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3 Signs Your Asphalt Roof Needs a Replacement

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Is your asphalt roof looking a little worse for wear? It might be time for a roof replacement.

But does every minor roofing issue require a complete replacement? If not, how can you figure out when it’s time for a new roof? If you can relate to any of the following issues, you’re probably due for a roof replacement (or at least a roof inspection):

  • Water spots or wet roof decking in the attic
  • Old age and other signs of decay
  • Missing, curled, cracked, or buckling shingles
  • Water seeping in the walls around the fireplace or in the fireplace
  • Shingle granules on the driveway or in the gutter

In our 30+ years of roofing experience, we’ve helped numerous homeowners figure out whether or not it’s time to replace their asphalt roofs. To help you do the same, we came up with this list of three signs your asphalt roof needs a replacement. Let’s dive in.


1. Roof Leaks

Do you have brown stains on your ceiling? Are you finding puddles in your attic? Unfortunately, you’re probably dealing with a roof leak.

Roof leaks are one of the first signs you may need a replacement. If you think you have a leak, go up to your attic after a heavy rain storm and check for puddles, condensation, and other signs of moisture.

Condensation in an attic

If you live in a colder climate, you need to check your roof for ice dams to avoid leaks. Ice dams form because of the continuous melting and freezing of snow caused by heat escaping from your home. As the snow melts, water runs down the eaves until it reaches the unheated bottom edge or soffit area of your roof. Once this melted water refreezes, it becomes an ice dam.

The water that builds up behind an ice dam can cause leaks in your attic and exterior walls that can eventually make their way into your home. This damage can be avoided by simply making sure your attic is properly insulated

Ice dams forming on the edge of a roof, and weighing down the gutter

If you notice just one leak or a few that are confined to a single area on your roof,  you may not need a complete replacement. However, you shouldn’t hesitate to call a professional roofer for an inspection. Small roof leaks can turn into much larger, more expensive issues if not addressed right away. High-quality contractors tend to offer affordable, if not free, inspections, so make sure to get your leak checked out as soon as possible.


2. Old Age

The average lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof is 15-40 years. As long as your roof has been properly installed and your attic is well ventilated, you should get pretty close to that number.

However, we usually recommend that you invest in a replacement somewhere around the 80-85% mark of the projected lifespan for your roof. For example, you should consider replacing a 25-year old roof around the 20-year mark. 

Replacing your roof before the end of its life is the best way to avoid potential problems that could pop up as your roof ages. One good way to determine if it’s time to replace your roof is to check out the homes around you. If you live in a development and your neighbors are all starting to replace their roofing, that could be a sign you should do the same.


3. Exterior Damage

Even if your roof is still pretty young, you should have it inspected every couple of years to check for signs of damage. For an asphalt shingle roof, exterior damage can look like shingles that are curling, buckling, or missing.

Damaged shingles

When viewed from the ground, missing granules could look like either dark or light patches depending on the shade of your shingles. While some granule loss is part of normal roof wear and tear, excessive loss is cause for concern. Granules protect your asphalt shingle from UV damage, so once they’re gone, your shingles will wear out faster. They also add weight to your shingles, helping to prevent blow-off during heavy winds.

Your shingles will curl as they dry and shrink over time, which can cause them to become brittle. This can make them susceptible to blow-off, especially during strong storms. There is no repair for this other than replacing the affected shingles or, if widespread, replacing the whole roof.


Think You're Ready for a New Roof?

Although we’ve gone over several ways to tell if your asphalt roof needs a replacement, it's really difficult to know what your roof needs until you get an inspection. 

You need to address your roofing concerns as quickly as possible, or else what was originally a small repair can turn into an entire roof replacement. Most certified contractors offer free inspections to help you quickly get to the bottom of your roofing problem. Read this article to learn more about the benefits of working with a certified roofing company.

We know a little something about certified roofing contractors because we are a certified roofing contractor.  If you live in Raleigh or the surrounding areas, fill out the form below to get an inspection, a free estimate, or help determining whether you need a repair or replacement.

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