Evaluating Your Roof

You know it’s not going to last forever, but how do you know when it’s time to have your roof replaced? The average lifespan of a roof is 20 years. A quick roof assessment you do yourself or a more detailed roof evaluation by a roofing contractor will give you an idea whether or not it needs replacing now or later.

Factors that might help age the roof of your home faster are:

  • lots of sun – roofs on southern exposures tend to experience more wear and tear
  • climatic conditions (wind, hail, pollution)
  • effects of microclimate (lots of trees growing around the house; east side is exposed to more downdraft)
  • size and configuration – shallow pitches weather faster; multiple valleys can attract birds and animals

When determining the condition of your roof, look for:

  • overall appearance – the roof should not sag, appear “tired,” or be faded
  • loose or missing roof tiles
  • roofing shingles that are cracked, curled at the edges, or shrinking
  • rusted or loose nails
  • more pronounced gaps between the roofing tiles
  • leakage – stained roofing tiles, moss growth, etc. can be indicators that the roof is being compromised by moisture
  • exposed roofing felt or damaged membrane

Every roof wears differently and areas of an individual roof typically age at different rates. However, there are specific signs you can look for. A preliminary roof evaluation can be done from the ground with a pair of binoculars. If you want to get up close and personal, make sure you use the ladder safely and plan on inspecting the roof when it’s dry.