More than any other state, Florida homes tend to take a beating. From the scorching summer sun to severe afternoon thunderstorms to annual hurricanes, our roofing systems are always under siege.
In other words, you might hope that the roof you’ve put over your head will stay there forever—but that’s definitely not the case in our subtropical climate!
Like everything else in your home, your roof will wear down over time, even if you’ve done all you can to extend its lifespan. If you’re not sure when it’s time to call in a pro to replace your roof, here are a few key signs to watch out for.
1. There’s Visible Damage to Your Shingles or Tiles
Whether you’ve chosen tiles or shingles, these materials have the crucial job of protecting your entire roofing system, attic, and home. As a result, any loose, damaged, or worn down shingles and tiles can affect the durability and longevity of that system.
One of the easiest ways to check for shingle or tile damage is a quick visual inspection. Head outside on a sunny day to look for any irregularities across the entire slope of your roof.
Ideally, all of your shingles should lie in a flat, straight line. While missing shingles or tiles are easy to spot, you’ll also want to look out for more subtle signs of damage. In full sunlight, irregularities in the shadows of your roof may be a sign that your shingles have started to curl or warp, or that your tiles have cracked or degraded.
You should also be on the lookout for discoloration across part of your roof, especially with shingles. This can be a sign that their protective granule coating has begun to wear down in places, or it can be a sign of plant growth, which is a problem we’ll address below.
In addition to a visual inspection, your seasonal gutter cleanings should be a reminder to check your roof and to repair any damage near your gutters. If you notice a large number of shingle granules, bits of cracked tiles, or other debris among the leaves you’re removing, it may be a sign that your roof is reaching the end of its lifespan.
2. You Have Moss or Algae Growing on Your Roof
Plant growth may not seem like anything but a cosmetic issue when it comes to your roof, especially because moss and algae weigh so little. However, these plants can wreak havoc on your roofing system if left unchecked!
A layer of moss, mold, algae, or fungi may appear as a green, brown, or even black streak. It will also insulate and trap moisture within your roof. This, in turn, can lead to an array of frustrating issues from sagging to leaks.
If you’ve noticed a small new patch of moss or algae, it may not be a major concern: you can often address early growth on your own with store-bought remover and some safety equipment. If you don’t feel comfortable stepping onto the roof yourself, an expert can tackle the job without the need for a full roof replacement.
However, it’s important to note that even small patches can sometimes be a sign of moisture issues that warrant a roof repair, at least. Also, it’s not always easy to prevent unwanted plant life from growing back. If you’re dealing with stubborn plant growth, or if you’ve noticed extensive patches across your home, it may be time to get a new roof.
3. There’s Evidence of Leaks or Water Damage
Leaks and water damage are among the most obvious signs that a roof replacement is in your future.
A leak can happen anywhere in your roofing system, but they’re more likely to occur at seams where two different materials meet. The areas around the flashing, vents, and chimneys are the most common culprits.
Even if you haven’t seen water dripping down from your ceiling, there may be other evidence to look out for. Common signs include water stains on your ceiling, dripping water on the walls, recurring mold growth in your home, and missing flashing, tiles, or shingles.
You can also check your attic during the daytime to check for small pinpricks of sunlight—or full sunbeams—in the dark. If you spot any, it’s a sign that water can get into your roof as well. Don’t forget to grab a flashlight and check for water damage along the floors of the attic and the underside of your roof.
4. Your Neighbors Are Getting New Roofs
Sometimes, one of the best signs that it’s time to replace a roof is that your neighbors are leading the charge.
Because homes within the same subdivision are often built around the same time and with similar materials, each component of those homes will tend to have similar lifespans. This holds true with roofing systems, so if you notice that many of your neighbors have started upgrading their roofs, it’s time to think about doing the same!
If you have a newer home than your neighbors, if you’re not sure when your home was built in relation to the others, or if you’re wondering whether you really need a replacement, a simple roof inspection can help. The National Roofing Contractors Association advises homeowners to do a roof inspection at least twice a year anyway—once in the spring and once in the fall—so it’s a good excuse to see where your roof stands on your neighborhood’s timeline.
Call the RoofRX Team to Replace Your Roof
While regular cleaning and maintenance can do a lot to extend the lifespan of your roof, every roofing system will eventually fail. Doing a visual inspection of your roof and attic can be a great way to check for obvious issues, but only a professional can tell you when it’s time to repair or replace your roof.
That’s where we come in. As the trusted roof replacement company throughout Southwest Florida, we have the knowledge and experience to handle any issues your roof can throw at us. To learn how we can help, get in touch today.