For the most part, roofs age and deteriorate gradually. Without a leak, how to know when it’s time to replace your roof can be difficult. Generally speaking, if your roof has been in place for 20 years, you should monitor its condition and be prepared for the upcoming expense. At this point, wear and tear will accelerate and leave your home increasingly vulnerable to a roof leak. As the homeowner, you can detect some problems without climbing onto the roof. If you spot worrisome damage, you can arrange for a professional roof inspection.
Directions for How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Roof
- If possible, choose a clear sunny day to examine your roof. Sunshine improves the chances of seeing small problems.
- Walk around your house and look for dark streaks, moss growth, or sagging roof areas.
- Take notes about any problems that you see or record notes on your smartphone.
- If you have binoculars, use them to examine the shingles and vents from the ground.
- Look for curls or cracks on shingles or shingles that are sliding off.
- Look for faded shingles that have become bald from loss of granules.
- Check around the vents for flashing or caulking that is bent, cracked, or pulling away from the surface.
- Make notes about any of these problems and note their locations on the roof.
- Set a ladder on stable ground and lean it against the roof.
- Climb up so that you can inspect the gutters. You don’t have to climb on the roof to do this. Continue to exercise caution on the ladder.
- Look for excessive shingle granules in the gutters. Typically, you will see some granules. If there is a thick layer of them, however, the shingles are shedding material rapidly.
- When examining the gutters, look at the fascia boards and roof drip edges as well.
- Take notes about any signs of rot, warping, or loose boards.
- Work your way around all sides of the house with the ladder.
- Finish up your exterior notes and head inside to inspect your attic.
- Once you’re in your attic, run a flashlight beam up and down the roof joists. You’re looking for signs of moisture penetration. A leak could be in the early stages of just seeping through the roof deck. Water stains in the attic should prompt you to call a roofer for a closer inspection.
- After the inspection, evaluate your notes. Did you see cracked or balding shingles? Was the roof deck sagging anywhere? Both are strong signs that you need to replace your roof in the near future.