We all wish our roof would last forever, but, unfortunately, it won’t. But how do you know when it is time to replace your roof? We know that replacing a roof can be expensive. And we understand that no one wants to start a roof replacement if they don’t have to. But as your friendly neighborhood roofers, we want to remind you that waiting until the last moment could end up costing you even more.

Many roof problems can lead to more expensive repairs down the road unless they are taken care of immediately. Water can seep in and saturate the attic space, causing damage to the roof decking, rafters, and insulation. If left unattended long enough, it can eventually damage the ceilings in the home. In some cases, if left unrepaired long enough, roofing damage can eventually lead to mold growth inside the home. This chain of events gets more expensive to repair at each step.

Is it Time to Replace Your Roof [infographic]

Missing Shingles

Missing shingles are common on older roofs. Over time, through the ravages of sun, rain, and wind, individual shingles can come loose. While most people understand how wind could knock loose a shingle, the effect of the sun is actually just as critical.

As we all know well, sunlight includes harmful UV rays. That’sThat’s why doctors recommend we wear sunscreen whenever we go outdoors. But UV rays aren’t just harmful to skin cells. UV rays can break down all sorts of materials. Crucially, the asphalt in asphalt shingles is susceptible to UV ray damage. The granules on asphalt shingles provide some protection, but years of sun add up.

In addition to sun, cold weather—and the cycling from hot to cold—can wear down shingles. Asphalt is somewhat flexible at moderate temperatures. But when the temperature drops to freezing and even lower, asphalt can become brittle. Once that has happened, small dings that might otherwise have no effect can knock off bits of the shingle.

Wind Damage

Shingles can also be blown off of newer roofs if the winds are high enough. High winds from hurricanes and tornadoes can blow even brand new shingles off of a roof during a storm. And even without that kind of extreme weather, many common thunderstorms can bring on powerful wind gusts. If a single wind gust is powerful enough, it can take with it a few shingles.

Missing shingles pose a serious threat to your roof and your home. Shingles form the outermost layer of protection for your home. When that layer is penetrated, water can find its way in. From there, the damage only escalates as water seeps first into your underlayment, then into your attic, and ultimately right into your living room.

If a few shingles are missing, your roof can be repaired. Ideally, that’s all you should need to do. But if you have neglected your roof, or if it is reaching twenty years old or more, you may find more than a shingle or two missing. If shingles are missing in multiple areas of your roof, it may be time to replace your roof.

Chimney Flashing and Roof Valleys

Chimney flashing and flashing in valleys are two areas of the roof that will need repair immediately to prevent leaks and damage. The sole function of flashing is to prevent water from penetrating in areas where it tends to gather or where the roof is vulnerable. Neglecting repairs to flashing leaves your roof unprotected in some of the areas where it needs it most.

Flashing issues are usually caused by age. Over time, metal flashing can rust and will need to be replaced. But damage can also be the result of extreme weather. If you live in an area with cold winters, like expansion damage from the freeze and thaw cycle of ice and snow can slowly loosen flashing.

Damaged flashing does not necessarily mean you need a roof replacement. In most cases, it’s possible to replace damaged flashing and leave the roof intact. However, if you ignore damaged flashing, the damage caused can lead to a full roof replacement.

Granules Missing on Shingles

This type of damage is common in older roofing. The asphalt in asphalt shingles is susceptible to damage by UV rays in sunlight. To protect the asphalt, shingles are covered in small granules similar to gravel. The granules are typically made of minerals and mineral fibers. In some cases, manufacturers also mix in some metal granules to help reduce algae growth. But the primary function of the granules is to protect the asphalt below. (The colorful and textured granules also provide a much more appealing visual than flat sheets of asphalt.) When the granules start to wear off, the asphalt is left to degrade in the sun, and before long, the shingles will begin to deteriorate.

In some cases, missing granules are also a problem for newer roofs. One common cause of missing granules on newer roofs is overhanging tree limbs that scrape against the roof. The scraping can rub off granules and leave the asphalt below vulnerable.

A hailstorm can damage a roof of any age. The most common damage after a hailstorm is loose and missing granules. This type of damage needs to be repaired immediately because it results in leaks. If the hail damage covers a wide area of the roof, it may be time to replace your roof. Whether you are doing repairs or a complete replacement after a storm, your insurance may cover much of the cost. Eagle Watch Roofing can help walk you through the insurance process. We are your advocates to make sure you get the best coverage from your insurance company. After all, you paid for that insurance!

When It’s Time to Replace Your Roof

Damage can happen to a roof no matter how old or new it is. Anytime you think your roof may be damaged is a good time to call your Newnan roofers to look at and evaluate your roof. We can make a professional recommendation on replacement or repair and help prevent future water damage to your home. Contact Eagle Watch Roofing today for your free inspection.