Posted on: 12 March 2019Share
Your roof is one of the most important features of your home because it protects everything else from the elements. Knowing when it needs to be replaced is key to the continued protection of your home. While the average asphalt roof lasts up to 20 years, it is helpful to know the signs so you can budget for the inevitable.
1. Curling Edges: If you stand on the ground directly below your roofline and look up, the shingles should be flat against your roof. If you notice that the edges of each shingle curl up, either slightly or dramatically, it is a sign that your roof is starting to age. Asphalt shingles are rather malleable when first installed, so they can conform to the exact shape of your roof. As they age, however, they harden. The edges start to curl up and eventually break off, leaving your home unprotected.
2. Missing Shingles: While it is easy to assume that a shingle is missing due to a fierce storm or heavy winter snow load, it is not normal. In fact, the International Building Code requires that shingles be able to withstand wind speeds of at least 110 mph. When shingles end up missing, you need to assume that the roof is nearing the end of its usefulness.
3. Light Entering Attic: With the exception of air vents and windows, an attic should be dark. If you enter the space with the lights off and notice tiny, rays of sunlight getting into the space, you should know that water is entering your attic through those same minuscule holes. As shingles age, they can leave your roof vulnerable to water, which can and will find its way in.
4. Mold: Once water gets in your attic, mold can grow. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency warns that mold can grow in as little as 48 hours if water goes unnoticed. Mold remediation can be extremely costly, much more expensive than a new roof.
And, the one tell-tale sign that no one realizes ...
5. Gravel: When asphalt shingles are manufactured, a protective gravel coating is applied to help protect them, and your home, from the environment. Over time, however, rain, snow, and ice can all take their toll and cause this coating to wear off. The loose gravel then works its way to your home's gutters. If you see gravel gathering in and around your splash guards (the cement troughs below your downspouts), it is a tell-tale sign that your roof is aging and you need to call in the roofing pros.
Who knew something as seemingly insignificant as gravel could be a warning sign about your roof's health?!