Roof replacement doesn’t have to be a hassle.
The average lifespan of a roof depends on various factors. This includes: overall roof design, the material(s) it is made out of, maintenance, and climate/weather. A few missing shingles or a small leak does not mean the entire roof needs to be replaced, especially if the roof is less than 15-20 years old. Sometimes a bit of repair is all that is needed.
Life Expectancy of Common Types of Roof Coverings
One of the driving factors if roof replacement is the lifespan of the roof coverings.
On average, the lifespan of asphalt shingles can be anywhere from 20 to 40 years. While inexpensive, easy to install, and low-maintenance, asphalt shingles tend to be less resistant to climate and weather conditions compared to other types of roof coverings.
Fiberglass shingles are more expensive than asphalt shingles, but their life expectancy can exceed more than 50 years.
Wooden shingles and shakes may require periodic maintenance, but they are typically resistant to rot and insect damage. They are made out of pressure-treated wood. As well, are available in stained or aged finishes. On average, wooden shingles and shakes last around 30 years.
You can learn more about the average lifespan of a roof here.
Interior Signs For Roof Replacement
The easiest – and safest – way to check if your roof needs replacing is by checking the interior/underside of the roof.
Daylight Is Coming Through the Cracks Or Holes In the Roof
Go up into the attic and check the underside of your roof on a sunny day. If you detect any light coming through cracks or holes in the roof, it is a sign that your roof needs repaired or replaced. If light is getting through the roof, then water is most likely getting through.
Rainwater is Leaking Through Cracks or Holes in the Roof
Go up into the attic and check the underside of your roof during or immediately after a hard rain to check for leaks. Be sure to check around any chimneys, skylights, or vents, i.e. anywhere that is sealed with a flashing system. Cracks or breaks in the flashing can lead to leaks.
Dark Streaks and Stains on the Underside of the Roof
Dark stains on the underside of the roof or dark streaks down the walls starting at the base of the roof are signs that the roof is leaking. They are also a sign that moisture is damaging the roof and the home’s interior structure.
Sagging Areas or Rotting Boards In the Roof
Water damage can cause the boards to rot and the roof sag. To check the extent of the damage, gently poke the sagging area. If the sagging spot is soft, wet, or bends easily, it is a sign of water damage to the roof.
Exterior Signs For Roof Replacement
Another way to check for signs that your roof needs to be replaced is to examine the exterior of the roof. This can be done from the ground or the roof. It is dangerous to climb up onto the roof, so leave this up to professionals.
Missing Shingles, Holes, Dark Streaks/Stains, and Water Damage on the Exterior of the Roof
Any sagging spots or dark streaks or stains on the exterior of the roof are signs of water damage. Also, any missing shingles or holes in the roof are signs that the roof either needs to be repaired or replaced. A roof that looks worn out or old is another sign that it is time to replace the roof.
Rotting or Decaying Shingles
It is common for shingles to rot or decay over time. Also, replace you roof if there are any signs of rot or of a moldy buildup. Moss can also grow on roof surfaces – especially in areas that don’t get much sunlight or on roofs that are in cooler, moist climates. Moss holds in the moisture, and can cause damage to the shingles.
The Shingles Are Showing Damage
Shingles should lie flat against the roof. A roof needs replaced if there is any cracking, cupping, curling, and/or buckling shingles.
Granules Missing from Asphalt Shingles
The purpose of granules on asphalt shingles is to protect the shingles from UV rays, provide fire resistance, and add color to the shingles. Time and weather cause granule loss – beginning with heavy loss to a newer roof as the excess granules are washed or blown away. When the shingles begin to show bald spots, replace your roof. Check the gutters or downspouts for the granules and pieces of shingles.
Signs of Damage to the Roof Valley
The “roof valley” is the spot where two parts of the roof slope down to meet each other. Because snow and rain flow down the valleys to the gutters, they are common areas to show damage.