Is Your Roof Getting Up There in Years? Check For These Signs
The average lifespan of a roof in Southwest Florida can be anywhere from 10 to 50 years depending on what kind of roofing material you have on your home (shingle, tile or metal). While proper care and maintenance can definitely extend your roof’s life by years, they’re not made to last forever. If you aren’t sure whether your roof needs replacing yet, consider these five signs that it’s time to move on.
Leaves, Moss and Debris on Your Roof
If you see leaves, moss or other debris stuck to your roofing shingles, it could be a sign that you need to replace them soon. Leaves and moss have been known to work their way into small cracks in shingles or tile and lay dormant for years. As these small particles of vegetation begin to accumulate and decay, excess moisture can damage the plywood and lining which can result in leaks or mildew growth. If you notice an excess of leaves, moss or other debris on your roof, schedule an inspection with a professional immediately to avoid further damage. As a general rule of thumb, most shingle roofs should be replaced every 10 years or so (with tile and metal roofs lasting 5 to 25 years longer). However, with the Florida sun – combined with wind, hail and rain from summer storms – you may want to consider replacing your roof sooner than later.
Visible Roof Damage
As your home’s roof ages, wear and tear will inevitably show up. If you see any cracking, peeling or curling on your roofing materials, that’s a sign that you need to call a professional right away. Cracking shingles can lead to leaks in your roof as well as serious damage to your property and contents. Bent flashing means that moisture is getting into your roof decking and rafters. It will only get worse over time and could eventually damage other parts of your home.
The pressure of wind pushing against your home can cause asphalt shingles to curl up at their edges. Although it’s not necessarily dangerous, curling up gives rainwater a chance to get under them and enter your home’s structure… not good!
Curled metal edges are another indication that it might be time for a new roof. Metal edges typically curl upward when they get old, so if you notice your metal edges are curled downward, it’s likely because they’ve been damaged by sun exposure or excessive wind. Curled edges also mean there isn’t enough ventilation between your metal edge and asphalt shingle. A lack of ventilation leads to condensation buildup which causes premature aging.
Your Roof is Leaking
If you see any evidence of water damage or leaks on your ceiling, there’s a very good chance that you have a significant issue with your roof and the time for “I’ll get to it” has passed.
If you’re seeing signs of leaks (ex: unexplained wet spots on the floor or furniture, off-colored stains on the ceiling, mildew growth, discoloration around vents, etc.), it’s best to act as soon as possible and schedule an inspection with a reputable roofing contractor. If any part of your roof is showing signs of water damage, it could mean that it’s time for a replacement.
Your Energy Bill Is Unusually High
Are you seeing increasing AC bills month after month? Cool air can escape through broken shingles or loose tiles, so if your energy bills are on-the-rise, it’s a good indication that you may have to replace your roof. The good news is that not only will a new roof help get your AC expenses back under control, but some newer roofing materials have been developed that can actually help make energy costs go down instead of up.
Granule or Nail Loss
Over time, roofing shingles wear down due to extreme weather and UV radiation damage. As a result, the granules will begin to shed or fall off. Over time, this leads to leaks and other damage to your home’s structure.
Missing nails is another easy way to spot trouble on your roof. Asphalt shingles are held down with nails, but as these nails age they can work themselves loose over time. If you see any nails missing from your roof, or you’re finding nails in your yard, pool or driveway, you need to call a professional right away.
If you haven’t noticed any of these signs (particularly leaks or visible roof damage), it’s probably safe to say your roof is still functional. But if you see – or even suspect – a few of the items mentioned above, go ahead and call Roof RX at (239) 789-9218 or (941) 979-5250 to schedule an inspection and get some expert advice on whether it’s time for a new one or not. And remember: when buying a new roof, make sure to work with a local roofing company that knows and understands the unique needs of homes in Southwest Florida.