A solid roof above your head is crucial if you’ve become accustomed to having a warm, cozy, and leak-free home. Here’s how to notice and deal with potential issues before they become big ones.
Your Roof is Getting Up There in Age
An asphalt shingle roof should last between 20 and 30 years. If you have a 40-year-old roof, there could be a problem — even if it looks good from the ground.
How much time you’ve got left: Five to 10 years, depending on your roof’s condition. If you live in a development and your neighbors are all starting to replace their roofing, that could be a sign that you should do the same.
The Shingles are Curling
Shingles can curl in two ways: There’s cupping, which happens when the edges of the shingles turn upward; and there’s clawing, which is when the edges stay flat, and the middle starts to come up. Both are signs of weathering and indicate that problems — potentially leaks — are relatively close to fruition.
How much time you’ve got left: Depending on the extent of the curling, it could be anywhere from a year to five years before you need a new roof.
Whole Shingles are Missing
From a functional standpoint, there should be no problem with just replacing a few shingles here and there. What you do need to be prepared for is the fact that it’s just about impossible to get a new shingle to match the color of an old one. Granule colors have changed significantly over the years. Plus, the colors change slightly with weathering.
How much time you’ve got left: You can keep patching until a bigger issue presents itself, but if a roof starts to look like a checkerboard, people often opt to replace the whole thing.
The Shingles are Cracked
Cracked shingles are typically a result of wind damage. If just a few shingles are cracked, you can certainly replace them. If the cracking isn’t isolated to one area and it’s random throughout the roof, that’s a telltale sign that you should start thinking about a new roof.
How much time you’ve got left: You may need to replace the whole thing within three to five years.
You’re Finding Granules in the Gutter
If you just got a new asphalt shingle roof and you see a bunch of granules in the gutters, there’s nothing to worry about: Those are just loose, extra ones. But if it’s been 10 or 15 years, that’s a sign of a bigger problem. Granules help keep the sun off the asphalt. Once the granules fall off and the shingles start to bake, the quality will deteriorate in a hurry.
How much time you’ve got left: If you don’t have a new roof and you just started to notice the granules in the gutter, the shingles are probably halfway through their lifespan.
You Can See Sunlight from Your Attic
You don’t need us to tell you that this isn’t a good sign … because it’s not! If light can get in, so can rain, cold air, and snow. Check for light and look for water stains. If you find any, watch them over a few rainfalls and if they change shape or size, that means you’ve got an active leak.
How much time you’ve got left: It depends on the extent of the damage, so call a pro. Small leaks can be patched, but larger ones, structural damage, and the age factor might make it wise (and cost efficient) to replace your roof sooner rather than later
The Entire Roof is Sagging
This is when you should panic. A sagging roof is typically an indication of a structural issue. There could be a problem with the decking in the attic or, worse, with the supports in the foundation. You’re not necessarily in imminent danger, but this is the kind of thing that’s a lot easier to take care of when it’s small and localized, than when it has progressed.
How much time you’ve got left: Not much, if you do nothing. If you see a depression or a droop, call in an expert as soon as you can.
VIP Services offers full roof replacement with the same guarantees that we have for all of our remodeling and home improvement work.