When you think about the inside of your home, chances are you envision a cozy, warm interior where you enjoy dinners with family, watch your favorite sports team on TV, and enjoy a number of life’s exciting milestones. There’s a strong possibility that water streaming into your home is not a part of that picture. If you want to maintain a leak-free home and avoid eating a home-cooked meal in a damp, moldy environment, then you need to have a quality roof over your head. So, how do you know when it’s time to replace your roof? Here are several red flags you should be aware of.

The Age of Your Roof

If your roof is approaching its 25th birthday, you may want to reconsider baking a cake to celebrate the special day. Asphalt shingle roofs are designed to live approximately 20 to 30 years. Although your roof may still look visually appealing from your front yard, there could be issues brewing beneath the surface that could compromise the structural integrity of your home. If your roof is pushing 40, you should schedule an inspection with your local roofing contractor as soon as possible to avoid any hidden damages from wreaking havoc on your home. Generally, a good rule of thumb to live by is, if you’re currently living in a development where several of your neighbors are beginning roof-replacement projects, it’s probably a good indication that you may want to follow suit.

You Have Cracked Shingles

Shingles usually become cracked from prolonged exposure to high winds. Should your roof only have one or two cracked shingles, then you can simply replace those few damaged ones. However, if you notice cracked shingles residing in numerous locations across your roof and are clearly not just an isolated incident, then that’s a red flag that you may be in need of a new roof. By not addressing cracked shingles throughout your roof, you’re increasing your home’s vulnerability to water damage and mold growth. While it may never feel like a convenient time to replace your roof, by neglecting the issue, you run the risk of sustaining much more extensive and costly damages in the future.

You Have Curling Shingles

Curling of shingles can occur in two different ways. The first way is called cupping, which means the edges of your shingles will begin bending upward. The second is known as clawing, which refers to a condition where your shingles will remain flat at the edges but begin coming up around the middle. Either form of curling is an indication that your roof is suffering from the effects of weathering. When left untreated, curled shingles could lead to potential leaks.

You Roof is Missing Entire Shingles

There is no immediate problem with having to replace one or two shingles from time to time after experiencing a severe storm – it shouldn’t impact the functionality of your roof as a whole. However, if you find that replacing your shingles have become a routine part of your life, it’s typically a sign that there is a bigger issue at hand beneath the surface.

It’s also important to note that it will be virtually impossible to match the color of your new shingle with that of your old one. Not only have there been pretty significant modifications made to granule shades over the years, but it’s likely that the color of your current shingles have been altered a bit due to some weathering. Many homeowners cringe at the thought of having a roof that rivals a checkerboard and will elect to go for a full roof replacement.

Your Shingles Are Coated in Algae or Moss

Moss-ridden roofs are usually just an unwanted nuisance, like back in the day when a giant pimple would surface the night before a big date. When the curb appeal of a roof is compromised, however, many homeowners choose to replace their roofs purely for cosmetic purposes. The plus side of opting for a replacement is newer technology has allowed for the creation of algae-resistant shingles.

Before you go grabbing your power wash or scurrying up the ladder to begin scraping away at your unwelcomed green guests, you need to pump the brakes. This will shave off all of your shingles’ granules and contribute to the deterioration of your roof. Instead, you should gently treat the area with one part water and one part bleach or consider installing zinc strips, which will wipe out moss and algae over time.

Your Roof is Sagging

This is perhaps one of the more dire situations you could encounter. When your roof begins to sag, it’s often a symptom of a serious structural problem. Whether the issue is a product of your attic’s decking or, in more severe instances, a problem with the foundational support system, contacting a professional as soon as you detect sagging is vital in keeping the damage localized. Once the issue has progressed, you could face larger, extensive repairs that go beyond a mere roof replacement.

Granules Have Made an Appearance in Your Gutter

Granules in your gutter system is not a cause for panic if you recently had a new asphalt shingle roof installed, as it’s common for some loose granules to break free after application. Now, if your roof was installed over 10 years ago, the appearance of granules in your gutter is a red flag. The reason is that granules are responsible for deflecting UV rays from harming the asphalt. Once they have fallen off, your shingles will begin roasting beneath the strong sun, causing them to decay at an accelerated rate.

You See Sunlight Seeping into Your Attic

This red flag is an obvious no-no. If sunlight is suddenly streaming into your attic as if you were peering through a clear ceiling, it can be a big problem. Although light isn’t harmful, its presence means that other elements can invade the space as well. That means becoming a bed and breakfast for rain, snow, cold air, and debris. You’ll want to inspect the area for water stains. If you notice any stains are growing, you’re most likely facing an active leak. While small-sized leaks can be patched by a professional, when your home is donning large stains or leaks, there could be hidden structural damage or mold growth.

If you notice any of these red flags or ever encounter a situation where you’re unsure if you have a problem on your hands, your best bet is to contact a roofing professional immediately to avoid further damages to your home. Knowing when to replace your roof is important – neglecting the signs will only lead to more extensive (and expensive) problems in the future.re