15 Signs Your Roof Needs Repair or Replacement

Signs your roof needs repair or replacement

As a household owner, you know that constant maintenance will save you a lot of trouble in the long run. However, no matter how well you take care of your roof, it’s only a matter of time until repairs or replacement will be necessary.

Some of the signs that your roof is losing its qualities will require only a few adjustments, whereas others require professional jobs and even complete replacement. Unless you’re not a professional roofer, you should always call the professionals for any roof-related problem that you may notice.

Taking care of the roof on a regular basis and identifying the early signs of a damaged roof doesn’t come easy, especially if you know nothing about it. Keep reading to find out about the 15 early signs that you should address unless you want to replace the roof sooner than expected.

1. Age of the roof

You know, suitable roofs take the use for more than two decades, so you won’t have to replace it anytime soon. However, the roof’s durability depends a lot on weather conditions in your area, and material is made.

Frequent hail over your roof will affect the durability so that replacement will be needed soon enough. Rain any now and then will not affect the roof’s lifespan, so don’t expect to replace it faster than 20 years.

What are the average lifespans of common roof materials?

Keep in mind that several aspects will affect your roof’s durability, but here’s how the most common roof materials are supposed to last:

  • Asphalt- 20-40 years
  • Fiberglass shingles- more than five decades
  • copper tiles- up to 100 years
  • steel tiles- more than 50 years
  • wood shingles- 30 years or so
  • stone tiles (concrete or slate)- 50 to 100 years
  • flat roof (asphalt)- 10 years
  • flat roof (plastic or rubber)- 40 to 50 years

Interior inspection

Replace or repair?

If your roof is close to reaching the limit of the lifespan, replacing, it will be the wisest solution. Make sure you have the budget for it.

2. The light coming out of the attic

When you’re noticing the light coming into the loft or attic, your roof requires some repairs. Some shingles could be missing, or some cracks may have developed as well.

Make sure you check the exterior of your house for other signs of a damaged roof. Should there be other signs, call the roofer. When the light comes through the roof, other things like pests or insects may go through. Even if there are only some cracks, vermin could still get inside your house. Water will go through as well, causing more damage.

Replace or repair?

Most of the time, the repair will be enough.

3. Shingles are missing

A more severe cause doesn’t always cause shingles missing, you shouldn’t rush into major repairs. It’s not the most challenging job, so you may replace a couple of shingles if necessary.

Faulty installation or damage to the whole roof could also cause the missing shingles. If so, you will have to hire a professional roofer for the job.

Replace or repair?

Even if the gravity of the damage will determine the best solution, repair is the most appropriate choice nine times out of ten.

4. Shingles are no longer flat

You may not know it, but shingles that don’t lay flat anymore signal damage to your roof. Water damaging the roof in time or faulty installation could affect the shingles.

If the faulty installation is the main culprit, contact the roofer and see what he’s suggesting. There are insurance options in case of incorrect installation, so keep that in mind when hiring a roofer.

If weather conditions or water caused the shingles not to lay flat anymore, you might have to replace the area.

Repair or replace?
Repair is possible at times, but replacement of the area may be recommended too.

Exterior inspection

Exterior inspection infographic
Exterior inspection

5. The roof is sagging or dropping

Structural problems in your house or grave water damage could sag the roof. When the roof only needs better stability in the loft or the attic, professional installing of struts or rafters will do.

Sometimes, the roof could be too heavy for your house, so you will have to replace the whole roof and use a lighter material. Replacing the roof is a wise investment to make in the long run.

If water damage is the cause of your sagging roof, replacing it may be the solution.

Replace or repair?

Sadly, replacing the roof is the wise solution when it’s dropping or sagging.

6. The roof is leaking

A leaking roof is always a reason to worry. Blocked gutters, missing shingles, and many other factors could cause the leaking of your roof.

Never wait for addressing a leaking roof as the problem will never go away on its own. Place a bucket under the leak until the professionals come to the rescue. Holes in the roof will help water damage the roof, causing mold, mildew, and so on.

Replace or repair?

Even if repairs may win you some time, replacing will be needed most of the time.

7. Fungi or mold inside the house

Water damage will most likely be seen in fungi or mold around the house. It’s not a problem to postpone, as it may lead to illness and more destruction of the roof.

Mold inside the house affects the respiratory system, leads to health problems for the family, and so on. Hire both a dry lining technician and a roofer once you find mold or fungi on the ceiling.

