Your roof protects your Rockville, MD home from the natural elements. It minimizes damage from the sun’s UV rays, blocks the ingress of rain and other precipitation, and provides a formidable barrier for pests. It also plays an important hand in creating and maintaining a tight building envelope to reduce energy loss and promote efficiency. While routine maintenance and timely roof repairs can make your roof last longer, this multi-layered structure still has a finite lifespan. The following are 10 signs that it’s time to replace your roof.

1. Advanced Age

With the most common residential roofing material throughout the nation being asphalt shingles, the average lifespan of residential roofs is between 20 and 30 years. Some metal roofs can last seven decades or longer, and slate, wood shake and shingle, and other roofing types could last 50 years or more. No matter what your roof is made of, it’s important to remain abreast of its age and condition over time. As it nears the end of its expected lifespan, many of its protective features will lose their adhesive backing, moisture, and flexibility. With advanced aging, roofs can also develop nail pops or nails that are no longer flush with the building, sagging sections, and other signs of accumulated wear.

2. Curling Shingles

If you have an asphalt shingle roof, you’re all but guaranteed to spot a few missing, bent, or broken shingles throughout the years. These outermost roofing elements are prone to damages caused by heavy, fast-moving objects such as broken tree branches or limbs. Replacing these features or having them replaced will restore your roof’s watertight barrier and prevent problems like wood rot, ceiling leaks, and mold.

However, if your shingles ever start curling and lifting at their edges, your best bet is to schedule roof replacement. You might have curling shingles due to insufficient attic ventilation, faulty installation, or misaligned adhesive strips. Sometimes shingles curl and fail prematurely because homeowners have installed them on top of old shingles. However, the most common causes of curling are age and weather-related wear.

3. Loss of Shingle Granules

Asphalt shingles have a protective, sprayed-on layer of dark, pebble-like granules. When viewed from a distance, these additions enhance the aesthetic appeal of asphalt shingle roofs. However, shingle granules serve two important functions. They limit UV damage to extend the lifespans of shingles, and they direct runoff towards gutters and downspouts. When roofs lose their shingle granules en masse, problems like pooling water and cracking often occur.

When shingles have lost their granules, they’ve also lost their moisture and flexibility. This, too, makes them more likely to crack, bend, or break over time.

4. Separation at Your Roof’s Valleys

Your roof’s valleys are where two sections of roofing intersect. Given that valleys are among the most vulnerable roofing areas, they’re protected by a layer of thin, metal flashing. After your roof reaches the mid-portion of its expected lifespan, you may contend with storm-related damage like ripped, lifted, or curling flashing that leave your roof’s valleys exposed. Flashing repairs can restore watertight protection in these spaces for a time, but as your roof nears the end of its lifespan, the intersecting sections of roofing could pull apart. Separation at your roof’s valleys is not a fixable issue and indicates the need for roof replacement.

5. Areas That Feel Springy and Soft Underfoot

As multi-layer systems, roofs have multiple elements that work together to keep water out. When one layer fails, the materials that lie beneath it sustain water damage. Over time, even minor roof leaks can lead to wood rot at the substrate and the roof’s rough framing. While homeowners are advised against mounting and walking on their own roofs, roofing companies often do so during inspections and repairs to look for sections that feel soft and spongy. If your roof has underlying wood rot, you’ll need a total tear-down and replacement.

6. Recurring Problems With Moisture, Mildew, and Mold at the Building Interior

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), acceptable moisture levels for building interiors are between 30% and 50%. The EPA also asserts that letting indoor humidity rise above 60% creates the ideal conditions for mold. If you’ve been battling ongoing problems with mold and mildew to no avail, finding the source of excess moisture and eliminating it is key. When slow and hidden plumbing leaks have been ruled out, a leaky, failing roof is the most likely cause.

Attic Moisture and Wet Insulation

Attic insulation traps heat in your home in winter and helps minimize solar heat gains in summer. The higher your insulation’s R-value, the greater its insulating effects. Unfortunately, whether rolled or blown in, insulation loses more than half of its insulating abilities when saturated. Moreover, if your attic is humid and filled with mold, it won’t be long before the living areas below it are much the same.

7. Frequent Leaks Around Roof Protrusions

Areas where chimneys, skylights, and exhaust vents are installed are also among the most vulnerable sections of your roof. Like your roof’s valleys, these protrusions are protected by thin, metal flashing. While it may be possible to repair or replace loose, damaged, or missing flashing in some instances, certain moisture issues indicate the need for immediate roof replacement.

Leaks around protrusions can take a toll on protrusions themselves and may undermine the integrity and safety of these features. If your skylights have cloudy or discolored glass and loose seals, the aging roofing elements around them could be the cause. When exhaust vents are impacted by roof problems, especially when roof damage causes sections of these vents to collapse, building residents may suffer from effects due to carbon monoxide (CO) exposure.

8. Exorbitant Home Energy Bills

As your roof gradually loses its protective, insulating abilities, your home energy bills will rise. With wet insulation and high levels of moisture at the topmost portion of your home, your HVAC system will have to work harder to create and maintain the indoor conditions you want. With a new roof, you’ll have a healthier, fresher-smelling living environment and less to pay in heating and cooling costs.

9. Water Damage at the Interior of the Building

A single roof leak that causes wet ceilings, blistered and peeling paint, and flooring damage doesn’t necessarily indicate the need for a new roof. However, multiple roof leaks that affect the building interior might.

There’s also the chance that your roof has slow and hidden leaks in indoor areas that have been problematic for years but have gone unnoticed. These types of leaks are often found in pantries, corners, and closets that are beneath roof valleys or other vulnerable roofing areas. You could open a rarely used closet and find it damp, musty, and mold-ridden at its interior. If so, there’s a good chance that the framing, substrate, and other building materials above it have failed.

10. The Frequent Need for Roof Repairs

You might find yourself paying for roof repairs once or twice each year as your roof advances in age. Different roofing elements often fail at different times such that loose and missing shingles affecting roofs in one season and nail pops or torn flashing cause problems in others. However, even when roofing problems are varied and widespread, it’s still important to consider your cumulative repair costs. If all of your roof repairs entail out-of-pocket spending rather than being paid for by warranties or insurance, you might eventually exceed the costs of replacing your roof outright.

We’re proud to serve Rockville, MD and the surrounding communities. We offer top-notch roof installation, maintenance, inspection, and repair services. We also provide storm damage repairs, new windows and doors, gutter installation, and siding. To learn more about our complete range of capabilities or schedule an appointment for roof replacement, contact New Paradigm Projects now!

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