3 Sure Signs Your Roof Needs to Be Replaced

Your roof is the unsung hero of your home. As the primary shield against the Midwest’s harshest elements, a roof bears the brunt of snow, ice and freezing temperatures in winter. During the spring and summer, it endures blistering heat, rainstorms and high winds.

For most people, their home is their biggest asset—and a strong roof is essential to protect their family and their investment.

“If you put off replacing your roof, you’re risking water penetrating into the home, causing more damage,” says Egan Wilgenbusch, Outside Sales Manager at the Dubuque, Iowa, Spahn & Rose location. “A leaky roof can also lead to mold and mildew damage, which is a whole other additional cost to remediate. Replacing a roof at the first signs of wear can, ultimately, save a homeowner money.”

Recent research from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry found that a new roof provides a 109 percent return—meaning you could, in essence, make a “profit” on your new roof in terms of future costs not incurred.

SR SM Blog Replace roof image“Roofs are so important that if a roof is in poor shape, your insurance company can drop you,” Wilgenbusch says. “Within a year or two of seeing signs [of damage], you should replace your roof. There’s no trick to prolonging the life of a roof.”

Here, Wilgenbusch, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the building-materials industry, shares his top three tips for recognizing when a roof needs to be replaced and how to start the process. To determine whether your roof needs to be replaced, look for:

Signs of granular loss. The telltale sign of granular loss in shingles is small bare spots, which expose shingles’ fiberglass or organic material. Also, there may be shingle granules on the ground beside downspouts or around gutters. In addition to bare spots, roofing nails may be visible.

Curled or cupped shingles. Caused by lack of ventilation, curled or cupped singles are literally baking from the inside out. They’re also a sign that water may be getting into your home. Look in the attic for water damage such as soaked insulation or water marks on beams.

Missing or damaged shingles. After a bad storm, it’s not unusual for a shingle to blow off or lose a tab. Repairing an individual shingle or two isn’t a big job. But if whole sections of the roof have lost shingles, your home is no longer protected from the elements.

When it’s time to replace your roof, Wilgenbusch suggests following these four tips:

Match your budget to your needs. If you’re replacing an existing roof, the most important consideration is how many years you expect to stay in your home. If you plan to sell it in the near future, simple, less-expensive asphalt shingles are a good option, but if you’re in your forever home, it’s definitely worth investing in longer-lasting, more durable materials.

CertainteedS11LBRZCTCT0002ColorLook for certified roofing installers. Roofing manufacturers, such as CertainTeed, offer certification programs, which enable roofing installers to train with the company’s products and learn the optimal way to install their shingles. Certified Roofing Contractors can be found on CertainTeed’s website, https://www.certainteed.com/find-a-pro.

Check references. It’s always a good idea anytime you’re hiring a contractor or roofer: Ask for the contact information of other homeowners who have had a roof installed by that company. Ask questions about the business’s communication style, whether workers cleaned up the job site and if the project was completed on time and within budget. Also, be sure to ask whether the job will be done by roofers employed by the company or subcontracted out.

Look for high-quality shingles. It’s possible to reduce your home-insurance rates if the shingles you choose are rated as impact-resistant, such as CertainTeed’s Northgate ClimateFlex Shingles. Such shingles are heavier and more resistant to hail.