The roof on your home is one of the most important components of the property. The roofing protects the structure of the house, your family, and your belongings from sun, wind, and precipitation. Over time, the roofing materials age and will eventually fail to protect your home. Here are a few common signs that it’s time for a roof replacement.

Age Can Indicate it’s Time for a Roof Replacement

A standard asphalt shingle roof is expected to last between 15 and 25 years. If you purchased an older home or if it has been 20 years since the last replacement, your roof may be nearing the end of its life.

Check your roof for missing or damaged shingles. Look for granules in the gutters and at the bottom of the downspouts. Asphalt shingles are covered with granules that provide UV protection. Shedding of the granules can indicate advanced age.

It’s helpful to know that some roof materials last longer than others. In general, the average life expectancies for roofing materials are as follows:

  • Standard asphalt shingles last about 20 years.
  • You can expect around 25 years from 3-tab architectural shingles.
  • Metal roofing materials last, on average, 70 years.
  • Quality wooden shingles have a life expectancy of between 30 and 40 years.
  • Clay roofing tiles will last 50+ years, depending on weather conditions.
  • A slate roof can last a century or more.

Nail-Over Roof Repairs

If your roofing materials were installed on top of older materials, which is sometimes referred to as a “nail-over,” the roofing may not last as long as a complete roof replacement. To get the most from new roofing materials, the old roof should be removed before a new one is installed. This ensures that any existing damage is detected and repaired. Nailing new shingles on top of old, aging ones increases the chances of heat damage to the new shingles. It also adds extra weight and stress to the structure of the home.

Signs of Water Damage May Indicate a Roof Replacement is Needed

Damp spots, dark streaks, and brownish stains on the walls and ceiling are a sign of water damage, commonly caused by plumbing problems or roof leaks. Even if you see no signs of water damage in your living spaces, check the attic periodically for water intrusion. The chances are good that the problem will appear here first. Turn off the lights and look up towards the roof. If you see light coming through, there are likely gaps or cracks in the shingles, indicating you need a new roof.

Algae and Moss on the Roofing

Algae, moss, mold, and mildew accumulate on the roof when there is excess moisture and when the roofing materials are in decline. This growth will cause further damage to asphalt shingles or wooden roofing. As a roof ages, it becomes more susceptible to the elements. Have a professional roofing service clean the roofing, inspect for damages, and make repairs.

Time for a Roof Replacement

There are other signs you may need a new roof. Look for cracked, missing, curled, or rotting shingles, especially large areas or several patches of damage. Missing or damaged flashing is another sign of roof troubles. Flashing is metal strips installed near the most vulnerable areas of the roof, such as around the chimney. Extensive damage and missing or rusting flashing are signs you need a new roof.

Your roof protects the structure of your home, your family, and your belongings. If you think it may be time for a new roof, consult with a qualified contractor to discuss options for roofing materials.

St. James Home Services provides inspections to customers in Durham and the surrounding areas of North Carolina. Contact us to request our services.