Most roofs have a lifespan of about 20-25 years, depending on the material. If your roof is approaching or has exceeded its lifespan, it may not be worth repairing, especially if the repairs are costly and only provide a short-term fix. In this case, it may be more cost-effective to replace the entire roof. But it can be difficult to determine whether you need a roof repair or a full roof replacement. Here are some signs that may indicate you need a roof replacement.
Signs of a Deteriorating Roof
Here in the DC metro area, thunderstorms are common in the spring and summer months. They can produce lightning, heavy rain, strong winds, and even tornadoes. Severe weather events can cause wind or hail damage that you may only see from the rooftop. After a particularly heavy storm, you may even be able to see roof damage from the ground. Some of the more obvious signs of a deteriorating roof include:
- Multiple leaks: If your roof is leaking in multiple places, it may be a sign that the roof has reached the end of its lifespan and needs to be replaced.
- Sagging or warping: If you notice that your roof is sagging or warping, this is a sign of a structural issue and may require a full replacement.
- Missing or damaged shingles: If you notice that a significant number of shingles are missing or damaged, this may indicate that the roof needs to be replaced.
- Mold or mildew growth: If you notice mold or mildew growing on your roof, this may be a sign of moisture damage and a potential need for a roof replacement.
As a general principle, if a large portion of the roof has been damaged it may be more cost-effective to replace the entire roof rather than trying to repair the damage.
Signs of Roof Damage
However, some indications of disrepair are more subtle. For example, some roofing damage creates stealth leaks that are more difficult to locate. As an asphalt roof ages, granules will start to fall away. You might see them near the downspouts or around the yard near the edge of your roof. The aging of a roof can also show as the edges of the shingles curl up.
Most homeowners rarely venture into their attic unless they’re retrieving holiday decorations or for storage of other household items. Head up to your attic in the daytime and look for pinholes of light shining through. If you see one, that’s a leak. If you find rotting wood or excessive mold in the attic, requesting professional guidance is the best way to proceed.
Are your energy bills increasing? If your roof is older, it may be a sign that your roof is no longer properly insulating your home and needs to be replaced.
When a Roof Repair Makes Sense
Whether to get a roof repair or replace the entire roof depends on the extent of the damage, the age of the roof, and your budget. For example, if the damage is limited to a small section of the roof, then repairing that section may be sufficient. If the damage is widespread, however, a roof replacement may be necessary.
Roof repairs are generally less expensive than a full replacement. If your budget is tight, a repair may be a more feasible option. If you plan to sell your home in the near future, a repair may be enough to address any roofing issues. If you plan to stay in your home for a long time, however, a replacement may be a better investment.
How to Extend the Life of Your Roof
It’s easy to forget about your roof until there’s a problem. With regular inspections and repairs as needed, you’ll extend the life of your roof. A licensed roofing contractor can send a technician to walk the roof and inspect all the components. Shingles, flashings, stacks, and chimneys are integral in keeping the roofing system watertight. Waiting too long to have roof repairs completed or scheduled maintenance shortens the lifespan of your roof. The NRCA, or National Roofing Contractors Association, recommends spring and fall roof inspections. Catching problems early saves you time, money, and headaches. Sometimes, a repair will tide you over for another season or year. Regular maintenance can slow deterioration, but in the long run, repairs can end up being more costly than investing in a new roof.
Are you wondering if you may need a roof replacement and need help to determine the best way to proceed? Contact Stuart Exteriors today to schedule regular inspections, or to provide a professional assessment of the condition of your roof.