14 Signs Your Property Needs A Roof Replacement

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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A roof replacement is an essential aspect of homeownership, so it’s crucial to know the signs of a roof that should be replaced. Keep in mind that damaged shingles or old roofs are more prone to leaks, which may leave you with interior damage, mold, and an expensive repair bill. However, no matter how you provide proper care and maintenance to keep your roof in top shape, you may still need a roof replacement in the long run.

If you’re wondering how often you should replace your roof, it may depend on some factors like the type of material it’s made from. For example, roofs made from copper, tile, and slate don’t need to be replaced for several decades unless they’re badly damaged. Since roofs are exposed to harsh weather elements, they’re always subject to damage and may require you to hire the best Smith Roofing contractors for quality roof replacement.

If you can’t decide on whether or not to replace your roof, below are the different signs you should watch out for:

1. Roof Leaks

One of the obvious signs that your roof is on its way out is roof leaks. You need to see your attic regularly, especially after a rainfall. Check if there are signs of water intrusion since serious leaks in your house are more likely to originate in the attic.

Checking your roof’s outer part for ice dams is also important. Ice dams often form when the snow melts and runs down to the eaves and freezes again. As the water continues to run down the roof and more ice dams are formed, it may start to run under your shingles and make its way into your house.

If the leaks are in a particular area of your roof, you might not require a total roof replacement. However, never hesitate to call for roofing experts to inspect your roof. Putting off roof repairs may cause the problem to be more serious and may need more expensive and extensive repairs. With the help of professionals, you won’t only save on roof replacement, but you can also avail of roof inspections. This will let you evaluate whether or not you need a replacement.

2. Exposed Nails

Once you notice exposed nails in your roof’s base, it’s time to inspect the area thoroughly. It may signify cracks in your roofing system, which can be due to leaks. If the damage is severe, you’re likely going to require a quality roof replacement.

To get satisfactory results from replacing your roof, it’s wise to call for roofing contractors in your area. If possible, never consider it as one of your do-it-yourself (DIY) projects since a roof should be replaced and installed properly.

3. Curling Of Shingles

When your roof shingles reach beyond their life expectancy, they’ll buckle and curl because of excessive water absorption. If your roof shingles are losing granules, it means they’re way past their life expectancy and must be replaced. Losing granules may also mean the roof is defective and requires immediate attention.

4. Signs Of Water Damage

This is one of most serious emergency roof repairs homeowner can face. A perfect place to look for signs of water damage is your attic. Water leaks and dark streaks in your attic often mean your roof has problems that should be addressed immediately. You may hear dripping water or notice discoloration. Such are signs that the water is damaging your property.

Water damage can be expensive to fix and may typically result in mold and mildew. If you notice signs of water damage, it’s best to know where it’s coming from and consult roofing experts to help you fix or replace your roof.

5. Daylight Through The Roof

Another sign that your property needs a roof replacement is when you can see daylight through your roof boards. Ensure that you do the repairs immediately and check whether there’s any kind of moisture in the insulation. Moisture may also cause more damage to your walls and insulation, which can be an electrical hazard. Therefore, if you notice this sign, opt for roof replacement as quickly as possible and get help from roofing contractors.

6. Loose Roof Tiles

During your regular roof maintenance schedule, check if there are loose tiles. By simply checking their condition and stepping on them, you can assess whether repairs are necessary. If you spot more loose roof tiles, you might want to consider roof replacement. A weak roof with loose tiles may result in more damages to your property. So, make sure to act quickly and contact your preferred roofing contractors.

7. Sagging Ceiling

Even if a sagging ceiling may not appear as a major problem at first, it may result in roof leaks, which can cause moisture in your ceiling. A sagging ceiling can be touched by a broomstick or a hand. If it feels soggy or soft, it’s most likely due to excess moisture from roof leaks.

When you notice a sagging ceiling, you should never ignore it and get the attention of professionals at the earliest date possible. With the help of professionals, you’ll know the overall condition of your roof and resolve your sagging ceiling properly.

8. Damaged Flashing

Generally, the material placed around the roof vents or chimneys is called flashing. It’s also designed to prevent water movement in your roof by keeping the water away from the seams where there’s greater water runoff. It’s made up of some thin pieces of impenetrable materials like galvanized steel and aluminum.

Your roof’s flashing may be damaged due to the caulking material’s deterioration or drying out because of oxidation and weather. Another problem is loose flashing, which may cause the water to seep and leak inside your house. This can cause extensive damage such as rotted wood and mold growth, which can deteriorate your roofing structure. When it happens, you’ll need to replace your roof.

9. Growth Of Moss, Mold, Algae, And Mildew

Once you discover mildew or mold growing on your ceiling or walls, it can be a sign of leaky roofs, condensation problems, or simple plumbing issues. Before you decide to repair or replace your roof, ensure that your insulation is dry. You should also make sure that your plumbing lines aren’t leaking and your property is well-ventilated.

