1. If it looks like it’s time for a new roof
A simple eye test can help you determine if it’s time for a new roof. Take a look at your roof. If it is worn down, buckling, curling, blistering, cracked, or chipped in many places, it’s time for a new roof. If your roof is overgrown with moss or algae, it may be time for a new roof, depending on the extent of the damage. A little wear and tear on your roof is normal, but a lot of damage is not normal and requires replacement. A lot of damage to your roof means it’s time for a new one.
If your roof only has a few problem areas and it’s a relatively new roof, it may not require a complete new roof installation. It may just require some repairs. A roofing contractor can help determine what the problems in your current roof are and determine how to fix them. Most offer free estimates, so don’t hesitate to ask. You could also use a general contractor, but they may not have direct experience with roofing and their experience may lie elsewhere.
2. If the roof is leaking, even slightly
If you are feeling drops of water on your head when you’re walking around your house, that definitely means it’s time for a new roof. Even if you aren’t feeling or seeing drops of water around your house, you should take a look at the inside of your roof for water stains on the ceiling or attic. Your roof could be leaking and you may not even know it! If you see water stains inside your roof, attic, or ceiling, you definitely should replace your roof. Another sign of water leaking into your roof is if the paint in your ceiling or attic is blistered or peeling.
Take a look at the top of your roof. If there are gaps in your roof but no leaking, those gaps will likely start leaking water at some point and they will need to be repaired. These are all signs you need a new roof, and fast before your home suffers water damage.
3. If the roof wasn’t properly installed the first time
If you hired a roofing contractor that did not get the job done right the first time around, it may be a good idea to hire another roofing contractor to re-do it. This way, the previous errors with the roof will be corrected and you can rest easy. Be wary when hiring a general contractor or a remodeling contractor to do this type of work, as they may not have the experience necessary to complete the roofing job. But, if you are planning multiple renovation projects at the same time, it may make sense to hire a general contractor or a remodeling contractor.
When preparing to hire a roofing contractor, or any remodeling contractor, do your research, look at online reviews, and ask people what roofing contractors they’ve used in the past. The process is long and grueling, but at least at the end of it you’ll have a new roof that is installed properly.
4. If your roof is over 20 years old
A roof that was installed over 20 years ago needs to be replaced. A typical Asphalt Shingle roof can last from 20-25 years and roof shingles laid on top of an existing roof can last 20 years. Beyond the 25-year mark, your roof will need to be replaced. Roofs wear down over time from exposure to the elements and it’s best to replace the roof now before it completely caves in. If you are unsure when the roof was last replaced, look at your home improvement records or your home sale documents. You should also find out if the previous homeowner installed a new roof or just put shingles over the old one.
5. If repairs outweigh the cost of replacement
If your roof needs a dozen repairs, it’s more worth it to replace the roof altogether. A few cracked shingles or overgrown moss just requires some repairs and cleaning. But, a significantly chipped or damaged roof requires replacement. Spending money to repair the roof, rather than replace it, may be fruitless if the roof is over 50% damaged. If your roof is really cracked and damaged in many places, install a new roof. You’ll be glad you did.
A new roof installation may seem like a frustrating, expensive, and long process. But, when the installation is complete, you can rest easy knowing you have an awesome new roof that will last you for years to come.