Are you unsure how old your roof is or even about the people who installed it in the first place? Whether your roof is ill-maintained, incorrectly installed, or has reached its final years, not taking the initiative to replace a roof can result in costly damage to your home. Many of the clues that you need a new roof are easy to spot, but some indicators are less so. Knowing some of the most common signs you need to replace your roof will help you catch a disastrous issue before it causes hefty damages to your forever home.
Visible Exterior Damage
Your roof has to withstand the might of storms, snow, wind, and ice regularly. Unpredictable damaging factors—such as fallen tree branches or miscellaneous debris—aside, the typical weather of the Pacific Northwest will take a toll on your roof’s health over time. If you spot visible physical damage to your roof’s shingles, that is a surefire sign that a roof needs replacing. Some of these signs include:
The clearest sign of damaged shingles is if they have broken or fallen off the roof itself. A neglected or improperly installed roof commonly displays broken shingles. You may also notice patches of exposed roofing if the installers didn’t complete the job properly. To avoid a broken-down roof before it reaches old age, hire a team of trustworthy contractors to install your roof the right way, and keep in touch with those contractors to invest in routine repairs and maintenance services.
Less obvious than broken shingles are curling or cracking shingles. Old asphalt shingles begin lifting from the roof and curling—which may let excess water into your home. This curling can also occur because of improper installation or poor ventilation in your attic. Your contractor should tell you the reason for the curling, in case it is not just a result of old age. The previous owner of the home or a prior contractor may have installed shingles over an already existing roof. While this is a cheaper solution, it will not last as long as truly quality work—which means it will cost you more money in the long run.
Rot or Moss on Shingles
When your shingles begin to rot away or gather too much plant life, it can signal the end of your roof’s life. These shingles will look dirty, cracked, and maybe even moldy. You can wash moss and algae off or hire a roof treatment service to keep plants on the ground and off your roof. If you do not take care of the moss quickly, your home may sustain water damage. Look for mossy patches in shaded areas of your roof, such as under trees.
Interior Structural Damage
A roof that needs replacement can wreak havoc on the interior of your home. Even when you can’t see visible damage to your roof from the outside, the inside of your home will tell a different story. So if you notice interior damage, such as water damage or mold, it may signal that you need to do an exterior checkup. Look for these telling interior signs that your home needs a new roof:
Leaks and Dark Spots on the Ceiling
Watching water drip from the ceiling or creep down the walls during a storm is a foreboding sign of water damage. If you have white or lightly colored ceilings, you may notice dark spots or cracks where water is seeping in. Paint may appear to sag off the damaged area as well. Poke the area with a broomstick to check for softness. If the spot is soft, it is sure to be water damage, which may result from roof damage.
Be careful—leaky or dripping roofs during a clear, sunny day may be a sign of stagnant water. There may be water collecting or moisture building somewhere in your home that you should check out before replacing the roof.
Sunlight Peeking Through the Attic
Another example of more obvious signs of roof damage are holes in the attic. This is most noticeable on sunny days in darker attics since the light will stream straight into the space. You can also look for seeping water during rainy days. Critters making their homes in your attic, whether it is rodents or insects, can also signal a holey roof. Since this problem is with the foundation of the roof, these holes mean that you must replace it rather than simply repairing the shingles.
Another sign of water damage from the roof can manifest as mold inside your walls. Roofing leaks may not always show themselves to you through your living spaces and instead leak into the spaces between your walls. This excess moisture can result in dangerous mold and requires immediate action. There is a possibility that the mold could result from a faulty roof, but the problem may also lie elsewhere—such as in your home’s plumbing.
Shingle Residue in the Gutters
When cleaning or looking into your gutters, you may notice pieces of your shingles clogging them up. A clogged gutter system, in general, can lead to water damage in your home, but gutters with shingle particles inside can signal roof or shingle damage that you will need to repair. If you notice asphalt in your gutters, check your shingles for decay or damage.
If you have been living in your house long enough to remember the last time you replaced the roof—or if you have a note from the previous owners that dates your home’s most recent roof replacement—it is a good idea to keep track of that day. High-quality roofs installed by expert contractors, like those at NW Home Exteriors, can have a lifespan of up to 50 years with the proper maintenance. Older homes often come with older roofs and may require a new roof shortly after you move in.
You may experience several of these common signs you need to replace your roof at the same time, which requires an urgent roofing investment. Do not cut corners with inexperienced roofing technicians—instead, hire NW Home Exteriors, the most reliable roofing company in Lake Oswego, to tackle the replacement of your leaky roof and maintain your brand-new roof for years to come.