Below are some of the types of growth that may occur on your roof and their consequences:


Often found on wet surfaces, mildew is known for its powdery appearance, which may range from black to light grey. If you or your loved ones are exposed to it for an extended period, it can be harmful to your health.

Typically, mildew grows in warm and damp environments and spreads on roofs with inadequate drainage. Unlike other harmful growths, mildew spreads faster.


Known for its fuzzy texture and forest-green color, most people consider moss to be an attractive feature on the roof. However, depending on the design scheme of your home as well as your surroundings, it can be detrimental. As moss spreads, it brings a lot of moisture, which may set into the roof shingles and cause rot.


Unlike algae or moss, which are considered natural flora and harmless, mold is a problem that may cause health concerns and may affect your home’s aesthetic value. Mold is easy to identify because of its slimy and ugly appearance. It also has an unusual smell and may develop on surfaces that may absorb water like drywall and wood.


This green and black organism may eat away your roof shingles and cause rotting. This is due to the moisture deposits, which enable spores to spread into algae. Commonly found in the gutters, algae may grow on roofs in damp and humid climates. So, if you’re living in rainy regions, your roof may likely suffer from algae growth. When you notice this kind of growth, make sure to hire experts to help you and keep your gutters clean and free of any debris.

If there’s one thing they have in common, it’s the fact that they all happen in damp environments. In rainy areas, roofs with inadequate drainage are susceptible to them. For this reason, ensure that you replace your roof that’s made from top-notch quality materials.

10. Old Age Of Your Roof

The majority of roofs may last for up to 20 years. If your roof is already beyond that, it’s time to call the most reliable roofing contractors for roof replacement estimates. Although you can overlay your existing roof shingles, there are instances when replacing your roof completely is a better solution.

Overlaying happens when the new layer of roof shingles is installed over the old ones. It can be more affordable than roof replacement and may give your property a new look. However, it’s wiser to start fresh and replace your roof instead. With roof replacement, you won’t only boost the value of your property, but it’ll also help you catch any issues lurking underneath your shingles.

11. Rotting Underlay

More often than not, roofs rely on the underlay to keep the water out. If there’s a tear in the underlay, you may need to patch it. But if there’s an existing tear somewhere on your roof, it can be a spot where water may seep through.

If you look at the outside of your roof, you won’t be able to notice a roofing issue. Small leaks in the roof may go undetected, which can make things riskier. It’s because such leaks may grow bigger, and you’ll only notice them when the water starts to seep through the underlay.

If your roof’s underlay is rotting and worn out, you’ll need an immediate roof replacement service. Rotted underlay may weaken your roof’s foundation, which may result in collapse. With this in mind, you need to replace your current roof as it can be impossible to fix only the underlay of your roof.

12. Your Roof Sustained Hail Or Wind Damage

Strong winds may rip off your roof shingles. If you notice that some of your shingles are missing after a storm or strong winds, they must be replaced immediately to avoid further damage. Without your roof shingles, your roof’s exposed areas can be damaged and may be prone to leaks.

Minor dents in your roof shingles due to hailstones may cause leaks in the long run. The shingles will deteriorate faster and may lose granules after being dented. If the damage is minor, you can consider repairing a leaky roof. However, if your roof damage is beyond repairable, a roof replacement is the best solution.

13. Poor Energy Efficiency

If you notice that your heating bills continue to increase, it might be a sign that your roof doesn’t function well. Even if you improve the insulation of your windows and doors to lessen your energy bills, the roof can be the culprit. A poorly insulated roof enables air to come in and go out quickly, which may result in excessive energy bills, particularly during the winter season.

14. Falling Mortar

A mortar is primarily used for bedding roof junctions, including verges and ridges. As a homeowner, it’s crucial to check your mortars often as such materials have a short lifespan. It’ll also help you watch out for the early signs of degeneration caused by extreme weather changes. These verges and ridges are highly susceptible to cracking because of frost and building movement. Over time, they may fall off or dislodged due to strong winds.

Falling mortars can be a problem for old roofs where mortars were used as bedding for the tiles. If they start to break down or fall off, then it’s a sign that your roof needs to be replaced immediately. Take note that mortars are best replaced instead of repairing them.

15. Pesky Pests!

Pests and vermin can cause damage throughout your home, and your roof is certainly no exception. So if built up debris on your roof has attracted pests like mice, cockroaches and squirrels, you want to take care of this as soon as you can.

If these pests create holes in your roof, you could be dealing with a pretty big roofing repair. And they could also enter your home via the attic and cause even more problems for you moving forward.

Keeping debris off your roof can keep this from even becoming an issue. But if the damage has already been done, call a professional roofer out to have a look before it gets any worse.

Bottom Line

In terms of roof replacement, it’s always best to take action when you notice an issue. The longer you take your roof issues for granted, the bigger your problem and expense to fix your roof.

Since the roof is an essential part of your home’s structural integrity, taking care of it to ensure that it’s in good condition can keep your family dry and safe. So, call the best roofing contractors for your roof replacement needs to help you choose the right roof for your home.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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