With some home improvement projects, you can afford to be reactive. Something works until it doesn’t, then you get it repaired or replaced. With other systems around your home, it pays to be proactive, catching issues early before they turn into full-blown disasters.
Case in point? Your roof system.
It’s easy to just let it be out of sight and out of mind. Then, one day, you have a water leak that leads to a whole host of problems, or what might have been a simple replacement becomes an involved repair job as well.
In short, a worn-out roof can have a domino effect of costly repairs and even greater damage if left unchecked. Let’s explore some 7 warning signs that it’s time for a new roof; easy to ignore, but too important to miss.
Indoor warning signs that you need a new roof
Water damage on your walls and ceilings, mold and mildew growth, a musty smell, or bubbling of your interior paint are all indications that your roof is no longer doing its job.
If you’re seeing any of these signs, you need to call a local roofing company immediately. You’re past the point of maintenance and have moved right into damage control.
Check your gutters for grit
If you feel comfortable, and can safely climb a ladder, take a peek into your gutters. Are they clean and clear, or do you see fine grit? These little granules have been shed from your asphalt shingle roof, and it’s a sign that your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan.
Are your shingles cupping or curling?
You can get a good sense of your roof’s condition right from your front yard. Bonus points if you use binoculars! Check for damaged shingles: splitting, cupping, or curling… A healthy roof lies flat and even. If your shingles are acting up (literally), it’s a sure sign that they aren’t effectively protecting your home anymore and need to be addressed by a roofing professional. You might be able to buy more time with a simple roof repair, but that needs to be determined by a qualified roofing contractor.
Shingles in the yard
It might seem obvious, but it’s still important to note that if you have shingles in your yard, whether fragments or whole, your roof needs to be addressed. And unless you’ve had a serious weather event like a hurricane or tornado, strong wind should not be enough to remove your shingles. Most modern roof systems are rated for high winds, making it abnormal to have them break free under normal conditions.
Your roof is 25+ years old
How long your roof lasts is contingent on a number of factors, from the roofing materials used to the type of weather and conditions it’s exposed to. The quality of the components are another key consideration (that’s why we recommend buying the best roofing system you can).
On average, however, your typical asphalt shingle roof will last 20-25 years before it really begins to show its age. If yours is hitting that mark, we recommend having it thoroughly evaluated by a roofing company.
Your roof is growing plants
If plants start to grow in your gutters, on the roof, or in the shingles, then this is a sign that the roof is no longer offering protection against moisture and is turning into its own little ecosystem. Consider that a major red flag.
Your flashing is giving out
In most cases, your roof’s flashing will last about as long as the roof itself. That means that if your flashing starts to give out, your roof might need some TLC as well.
As a quick refresher, flashing is molding designed to protect your roof at its most vulnerable points: where it intersects with an upright surface, where valleys (slopes in your roofline) meet, and potential gaps around your chimney and roof vents too.
Dark shingles around flashing is a warning sign, indicating water saturation, often appearing not long before there’s more substantial moisture intrusion.
What’s the takeaway?
It pays to be proactive. Small issues quickly grow into big ones, especially when you’re dealing with a system as critical and complex as your roof. Invest in routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs, eliminating problems and points of weakness right away.