As roofs age, they begin to give hints regarding whether it is time to for a replacement roof. Often, people believe that if the roof is not leaking, a new roof is not needed. However, the time to replace a roof is before the leaks begin. Once a roof starts to leak, the damage can become much more extensive. Repairs can also be significantly more expensive. It is not hard to tell if a new roof is needed.
For roofs with asphalt or fiberglass shingles, inspect the notches between the tabs.
Shingles have notches between each of the tabs. These are sometimes called rain slots. When these slots become between two and three times as wide as they are on new shingles, it is time to make plans for a new roof. These notches will not only be wider, but they will begin to round off on the corners and become irregular in shape.
Check the gutters for excessive amounts of granules from the shingles.
All shingles will shed a few of their granules when it rains. When the shingles are getting old, their ability to hold the granules in place will erode. The gutters will begin to have several times the normal amount of granules in them. As you look at the shingles, it will be easy to see that far more of the black asphalt is showing than the colored granules. This is another excellent sign that a new roof is necessary.
Inspect the roof for damage to the shingle tabs.
Hail, strong wind, and other hazards can damage shingles. This damage will take the form of small dents in the surface of the shingles if it is caused by hail. Wind will bend the tabs and cause them to crack. Other types of hazards will leave different signs of shingle damage. When shingles are dented and cracked excessively, they need to be replaced. Most of the time, whatever damages a roof will do widespread damage to many shingles. Insurance adjusters and roofers can help you determine if it is time for a new roof.
Curling and missing tabs indicate that a roof is in need of replacement.
Age and small accumulations of damage will cause shingles to begin to deform. When tabs begin to curl or break off, the roof is nearing the end of its life. If you feel it has reached this point too soon, you may want to inspect the shingle warranty. Regardless of whether the warranty is applicable, you need to replace the shingles.
Any time the roof leaks, it needs repaired and most often replaced.
Many people will repair leaky roofs for several years before replacing them. The problem is that every time a roof leaks, it damages the ceiling and possibly other structural items inside the house. It is best to replace a roof once it start to leak unless you know a specific reason that the roof leaks that can be easily and permanently repaired.
For metal and other types of roofs, look for damage, rust, and loose shingles.
Metal roofs will begin to rust and erode around the fasteners when the roof is getting too old for effective repairs. For tile roofs or wood shingles, look for signs that the roofing material is damaged or coming loose. This will be an indication that a new roof is needed. For flat roofs, check seams, nails, and edges to see if the roof is beginning to separate or other issues are appearing. Flat roofs can be repaired a little better than shingles, but still will need replacement when too many issues are evident.