Replace or repair

It may seem like haste, but replacing the entire roof will eliminate any other problems in the future. Just make sure that the damaged roof is the cause of the mold and fungi in your house.

8. Moss, fungi, or mold on the roof

Excess moisture on your roof will cause fungi, moss, and mold after some time. Replacing the whole roof may be the most effective solution for this sort of problem.

It’s also possible that moss develops only on the exterior of your roof, so it may not be in the house just yet. If so, some deep cleaning will be enough.

No matter how severe the problem is, you should always hire the professionals as they’re the best to decide what you have to do.

Replace or repair?

Some deep cleaning will be enough for moss, but fungi or mold could lead to a whole replacement of the roof.

9. Paint starts to peel

Water damaging your house because the roof is leaking could also make the paint peel on the walls or ceiling. You should notice it on the cement wall and not so much on the walls with dry lining.

Paints begin to peel in the garage of the basement if the roof is leaking, but it doesn’t mean that you cannot see it in other places too.

It depends on how severe the water damage is, but typically, you may get away with only replacing the affected area of the roof. If it’s severe damage, you will have to replace the whole roof.

Replace or repair?

The severity of the damage will determine the fixing, but replacing the small affected area of the roof should solve the problem most of the time.

10.  Water stains in the house

A roof leaking will also generate water stains inside the house, in which case complete replacement makes the only option. The moment you see some water stains off the top’s floor ceiling, you should get some help from the professionals.

Postponing to solve the problem will only worsen the stain, causing fungi and mold after some time.

Water stains could also appear on lower floors of a house, in which case the leaking pipes are the main culprit. Unless you’re a professional plumber, you will have to call the professionals for solving the water stains.

Replace or repair?

Should the roof be leaking, completely replacing it may be the best solution?

11.  Hail happens a lot in your area

heavy rain may damage the roof severely. Most of the time, you will only have to repair or replace the affected area of the roof.

However, when hail cuts through the shingles and the roof, you may have to replace the whole roof, choosing a more durable material this time. Don’t pick the most reliable material, as your house may not handle the weight.

Either way, you will have to hire professional roofers to see their take on your roof.

Replace or repair?

It all depends on the severity of the damage, but most of the time, the repair could quickly solve the problem.

12.  You notice granules in the gutter

A couple of granules in the gutter shouldn’t make you give the roofer a call. However, if you notice continuous shedding from the roof, calling the professionals will be required.

As you’re handling the gutters for cleaning, don’t forget to also check for excess of granules, that may have fallen from the roof. Lousy weather and aging will cause the roof to shed more. The granules are essential for protecting the roof against the elements, so you should replace a shedding roof before it’s too late.

Replace or repair?

Replacing the roof may be the only solution in many situations.

13.  The chimney flashing is affected

As soon as you notice the flashing surrounding the chimney being damaged, you should be aware of the high risk for pest invasion and water damage.

If the flashing doesn’t look as lovely as before, you should hire the professionals. Postponing the fixing will only worsen the situation, leaving you with no option but to replace the chimney and surrounding area.

A wet chimney may also cause a damp fireplace, which will make the chimney rather useless.

Replace or repair?

The stability of the chimney and the severity of the damage will impose the solution. Repairing the surrounding area may be enough.

14.  The drainage isn’t working anymore

Gutters have an important role around the house as they let water drain off the roof and away from home. If water doesn’t drain off, vermin and greenery will invade the gutters. You should clean the gutters regularly so that you don’t have to deal with more severe problems later.

Replace or repair?

You should take notice of the severity of the damage and decide accordingly. sometimes repair will do, whereas other times the only replacement of the roof will be the solution

15.  Everyone in the neighborhood is replacing the roofs

If you live in an old neighborhood with houses build at the same time, you should take a peek to see if your neighbors have started to replace the roofs. Several neighbors replacing their roofs is a good sign that you should do it too soon enough.

Did you move to a new-build house 25 years ago? Now it’s the best time to finally get a new roof over your head.

Replace or repair?

If your roof has been installed the same period as your neighbors’ roofs, replacing the roof is a wise thing to do.

Your Roof Needs Repair

About Amanda

I love to buy a lot of products for the home, and dissect them out. I split them into duds and winners, and share the findings here on my site. As a reader of my site, I'm aiming for your next purchase to be an informed and inspired one.

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