“How Do I Know If I Need A New Roof?”
We get this question a lot.
While a roof can last as long as 20 years, a roof can reach the end of its useful life before then due to wear, tear and other issues. A cheap roof will suffer from accelerated aging, as well. Here are 6 signs you may need a new roof, meaning a call to an experienced Cincinnati roofing company may be next.
The Curled Up Shingles
When the edges of your roof shingles are curled up, this is a possible sign the roof need to be replaced. If the shingle tabs are cupped, the roof likely needs to be replaced because you can be sure water is getting in under those shingles. If a whole group of shingles are curling or buckling, then the roof may be defective.
The Worn Singles
The granules on asphalt shingles will eventually wear away. When you see bald spots on the shingles, the shingles need to be replaced. If this is common across the roof, the whole roof is weathering away and should be replaced. A major warning sign is when you find shingle granules throughout the gutters.
Cracked shingles are a sign of either impact damage or material degradation; at a minimum, the shingles need to be replaced. For example, a roof that isn’t properly ventilated can age prematurely.
If the shingles are missing or falling apart in the valleys of the roof, the areas where water flows down into the gutters, your roof is especially susceptible to leaks. The roof must be repaired, at a minimum. For example, you may need new, long-term and water-tight metal flashing along the chimney and roof gulley.
The Dark Streaks on the Roof
Dark streaks on the roof can be caused by algae. The algae can be treated with a mix of water and bleach – it should be gently sprayed onto the roof, since high pressure water will damage the shingles. If this doesn’t eliminate the dark streaks, you may have water damage under the shingles or something else wrong with the roof. For example, moss under the shingles will hold moisture against the roof surface and erode under the surface. You can brush it off, but this won’t eliminate it. It will sprout up from its de facto roots. If you did scrape it away, this doesn’t eliminate the moisture it brought under the roof where its repeated freeze-thaw cycles damage the structural membranes of the roof. If the bleach and water mix doesn’t work or the problem comes back, you probably need a new roof.
Note that if the dark streaks on the roof are mirrored by dark stains in your ceiling or walls, there may be a serious water leak and the roof may need to be replaced. Dark streaks in the wood supports in the attic are a sign of rot, and the roof certainly needs to be replaced in these cases.
A Bad Feeling
If you walk across the roof and get a spongy feel or bouncing effect, the underlying decking has most likely been damaged by moisture. The roof must be replaced in this case before it collapses. If the shingles are crumbling on contact or coming loose as you walk across the roof, the roof needs to be replaced. If your interior ceilings are sagging, the roof probably needs to be replaced.
The Light Level
Go into the attic and look up at the roof. If you see daylight coming through the roof, the roof needs to be replaced. If there is a lot of moisture in the attic, the roof needs to be repaired if not replaced. If there is a lot of mold in the attic insulation, you may have leaks in the roof. Call in a pro to assess the situation. If you’re on the roof and see the underlying membrane in multiple spots, the roof needs to be replaced, as well. If you see light around the attic fan or chimney, there is a problem that needs to be repaired assuming it hasn’t damaged the structural elements of your home.
If your roof is at least twenty years old, the roof may be near it’s life expectancy and may need replacement, regardless of how old the roof “looks” to the untrained eye. If you had a new layer of shingles put on top of the old one, know that the material underneath is still made to last twenty years or so.
Cincinnati Roof Inspections
Want a professional roofer to take a look? Contact Harper Siding and Roofing. We repair and replace residential and commercial roofs in Cincinnati at an affordable price and would be happy to provide you with some information. If your roof is okay and in good condition, we’ll let you know – we do not upsell or force new roofing systems on to our customers when they don’t need them.