the surrounding areas have trusted Warren Thompson & Son for roof replacement, repair and renewal for over 47 years. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our residential roofing experts.