A new roof is an expense that most homeowners would rather not deal with. The national average cost of a professionally installed roof runs about $7,500. This price, of course, varies by the size of the home and its location.

Yet your roof is one of its most important components, helping to protect your family and belongings from the elements. When do you know you can no longer put off replacing your roof? Here are seven signs to look out for.

1. Curled, Cracked, or Missing Shingles

Misshapen or missing shingles is a tell-tale sign that your roof may need to be replaced soon.

As shingles age and weather, they will either curl at the edges (known as cupping) or in the middle (clawing). Cracked shingles usually occur from repeated exposure to high winds.

One good thing about cracked shingles is they can be replaced if they’re isolated to one particular area. But when they’re showing up randomly throughout the roof, all of them will have to be replaced.

You can also get away with replacing missing shingles and patching bare areas of your roof. The only caveat is newer shingles may not completely match the original ones because of their granule colors, which have changed through the years. If the mismatch begins to bother you, opting for a whole new roof will improve the aesthetics of your home.

2. The Granules Are Falling Off

Most homes in North America have asphalt shingles. These shingles are embedded with protective granules, often manufactured to have heat and light repelling qualities which defer the sun from damaging your home.

When granules start falling off, this indicates the shingles are getting old and your roof will need to be replaced soon. Most often you’ll consistently spot shingle granules in your gutters when they’re being cleaned. Missing granules exposes more of the shingles to the sun and the weather, which is going to shorten your roof’s lifespan in a hurry.

3. The Roof is Old

There comes a time when a roof is simply too old to withstand any more exposure to the climate. According to the National Association of Home Builders, an asphalt roof will last about 20 years. This of course, depends upon the home’s location and the weather it’s been exposed to.

Asphalt is on the lower end of roof life expectancy. If your home has a fiber cement or wood shake roof, you can expect about 30 years of wear from it. Homeowners with slate, tile, and copper roofs can go up to 50 years before replacing them.

If your home is located in a  development and you witness neighbors replacing their roofs, you may want to think about having yours done as well.

4. Leaks, Streaks, and Water Damage

Sometimes you don’t need to look at the outside of your home to know your roof needs replacing. Water leaks and dark streaking on the ceilings and walls means at least some of the shingles on your roof are compromised.

In this case you may want to contact a professional roofing company sooner rather than later to inspect your current roof and give you a replacement estimate. Letting water seep into your home through the roof will continue to create internal damage and can lead to mold and rot.

5. Shingles Coated With Algae or Moss

This problem can be more of a superficial one, but over time your roof’s shingles can grow algae or moss. This most often happens in areas that receive a lot of rainfall.

Both can be removed with some basic do-it-yourself tools. You can create a 50-50 mix of water and bleach and spray it onto the affected shingles to “kill” the algae.

One thing you definitely do not want to attempt is power washing the algae off the shingles. The force of the power washer can cause granules to fall right off and expose the shingles to sun and weather damage.

Installing copper or zinc flashing under the row of shingles closed to the roof’s peak will help discourage the algae from returning. Metal molecules will actually wash off in the rain and trickle down the shingles below them, preventing algae growth.

If moss is a problem, you can try removing it using a soft-bristled scrub brush after wetting the shingle down with water first. Try to work gently and avoid scraping or any forceful movements to help keep the granules intact. Again, you also want to avoid using a power washer to remove moss.

If algae and moss are overwhelming and you’re not up to the task of removing them, you may want to consider installing a new roof.

6. Shingles Missing From Roof Valleys

Your roof’s valleys help guide rainfall and melted snow into the gutters where it can safely drain without damaging your home. If the valleys are missing shingles it can lead to leaks inside the home. It’s definitely time to think about replacing your roof.

7. Your Attic Is Showing Sunlight

This sign may be the most obvious and serious one; if you can see daylight streaming into your attic, you should contact a professional roofing company as soon as possible to find out about getting a new roof.

Does Your Home Need a New Roof?

All of the above signs indicate your roof may be nearing the end of its lifespan. The longer you wait to inspect your roof, the more likely damage may occur to framing and living spaces.

Don’t delay if you think you need a new roof. At Aspen Roofing and Exteriors, we’re happy to provide free inspections and estimates to homeowners interested in replacing roofs. If you’re in Denver, Colorado Springs, or Dallas contact us today to learn more!

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