Replacing a roof is a big investment, but learning to recognize the warning signs of trouble can help homeowners avoid costly roof repairs. If replacing an old, worn out roof is delayed, there could be severe structural damage to the home down the road, too. Having a large leak or hole is an obvious red flag that roof replacement is imminent, but there are subtler changes that can signal problems lurking beneath. Homeowners are advised to keep an eye out for the following clues and call upon a qualified Fort Worth roofing specialist when they appear.
Homeowners who find several shingles missing from their roof may start considering a replacement. Roofs usually age evenly, so missing shingles signal that the roof's protection value is decreasing. Since shingles are built to resist wind and other elements, it's likely that the tar sealant underneath has failed. When shingles are missing, the roof structure becomes vulnerable to water seepage that can cause rot or mold growth. Often, missing shingles can cause a domino effect with other surrounding shingles, which makes replacement necessary.
Shingles reaching the end of their lifespan will typically begin to curl, split or crack. It's important that homeowners check their roof's shingles with a quick scan to detect these aging warning signs. Looking for granule loss from the shingles is also recommended.
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Using binoculars, homeowners should search for black spots or clumps of granules in their gutters that signal the roof has lost its weatherproofing defenses. Pay close attention to shingles on the western and southern sides of the roof where ultraviolet rays from the sun are harshest.
Another crucial red flag signaling a roof may need to be replaced is the development of black streaks or stripes discoloring the surface. Black lines can be a serious warning sign that there's mold or algae thriving on the roof. Roofs will typically dry out after a rainstorm within 48 hours, so black spots remaining after this time period are a problem. Stagnant water creates the perfect breeding ground for potentially harmful fungi. Roofs that are falling victim to fungi growth will deteriorate and may let water leak inside.
Last but certainly not least, the final warning sign for roof replacement is overall age. Depending on the materials used, roofing can last anywhere from 15 to 50 years. Once the roof has turned 20, it should be watched closely with full inspections every spring and fall by a reputable roofing company. Remember, it's best to replace a roof before it's too worn out so that a hasty decision won't be needed to maintain structural integrity.