How to tell if it’s time to replace your roof


Unfortunately, the roof of your house wasn’t made to last forever. Still, most people think you don’t have to replace it until something actually happens, like a leak (or worse). But this isn’t strictly true. There are a number of warning signs that might signal you need a replacement. Trust us, better safe than sorry here. It’s much less expensive to replace just the roof…instead of the roof and half of your possessions inside. Here’s what you need to watch out for.

It’s Old

Experts agree that most roofs are only meant to last between 20 and 25 years (approximately). “An asphalt shingle roof should last between 20 and 30 years,” says Claude McGavic, executive director of The National Association of Home Inspectors in an interview with Good Housekeeping. “If you have a 40-year-old roof, there could be a problem — even if it looks good from the ground.”

But it’s not just the age that comes into play. Angie’s List also says you should find out if your old roof was removed before the current one was put on and whether or not it’s properly ventilated. “If the roof was installed over another layer or several layers and it is older than 20 years, chances are you need a new roof,” Angie’s List suggests.

The Shingles Are Curling

This is a classic warning sign that something isn’t right. Being exposes to the elements and to constant sunlight can quickly degrade materials, and if the shingles are curling or buckling, this could mean they’re structurally unsound.

“Both are signs of weathering and indicate that problems — potentially leaks — are relatively close to fruition,” Mark Graham, vice president of the National Roofing Contractors Association tells Good Housekeeping.  “Depending on the extent of the curling, it could be anywhere from a year to five years before you need a new roof.”

Angie’s List recommends contacting a licensed roofing contractor for more information about reimbursement and longevity.

You Can See Daylight…

…and we don’t mean from your skylight. If light can get in, even a little, that means rain and snow can too. You can check this one out in one of two ways. The first is just looking up, obviously. But if you have an attic (or somewhere hard to reach), you can go up to the roof itself and walk around. If it feels spongy or bouncy under your feet, it means the decking underneath has been compromised by moisture.

This might be a case of just a small leak, which can be patched, but larger issues (combined with that 20-25 year age limit) might mean it’s time for a total replacement.

Well? Are your roof’s days numbered?


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About the Author
Jessica Suss
Current high-school English teacher, native Chicagoan, and nut butter enthusiast moonlighting as a writer.

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