How can you tell that you need a new roof? Do you know what to look for? Most homeowners know that leaks indicate roof damage, but other signs of a failing roof are not quite so obvious. Don’t wait until the water is pouring out of your ceiling to start paying attention.

Nobody likes paying to replace a roof, but if you ignore the warning signs and your roof fails, you’ll still have to pay for a new roof—plus any subsequent damages.

Let’s look at some of the biggest red flags in a residential roofing system.

How to Tell When You Need a New Roof

Read on to understand when to go for a new roof instead of a roof repair.

1. Your Roof is Old

No residential roof will last forever. Experts say the average lifespan of an asphalt roof is 20-25 years, but there are many factors that determine how long a roof will last, such as ventilation, climate, and preventive maintenance. If your roof is more than 10 years old, we recommend hiring a professional from J&J Roofing to take a closer look.

Our experts can identify and repair little defects before they become bigger issues, and possibly extend the lifespan of your roof. But if your roof is over 20 years old, it might be time to consider a full replacement.

2. There’s Visible Damage.

You don’t always have to climb onto your roof to check for signs of damage (and we recommend you leave that to the professionals, anyway). Homeowners can spot several signs of roof damage without ever getting on a ladder.

On the exterior, look for curling, cracked, or missing shingles, broken or damaged flashing, dark or dirty-looking areas, and particles of shingles in your gutter. Then grab a flashlight and head up to your attic to see if you can spot any sagging areas, daylight coming through the rafters, or dark spots and trails that may indicate water damage. These are all signs your roof could use some TLC.

3. You’re Battling Ice Dams Every Winter.

Ice dams are chunks of ice that form at your roof’s edges (the eaves) and prevent melted snow and water from draining. They are caused by a storm of snow and outside temperatures that are below freezing, combined with roof ventilation issues.

After a heavy snowfall, your roof may be covered in several inches of fresh powder. If your roofing system is functioning properly, the snow will melt once the outside temperature rises above freezing, run into your gutters, and be drained away from your home.

However, if your roof has ventilation issues, heat from your attic will cause snow on your roof to melt, even if the outside temperature remains well below freezing. This melted snow runs off the edge of your roof or into your gutters, where the cold air quickly causes it to refreeze, forming an ice dam.

Then, instead of the water being funneled away from your home, it backs up behind the dam, overflows, and rises under your shingles. Once water starts to soak the inner materials of your roof, it’s only a matter of time before you need a replacement.

4. Double Layering (Nail-Over)

Installing a second layer of roofing material over the first is the worst technique to replace a roof. While this form of roof replacement is less expensive, it is also ineffective and might lead your home to suffer additional damage over time.

Placing a second layer of shingles over bad sheathing can reduce the roof’s lifespan and increase the cost of replacement because two layers of roofing material must be removed.

Again, this situation adds a substantial amount of weight to your property and makes your roof absorb more heat, causing early degradation.

So, if you have a nail-over situation on your roof, know that it’s time to change your roof.

5. Weakened Decking

Decking is the foundation for all other roof layers, such as underlayment, flashing, and shingles. As a result, if your decking is damaged, other portions of your roof are likely to be damaged as well.

When water gets into your roof decking, the wood can bend, decay, and won’t be able to hold the rest of your roof’s weight. This can have serious implications, leaving your entire roof in jeopardy. So, when your decking gets weak, know it’s a matter of time before your roof follows.

6. Moss & Mold Growth

When moisture collects in your attic or between the layers of your roof without a route to escape, it can lead to moss and mold growth. This situation is capable of ruining your roof from the inside out.

Although, not all moss and mold growth requires a total roof replacement. However, for moss and mold growth that has been on your roof for a long time, the chances are that they have caused tremendous damage to your roof and may lead to roof replacement.

Experts in Residential Roofing Services for Over 30 Years

Do you have concerns about your roof? The only way to fully evaluate your roof’s condition is to have it inspected by a trusted professional. Our expert crew at J&J Roofing has provided homeowners superior residential roofing services for over 30 years.

Located in Roseville, Michigan, we offer free estimates, no-obligation inspections, and financing options that can make putting a new roof on your home more affordable. For more information, contact us today at 586-445-6455.