7 Warning Signs You Need a New Roof

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Subject: Roofing

Our home is a 1920 bungalow. We had a bat problem so..My husband and family took off all shingles about 10 years ago and reshingled. Now we are constantly finding small leaks here and there in our walk in attic. Will another layer of shingles help or do we need to take the plank roof of and replace with plywood and reshingle? We still get the occasional bat. We do have east and west dormers.

Patrick Ferris

Subject: I’m always looking for great

I’m always looking for great marketing and Roofing related ideas and your article also very very good written and best for our understanding thanks for sharing with us.


Subject: Repair or Replace?

I have some spongy spots when I walk on my roof. I don't know how old the roof is and there seems to be no other signs of needing replacing. However, I would like to know if I need to repair these spots.

Have Tools, Will Travel LLC

Subject: When to replace roof shingles?

Basically speaking, purposes of a roof are cosmetics and to keep rain out (along with mildew and molds).
When that fails you need a new roof. Simple. If it were free no one would dispute those facts. Every homeowner should be escrowing monthly for a new roof 17 years out and hopefully it goes past that

Kleon Mimis

Subject: How can I really know that I need new shingles on my roof???

My comment is my subject: How can I really know that I need new shingles on my roof??? So I guess what I'm really asking is how can I trust that the roofer is being honest with me? I do not have a leaking roof. The attic is dry. There are no holes. I'm 76 years old. The last estimate is $14,500. That's a large amount for an old guy!!! I also checked into the type of shingles that were offered and they did not get good reviews.......


Subject: How do I know I really need a new roof

14 year old roof.. A lot of curling shingles and a good percentage of granules in the gutter. Was a complete tear off and new shingles 14 years ago

No missing shingles, no leaking or attic signs of leaking.

If it were 19 or 20 years old I would just have it done. Am extremely skeptical that I can hire a roofer that won't tell me automatically that I need a new roof. Would a housing inspector be able to answer that question objectively?

Wife talked to some guy selling roofs and now is panicking over the curled shingles.

John Nemetz owner anthracite roofing Inc.

Subject: roof age

A qualified, and honest roofing, or general contractor should be able to tell you if your roof is worn out or if you can get another 5 to 10 years out of it. The warning signs that your roof is worn out that was posted by Angie's list is pretty much spot on. I will add that shingles are a combination of fiberglass and asphalt. So if you see that shiny gray or white color that wasn't there before, or is not the color of the granular surface on the shingle, it is probably the shingle wearing out, and it's showing the fiberglass in the shingle.

There are many reasons that a roof can age prematurely, as I've seen them worn out in as little as 12 to 14 years. I do agree a good roof should last anywhere from 20 to 30 years, or possibly longer with the new lifetime shingles. The biggest factor is proper ventilation, and just because you have adequate ventilation at the peak, gables, or towards the top of your roof, does that mean you have the proper airflow through your attic or crawlspace area. One of the most common things I see in my business is too much attic insulation towards the lower eave or soffit area. Improper installation of the baffles between the roof deck and the insulation inside your attic, that would dramatically decrease airflow from the lower eaves, to the peak of the roof, or stop it altogether. I have recommended on many occasions, to pull back the insulation every 4 to 6 feet along the edge of the eaves, to inside your attic area, or reinstall these baffles correctly. Many contractors, or their workers don't do this properly. Make sure you have the proper ridge vent on the peak of your roof, and that you have a 3/4 to 1 inch opening on either side of the ridge beam. That cheap scouring pad stuff that they call a ridge vent, is just junk, I recommend a shingle over ridge vent called Omni vent, or equivalent.

Another reason for shingles wearing out too quickly, is they possibly may be an offbrand. Many general contractors, and especially ones that sub out all, or most of their work are looking for ways to cut costs. Make sure when you reroof, that you are getting a first class shingle, from a good manufacturer. Believe it or not there are shingle companies that let irregular, or seconds, go out their door. If your contractors bid is that is much less than the other bids you received, there may be reasons for that. Many contractors in my area are putting on these irregular shingles, and when you put them on the roof,they are six different shades of blue, or gray, or brown.

