A home is only as strong as its roof. Yet due to the fact roofs rarely need to be replaced, it is easy for homeowners to neglect roof inspections. The lifespan of a roof depends heavily on the material used in its construction. The average asphalt shingle roof may last for 20 years, whereas a copper or tile roof can last for up to 50 years.
Nevertheless, bad weather can curtail the average lifespan of any roof. It is important to conduct regular inspections and know what to look for that could indicate a roof repair or roof replacement will be necessary in the near future.
5 Ways To Tell If Your Roof Needs To Be Replaced
Visual inspections are usually enough to determine whether a roof needs to be replaced or not. It is strongly recommended this is not carried out by a novice because some of the signs can be subtle and climbing onto the roof without the appropriate safety equipment can be dangerous.
If you spot any of the following signs on your roof, you should call a professional for a more thorough inspection.
Shingles Are Cracked Or Edges Are Curled
The correct term for cracked shingles is thermal splitting. Shingles tend to crack, or the edges curl, due to excessive exposure to the sun. This is a more common problem in the Sun Belt states. When this happens, the underlayment of the roof becomes exposed. This makes a roof more prone to leaking. If this problem is allowed to continue unaddressed, leaks can cause damage to the rest of the property.
If the problem is contained in a single area, a roofing contractor may be able to replace the shingles, but if the problem is widespread it could require a full roof replacement.
There Are Bald Spots Where Granules Are Missing
Bald spots on the roof mean that granules have been lost. Granules form the main protective barrier against heat and other weather hazards on the roof, so their loss reduces the roof’s overall effectiveness. Unfortunately, insurers do not consider uniform granule loss to be a type of functional damage, so they may not pay for the repairs. It is considered to be a natural aspect of the aging process.
The primary reason why bald spots occur is weathering over time. The bond between the asphalt and the granules naturally deteriorates. Prolonged hailstorms are one of the most common reasons why this occurs. Bald spots cannot be repaired without replacing the shingle. In event of uniform granule loss, a professional must be called to carry out a full roof replacement.
The Roof Is Over 20 Years Old
Roofs have different life expectancies depending on the material used. However, most experts agree the average roof will last for 20-25 years with good upkeep. There is a range of factors that could contribute to a roof needing to be replaced. A professional home exterior contractor will do everything they can to avoid a full roof replacement for as long as possible.
Homeowners with roofs over 20 years old should schedule inspections once before winter and once after winter to check for damage.
There Are Dark Streaks Across The Roof
Dark streaks across the roof indicate algae growth known as Gloeocapsa magma. This blue-green algae will accumulate over time, thus growing darker and forming a hard outer coating. The algae are feeding on the limestone present in shingles.
Over time, this can cause granule loss and premature shingle aging. Roofing contractors can maintain the roof by installing zinc or copper strips along the shingles to prevent further growth. If caught early, the damage can be limited, but it will reduce the lifespan of the roof and, eventually, require a full roof replacement.
Moss & Algae Is Growing
Not all types of growth on the roof are as benign as Gloeocapsa magma. Other types of moss and algae can cause a lot of damage to roof granules and shingles. Moss tends to grow in the areas of the roof that does not get much sunlight. This is a particular problem in the more northerly states of the U.S. While most types of moss and algae are simply a cosmetic problem, freezing temperatures can cause severe damage to the tops of shingles afflicted with this problem.
A professional roofing contractor can brush away moss, but they cannot prevent it from growing back without replacing the roof.
Speak To The Professional Northern VA Home Exterior Contractors
A damaged roof can cause severe damage to the interior of a home, if left unaddressed. You need to be aware of the current condition of your roof before periods of extreme weather. Contacting Adelphia Exteriors will ensure you can limit your costs and protect the rest of your home.
Reach out to the professional Northern Virginia roofing contractors at Adelphia Exteriors for an expert opinion on the current condition of your roof and whether a roof replacement needs to be carried out by calling (703) 386-7357.