7 signs you need a new roof

Inspecting your home's roof for damage or defect can help you determine if a new roof is necessary. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Frank W. of O'Fallon, Mo.)

Inspecting your home's roof for damage or defect can help you determine if a new roof is necessary. (Photo courtesy of Angie's List member Frank W. of O'Fallon, Mo.)

Most people figure that they need a new roof after they spot a leak in their ceiling. This leak could be due to many different factors. But what determines whether a repair will solve the problem or a whole new roof?

Here are some tips to help you determine if you need a new roof:

1. Roof age - How old is your existing shingle roof? Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years. That also depends on whether the old roof was removed and you only have one layer of shingles and if it is properly ventilated. If the roof you have was installed over another layer or layers and it is older than 20 years, chances are you will be looking at a new roof.

2. Curling and buckling of shingles - Shingles that are curled or buckling are another sign that you may need a new roof. By looking at the slopes of your home that have direct sunlight and you notice the shingles are curling and losing granules it could mean the shingles are past their life expectancy. There could also be a possibility that the roof is defective.

Contact a licensed roofing contractor to see if you could be eligible for reimbursement.

3. Valleys - If your shingles are falling apart or missing in this area, it is a definite sign you may need a new roof. Valleys are one of the most important areas of your roof. Snow and rain flow through valleys and into gutters. If the valley is compromised you could be susceptible to leaks.

4. Missing shingles – These are another sign your roof could be failing. Check to see if all of the “tabs” are intact.

5. Chimney flashing – This is another area to be concerned about. If your flashing consists of roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with a long term, water-tight fitting which would be a metal flashing system.

6. Shingle granules in the gutters - Look in your gutters to see if they are loaded up with granules. Roofs tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle.

7. Daylight through the roof boards - Check your attic to see if there is any daylight coming through the roof boards. Also check for moisture in the insulation.


About this Angie’s List Expert: John Rogers is the president and owner of Rogers Roofing, a family owned business since 1968. John attended Illinois State University where he pursued a degree in economics. After attending college, John returned to Rogers Roofing and implemented his ideas and expanded Rogers Roofing to its current location in Hammond, Indiana.

As of March 15, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.


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Comments

very good read indeed!

How do you find out if a roofer is licensed.They all claim to be. i live in an area where we have awful awful businesses. Some are illegals...Peole constantly getn the shaft here. Beeville texas is small. No one has any thing good to say about any roofers here.So how do you hire help?Even Corpus Christi Is know for it bevy of bad contractors.I checked BBB but...half the time a person wont be listed there.

Hi Sharon,Looks like Texas currently does not require licensing for roofers; however the Roofing Contractors Association of Texas has tips on how to hire an experienced contractor: http://www.rooftex.com/ResidentialRoofing.php.Angie's List is also a great place to find reviews and ratings of contractors in your area. If you're not yet a member, sign up with promo code "ANSWERS" to receive a 20% discount, good towards an annual membership.

I'm hoping John is monitoring these questions. At my Florida house, the shingles are discolored because of years of shade from the oak and/or pine tree. The pine tree is now 'gone' and the oak tree was significantly trimmed ... leaving my roof with some discolored areas. There is a tiny bit of mold or mildew, and I assume it would be good it get rid of that. I've been told a variety of things to do, including diluting chlorine and spraying it on to pressure washing (at a low PSI). What should I do?

I'd like, nothing better than to see a roof that is free of all debris as I walk the ground at a home or home inspection. Most often, roofing with a north facing exposure does eventually succumb to falling debris and discolor. Doing nothing will swell the fibers and cause premature breakdown of the mats and effect life expectancy. Remove these unwanted, moisture loving and caustic materials as soon as possible. I like a combination of Jomax, bleach and water as a treatment. Using a long handle and brush to get heavy areas. Put the mixture in a spray bottle for this application.

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