By the way I do advertise on Angie's list :)


John Nemetz

sharon appleby

Subject: licesend roofers

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.

Katie Jacewicz
Katie Jacewicz

Subject: Texas licensure

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.


Subject: Roof CLEANING advice

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?


Subject: Worn roofs

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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Wow, i aum surprised you didn't get 10 answers already with roofers say X was the best or N was the best or A was the best. In reality you are focusing on the WRONG THING!

5 estimates? Why 5? Why would you do that to yourself? Normally if you are dealing with reputable companies you don't need more than 2 estimates. I advocate to people to always get at least two estimates and if the roofers are saying something very different or if the roofers are way way way off in price, get an equalizer, get a 3rd.  Obviously if you don't trust a roofer disqualify that roofer immediately.  I beliee you have now fallen into "Analysis Paralysis" which is what happens when you have too many opions.

But back to the topic, I said you are focusing on the wrong thing. Why did I say that? Because you can take the best shingle in the world and if installed wrong is compeltely garbage. i can take the worst shingle, known to fail, and if installed properly will last some ammount of time. So you should focus on the roofer, not the product. The roofer is more important and a good quality roofer will only want to install good quality product.

The roof is a system comprised of many components, not just the shingles. You have the water proofing underlayment such as ice shield, the water resistant underlayments such as felt. You have the shingles, the ventilation and the flashing details. All of these things add up to equal one roof. Neglect one and your roof is doomed to fail.

But the roof is more than just product it is detail, know how and heart. Heart? yes heart. It takes the utmost CARING the utmost DESIRE to want to install a good roof. It's hard work and easy to fall into the train of thought as to do what's easier, instead of what's faster.  Faster and easier seldom ever equals better. At the end of the day you ened a roofer that cares about your roof.

So what product is best? That's hard to say. Each manufacturer has multiple plants and it seems each plant puts out varying levels of quality. I will tell you in my area Atlast is known as a cheap commodity shingle. I have Tamko Heritage on my house but I stopped using it because I was having seal failue issues and at the time they offered no contractor certification program, but I hear they started up one. Ownes corning is a decent product backed by a great company. I don't install very many OC's though. I primarily install CertainTeed Landmark shingles and my feeling is that they are the best on the market in my area. I'm sure others will disagree with me.

But don't miss the point, the roofer is more important than the shingle.
I appreciate the fact that with homeowners like you who want to beat the insurance co out of deductibles, so then my rates and every other homeowners rates can also go up just to save you.....Thanks for NOTHING..[8o|]

Any roofer worth using should be able to do the roof with NO MONEY DOWN.


The only scenario I would ask for a deposit is on a crazy odd ball shingle that had to be special ordered.

The question was, Can it be done? The answer is yes. The real question is "Should" it be done? The answer is, no, not unless it is an emergency.   But also let's clarify winter, because we are having a pretty mild winter, so there's kinda not a problem this year so far. I'll refrence "below freezing" from this point forward.

As a certified and licensed roofing contractor, my reputation is on the line. I debate this topic quite often with other roofing contractors who seem to care more about profit than a job well done.  Well, I can tell you from past experience having been a professional roofer for 14 years as of the time of this posting, that the chance for failure increases exponentionally when installed below freezing.  It's better just not to risk it.

Personally I will not, unless absolutely necessary and the customer signs a disclaimer of limited liability, install a roof below freezing and really really want to install the roof at 40 or above. The shingles need to seal, and will not seal unless they warm to about 70 degrees F ambient temprature. This does not mean it needs to be 70 outside, because the shingles will warm from the sun.  

So what can be done to install the roof below freezing? Well first, the roof should not be gun nailed below freezing. This is because the shingles become brittle and it's easier to "blow through" with your nails. It's also harder to regulate air pressure when it is cold, I speculate because of barometric pressures, but I am just guessing.  Therefore the roof should be hand nailed. This takes more time. Furthermore since the seal strips will not seal, they must be manually sealed with proper compatible adhesives. This will also take more time, and more material. I once spoke with a roofer in Alaska who builds tents around the houses he is working on and covers them with tarps and heats with propane heaters.  Now that takes real time!    The question is, are you prepared to pay for this extra time? Can you wait a few more weeks?