How to Know When it’s Time to Replace Your Roof

Roof Replacement in Arnold, Imperial, Oakville, and Fenton

As a homeowner or other property owner, you may be wondering if recent storm damage or signs of aging mean it’s time to replace your roof. With current inflation rates that are impacting the cost of labor and materials this is a common worry for many families and businesses, so it is good to know what signs to look for when considering the need and potential costs. 

From the roof’s age and lifespan to general signs of wear and tear, here are some signs that it is time to replace your roof.

The Interior Highpoints Show Damage

When was the last time you inspected your attic or the walls and ceiling of the upstairs?

It is a good idea to personally check on the state and appearance of the highest interior points of your home or commercial facility on a consistent basis, especially if you suspect any damage after a heavy storm. 

Telling signs of a damaged or leaking roof in upstairs areas can include peeling paint on the ceilings and/or walls, along with colored stains and moisture marks. Meanwhile, attics can suffer from damp rafters and leaks that can cause damage over time.

Even if you suspect that there is only minor interior damage, a trained professional may pinpoint more extensive damage that isn’t necessarily noticed by the untrained eye. Be sure to also have a professional perform an inspection at least once a year and ask if the attic inspection can be added to your regular roofing and inspection maintenance plan.

There are Signs of Weather Damage

As your roof continues to age, you may start to notice curling and cracking of the asphalt shingles as the result of weather damage over time. First, general weather damage can cause clawing and cupping to asphalt shingle roofing. Clawing occurs when the center of the shingle starts to swell upwards, while cupping happens when the edges of the shingle start to curl upwards. Meanwhile, wind damage can lead to cracking over small or large areas of the roof. Either case leaves space for water to penetrate your roof deck during any storm and potentially cause leaking, rotting, excessive natural growths, or other problems.

Weather can also impact the sealing of chimneys, vents, and skylights, causing flashing that indicates there is an unprotected area or a more serious issue. While also having an impact on the nails that hold the shingles down, causing them to become exposed in the shingles or in the base of your roof that can lead to leaks and cracks as well.

If you notice any form of weather damage across a small part of your roof, a simple inspection and repair should do the trick. But if you or your roofing inspector notice more widespread damage, it may unfortunately be necessary to replace the whole roof. If this is the case and you are considering updating your flashing system, speak to your roofing contractor about an all-in-one metal solution instead of a cement flashing system.

The Roof Doesn’t Appear Straight

Go outside on a nice, sunny day and stand some distance from your house to look at the roof from various angles. What do you see?

A healthy-looking roof should appear straight along its lines, but if you notice drooping or sagging areas, especially at the lowest points of the roof, this could be a major sign that it needs to be replaced. Sagging occurs when moisture becomes trapped within the roof and starts to rot away underlying boards. This is usually very noticeable and should be discussed with a roofing expert to determine the cause and the best approach to fix it. 

Your Energy Bills are Increasing

During the heat waves in the summer months of Missouri, it is expected that your air conditioning will be working overtime and have the electric bills to prove it. To ensure that your home is running as efficiently as possible, have your roofing inspector check for any leaks in the roof that could allow air to escape.

If it is decided that it is time to replace your roof, place special attention on the color and materials of your new roof that can have a significant impact on your home’s energy effectiveness. This can include opting for lighter colored shingles or tiles, selecting a metal roof or other reflective surface, or adding solar panels for optimal cost-savings.

The Lifespan of the Roof is Nearing

Whether you replaced your last roof 20 years ago or are a new homeowner, it is good to know the current age of your roof and how much life it has left. If you aren’t sure, check out the home improvement records for verification or if you see many of your neighbors replacing their roofs, it can be a sign that your home’s roof is nearing the end of its lifespan as well. 

The general lifespan of your roof of course depends on the current type of roofing material installed, which can also determine what type of damages to look out for. More expensive slate, tile and copper roofs have the potential to last over 50 years, while the most common roofing – Asphalt shingles – have an average lifespan between 25 and 50 years, based on the quality, durability and type of material chosen.

Depending on the problems that exist, if your roof is only five years old and there is no detrimental damage, then a better option may be to simply repair or patch the roof. Otherwise, if your roof potentially only has five years left in its lifespan, then a roof repair is likely a more economical option.

A final thought…

Even if you find that you don’t need to replace your roof today, be sure to keep an eye out for early signs of wear that can be easily fixed now to prevent costly repairs in the future. Once or twice a year and after major weather events, check the appearance of shingles and other materials to find beginning signs of cracking, balding or bowing to prevent leaks, along with moss growth that could be a mark of hidden damage.

If you are looking to replace your roof or need an inspection and are looking for an experienced roofing contractor in the Saint Louis, MO area, Shelby Roofing & Exteriors has over 35 years of trusted experience in residential and commercial roofing and exterior renovation. Give us a call today to receive a free online estimate or schedule an appointment for onsite services.