You might assume you don't need to think about getting a new roof until the old one starts leaking, but if you wait that long it will be more expensive. Why? Because by the time you notice the leak, the damage will have already occurred.
Here are some tips to help decide whether the time has come for this investment.
• How old is the existing roof? If installed properly and with good materials, an asphalt shingle roof should last 20-25 years, sometimes longer. If you've lived there for many years and don't know when the roof was last replaced, consider having a roof inspection.
• Go outside and look at the roof. Are the shingle lines still straight or can you see sags or other irregularities? A sag would indicate that the sheathing underneath is rotting.
• When you clean your gutters (which you should be doing twice a year), do you find a lot of asphalt granules in the gutter?
• Do you see cracked, curled or misshapen shingles? As shingles age they begin to deteriorate.
• Go up in the attic, preferably during or immediately after a good rain, and look for evidence of leaks.
If you're starting to see some of these warning signs, have a qualified roof inspector give you a professional assessment.