When you pay attention, you’ll notice that your roof gives off warning signs when it’s time for a repair or replacement. The key is being able to catch the subtle indications that’s somethings wrong. When you do this, you’ll be able to repair minor damages and problems before they turn into large-scale or dangerous issues. If you’re not sure what to look for, that’s okay. Here are 9 common warning signs that it’s time to repair or replace your roof. 

1. Attic Exposure

The first way to check the health of your roof is to get in the attic and look from the inside out. Your attic should be completely sealed with no light seeping through. If you notice any light sources, it could indicate that your roof’s structural integrity is shifting. Indication of a problem is solidified if you find signs of stains or streaks, which indicates water leaks. 

While you’re in the attic, make a note of the temperature. Your attic should hold a comparable temperature to the outside environment. If there are drastic differences, the ventilation is likely inadequate or damaged, which can lead to problems during winter months. Without the proper attic ventilation, you’re more at risk for ice dams. Ice dams and the accumulation of excess snow on your roof can lead to leaks, structural support damage, and dangerous conditions on the ground. 

Attics are often overlooked and instead, used for storage or simply forgotten. This makes it difficult for homeowners to know what to look for. If you’re unable to determine the health of your attic, contact a roofing professional like First Star Exteriors for a fast, dependable roofing inspection. 

2. Ongoing Weather Damage

Bouts of severe weather are bound to happen wherever you live. Unfortunately, if you’re in an area that constantly experiences extreme weather, you may need to repair or replace your roof more frequently. Snow, hail, heavy winds, and hard rain can age your roof and damage individual elements. To offset premature roof replacement, make sure that you schedule regular roofing maintenance and get a roofing inspection following a particularly disastrous storm. There are plenty of roofing problems that can be easily fixed but when left ignored, cause more serious damages. 

3. Damaged Flashing

Flashing is a crucial element to the functionality of your roof. It’s a thin piece of steel that helps to direct water away from critical or sensitive areas of your roof, such as the chimney, vents, or skylights. Flashing is also used when the roof plane meets a vertical surface to help reinforce the area and reduce water damage. If you have damaged flashing, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible to avoid costly damages down the road. 

In addition to making sure that your flashing is in good condition, check the other fixtures or have a roofing professional examine them. Your roofing system requires that all the moving parts are in good condition so they can work together to prevent further damages. Make sure that vents and pipes are clear, your chimney is working well, and the drainage system is adequate and drawing water out and away from your home. Water that accumulates near the foundation can lead to shifts and deterioration. 

4. Aged Appearance

If your roof looks bad or is causing your curb appeal to suffer, you may want to consider repairing or replacing it. While the natural passage of time will inevitably lead to deterioration in appearance, extenuating circumstances can exasperate this. This is especially true when mold, mildew, or algae goes unchecked and homeowners don’t undergo roofing inspections following heavy storms. While an aged appearance doesn’t necessarily mean that your roof’s functionality is at risk, it can greatly diminish the value of your property. If you’re looking to sell your home, investing in roofing repair or even a roof replacement can help you raise your property value and expedite the selling process as a whole. 

5. Problems With Shingles

Shingles are one of the most easily damaged aspects on any roof. If you notice any problems with your shingles, getting them repaired as soon as possible is the best way to avoid further problems. If you see any curled or buckled shingles, this can be an indication of excessive attic moisture or water damage. Shingles can be fixed on an individual basis, but if they’re getting damaged from an underlying cause, it needs to be addressed as well. Otherwise, the damage will permeate to the newly installed shingles. 

After a heavy storm, check your roof for any signs of missing or damaged shingles. In strong winds, shingles can be blown off. They become more prone to loosening and disconnecting as they age or are exposed to damage. If the shingles appear to be missing granules, it means that your home’s slowly becoming more susceptible to water damage. The granules are one of your roof’s best waterproofing defenses. Check your gutters or downspout to see if there are granules present and if so, you may need to replace your roof. 

6. Signs of Roof Rot

Roof rot occurs when there are high levels of humidity in the attic, moisture or condensation, and problems with the ventilation. While you might not be able to physically see the damage, roof rot can cause problems with the structural integrity of your home and when the underlying problem is not addressed, the damage can spread. When caught early, roof rot can be repaired and treated without having to replace the entire structure. If you notice any signs of roof rot, call your professional roofing company as soon as possible to mitigate the damage. 

7. Mold Growth or Excess Algae

Signs of mold, algae, or fungi can be an indication that your roof is trapping moisture and is lacking adequate ventilation. While sometimes algae or plant growth can give off an attractive aesthetic quality, it needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Severe cases of growth can cause the moisture to extend into the structural support. If this happens, you’ll need to replace the entire roofing structure. Mold, moss, and algae growth can occur on both new and old roofs, and it needs to be taken care of immediately, regardless of when you had your last roofing maintenance, repair, or replacement. Certain strains of mold and mildew can also lead to dangerous health complications for you and your family.   

8. The Passage of Time

If you haven’t gotten a new roof since you’ve purchased your home, it’s probably time to consider doing so. The average roof lasts about 20 to 25 years when installed properly. If your roof was installed poorly, this timeline shortens drastically. Every type of roofing material has a different longevity, so discuss timelines with your roofing contractor. If you’re unsure how old your roof is, schedule a professional inspection to determine its health.  

9. A Sagging Appearance

A roof that appears to sag along any point can be an indication that there are problems with the structural support. Sagging roofs also point to a bad roof installation job. If you think your roof may be sagging, call the professionals. Over time, this problem will impair your roof’s ability to function and can lead to costly repairs down the road. To avoid saggy roofs, always make sure that you work with an experienced roofing company with the proper certifications.  

The best way to avoid having to undergo costly repairs or roof replacements is to make sure that your roof is installed properly by professionals with experience and undergo regular roofing maintenance. Proactivity pays off, especially since many roofing problems start small and grow when left unaddressed. If you notice any of these warning signs or think that you may need a roof repair or roof replacement, contact the roofing professionals at First Star Exteriors. Our team of professionals have the experience you want and need when repairing roofing problems and installing new roofs. We’re here to help you keep your roof looking and performing its best for years to come. At First Star Exteriors, we believe there’s a perfect balance between hands-on, personable treatment, quality of work, and speed of delivery. We always take the time to understand your needs and communicate effectively from the first quote to the last nail being placed. To learn more about our roofing options or to get a quote from us today within 48 hours, contact us at (479) 267-4800 or fill out our contact form here