Finding damage on your roof and your upper floors can be worrying. But does the damage mean you need a new roof installation? If you’re wondering whether water damage or degraded materials means a roof replacement is necessary, here are five signs that may mean “yes.”
Your Shingles Are In Disrepair
Missing shingles lead to leaks and other forms of damage, but a few missing ones don’t often require a complete replacement. They are a warning sign, though, because it might mean that wind, heat, and other elements have pulled up enough (even those that still look in place) to give rain and meltwater access to the wood below. It all depends on how many are gone and from where they are missing.
Look for missing shingles around roof “valleys” (the point where two roofing sections meet); rain and snow tend to collect in these places as they slide off the roof. If you have asphalt shingles, look for bald spots where the granules have worn off. If more than one-third of the shingles are in bad shape, then it’s time to stop replacing each one and start thinking about an entirely new roof.
Roof flashing is a thin metal used to protect potential weaknesses and direct water away from walls, chimneys, roof valleys, and skylights. If you have any loose, cracked, or deteriorated flashing, it’s not necessarily a catastrophe – make sure to have these areas repaired right away.
However, deteriorated flashing can lead to extensive leakage in or around roofing joints if not repaired in time. The problem can be severe, depending on how long the flashing has been leaking. If left to sit on the material, moisture leads to rot, and if the rot infiltrates the upper levels of your house, it may compromise the structure of the entire roof.
Most North American homes use wooden frames; as such, moisture can create rot and extensive structural damage. Common indicators include mould, mildew, and watermarks on the wood. If everything points to the interior moisture coming from a weakness in your roof – and the problem isn’t attic condensation from showers or internal drainage – it could be time for a new roof.
Nothing lasts forever, and roofs have lifespans, just like the rest of your home. If yours was installed more than 20 years ago, there’s a good chance you need a new roof. It all depends on the material and the estimate given to you by the roofer. Pay attention to the warning signs of ageing, including curling, pitting, and cracked or chipped shingles.
The worst sign is sagging. If parts of your roof are weakening to the point of buckling, there is extensive structural damage to your roof. The problem could be inadequate bracing, poor spacing, or simple structural failure. If you notice sagging, there’s no time to waste: you must contact a roofing professional before it collapses in on you.