Updated: Mar 9
Asphalt roofs have a limited lifespan. In the Pacific Northwest, we don't typically see hurricane force winds or tornadoes. Most roofing needs comes from general wear and tear over a couple decades. Use this guide to identify signs it may be time to consider a roof replacement.
You Notice Curling, Bending, Cracked, or Missing Shingles
Shingles curl when asphalt on the top layer shrinks from high temperatures of decades worth of sunshine. The result is a brittle shingle prone to cracking, warping, and even ripping right off the roof. A roof that gets to this point is likely 5+ years past due for a replacement.
Your Flashing Around Valleys, Chimneys, Windows, Etc. Appears Damaged
Flashing plays a key role for preventing water from leaking into all areas of your roof. These can include skylights, chimneys, roof to wall areas, eves, and rake edges. Leaving the flashing damaged makes your home vulnerable to a leak and should be repaired immediately.
You Find Water Stains on Your Ceilings or Attic Floor
Stains in the attic are most commonly from a leak, but not always from pure shingle failure. Stains can also appear when the ice dams occur and ice builds back up the roofline and melts into the home. Condensation can also build up from improperly connected shower fans creating bigger issues such as organic growth which can spread throughout the house. Whatever the cause is, it should be addressed immediately to prevent further damages from happening.
Moss, Mold, or Algae Grow on Your Shingles
Asphalt shingles attracts organic organisms. Most spores blown in from surrounding trees, even other roofs, land on your shingles and grow once they find enough moisture. Notice most moss grows on the shaded North side of the roof as the South side usually gets to hot for moss to live. The plant acids from the moss can slowly degrade the shingle and break the seal between the layers. Moss can also attract molds and bacteria further speeding up the shingles decay. These organisms on your roof can significantly reduce your roofs lifespan if not treated before growth spreads.
There are Signs of Sagging on the Roof
Sagging on your roof is most commonly caused by poor attic ventilation. When moisture hits the underside of your roof, the sheathing swells and shrinks through the seasons often ending up with what looks like waves in your roof. Another cause for this could be small leaks from poor workmanship or shingle decay via exposed fasteners that allow water to hit the decking below. At this point, you’ll want to address this immediately before interior signs of damage start to show.
You Get Recurrent Ice Dams Every Winter
Recurring ice dams can also caused from poor ventilation. When warm air in the attic can’t escape, it heats up the snow over the house, melting it to refreeze at the eves below. As it refreezes on the eves, the ice climbs up the roof, lifting shingles and melting when it hits the warm space over the roof and potentially leaking inside your home. With good ventilation, the warm air is expelled from the attic reducing the chances of ice dams. In designated cold zones, make sure your roofing company installs ice & water shield at the eves and proper ventilation to stop these preventable mistakes.
Making the Best Decision for Your Home
Many of the reasons your roof isn’t lasting as long as you hoped can be traced back to poor attic ventilation. When replacing your roof, be sure to design the new one with ventilation as the top priority. Good ventilation will keep your shingles together longer, lower the load on your HVAC system, and prevent unnecessary moisture and damages from occurring over time.
It’s a good idea to do a visual inspection of your roof multiple times a year. A professional roofer will explain the issues during a top to bottom, inside and out inspection.
When it is time to replace your roof, your top priority is to find a quality roofing company you can trust. Reputable roofers will guarantee their work with proper installation to make sure the roof get its maximum lifespan as well as ensure manufacturer warranties are in place. Quality companies offer workmanship guarantees to make sure your new roof is built to last.
If you suspect your roof might be getting close, you can reply on the experts at Flow Roofing to give you a quality inspection, our best recommendations, and leave you with a beautiful warrantied roof that will last you for years to come. We make the entire process as easy for you as possible, this is called Going with the Flow. Contact us today to get started!