Roof Repair 101 How To Tell A New Roof Is Needed

Roof Repair 101, How to Tell a New Roof is Needed

Don’t “Think” A New Roof Is Needed, Know.


Waiting too long to address roof repairs can be one of the costliest mistakes a homeowner can make.


Seeing daylight from the attic of your home is a telltale sign roof repairs are needed

Protect your home, your loved ones and your investment, recognize when your roof needs repair.

According to Erie Insurance, it’s an error that nearly a quarter of all homemakers commit. A recent company survey found 23 percent of homeowners wait to have their roofs inspected until there’s already a problem. Another 27 percent of those surveyed were operating under the false pretense that their insurance would cover damage from time and natural wear and tear.


“Our survey really highlights the need to educate consumers about the importance of regularly inspecting and maintaining their roofs,” says Joe Vahey, vice president and product manager, Erie Insurance said in a statement. “Otherwise they could face thousands of dollars in unexpected repair expenses which, unfortunately according to our survey, many homeowners aren’t ready for.”


At the same time respondents said they were good to very good at dealing with maintenance issues on their homes, with 62 percent of those surveyed grading themselves at A or B level. But when replacing a roof, which insurance may not cover, costing upward of $20,000, homeowners could benefit from a more honest assessment of their maintenance record.


Awareness is Key, Know Your Home’s Overhead Cover and Observe It


Routine roof inspections can save you from a major cost.

Regular inspections will help you find issues and determine the condition.Luckily there’s a plethora of telltale signs a roof is in need of repair. In fact just knowing the maintenance history of your roof goes a long way. The good news is you don’t have to be an expert on roofing  to catch a problem.


“Perform routine inspections. You don’t have to know a lot about roofing,”  Helene Hardy Pierce, director of contractor services, GAF Materials Corp. told Building Magazine.  “Things like ponding water, a piece of slipped base flashing, pitch pockets that haven’t been filled – those should be obvious whether you know a lot about roofing or not.”


 A good rule of thumb, especially for an existing asphalt shingle roof, is consider a new roof roughly every 20 years. But if you’ve been putting shingles on top of shingles after about 20 years you almost certainly need a new roof.


 Beyond Measures of Time There Are Very Visible Signs a New Roof May be Needed


The most obvious symptom peeling or buckling shingles.


  Another very obvious sign that it maybe time for a new roof is simply missing shingles. That’s doubly true if the shingles are missing in the valleys that lead to your home’s gutters. Homeowners should also check their gutters for granules in the gutters, which according to Angie’s List, come loose at the end of a roof’s lifespan.


 Algae and moss streaks can also be serious signs of trouble. More than just looking unsightly these growths can do serious damage to a roof.  According to, “left untreated, the clumpy greenery can cause virtually any roofing material to degrade—most commonly wood and asphalt, but also metal, clay, and concrete—and thus drastically shorten its lifespan.”


 Another obvious sign a home’s roof is at the end of its lifespan is if you can see the light, literally. If you can see sunlight from your attic, according to Good Housekeeping, its time to reach out to a professional. “Small leaks can be patched, but larger ones, structural damage, and the age factor might make it wise (and cost efficient) to replace your roof sooner rather than later,” according to the magazine.
This Post Has 34 Comments
  1. Thanks for explaining how it is important to inspect your roof periodically, and not just when you notice a problem. This is something that I am definitely guilty of. I didn’t think to have my roof inspected until I noticed a bunch of shingles scattered around my yard. It happens pretty much every time we get a windy day, and now I think my carport is starting to leak a little. If I had inspected my roof at all this season, I might have noticed it was time for repairs. Hopefully, I haven’t waited too long and the roof can still be repaired rather than replaced.

    1. Our pleasure! Thanks for reading. Tell us about Palmer Roofing in Walla Walla. We here at Charm City are a long ways away from Walla Walla, but are glad to get in contact with other roofers.

  2. I’m glad you said that you should consider getting a new roof every 20 years. My husband and I moved into an older home, and we have been wondering if we needed to replace the roof. Good to know that if it is over 20 years old that we should. Thank you for the information!

  3. Thanks for pointing out that the rule of thumb for existing asphalt shingle roof is getting a new one every 20 years. My home is about 20 years old, so it might be time to look at my roof and see what kind of condition it is in. For inspecting my roof, I think I will contact roof repair services for the job.

  4. I didn’t know that waiting too long to address roof repairs can be one of the costliest mistakes a homeowner can make. Our roof has a lot of leaks and holes because of the hurricane. My dad suggested having roof repairs and shared this article with us. It says that another obvious sign a home’s roof is at the end of its lifespan is if you can see the light, literally.

  5. I really like that you mentioned that routine roof inspections can help you recognize and assess the need for repairs. My wife and I just moved a home that’s about 30 years old, and I don’t believe the roof has been replaced. It’s in good condition, so I’d like to keep it for as long as it will last!

    1. Hey Oscar, I see you’re linked to Moriarty Roofing in Colorado. Tell us a little bit about the business. Glad to hear your roof is in good condition even though it’s 30 years old!

  6. My roof is missing shingles ever since the recent storm. It makes sense that I would want to get a professional to repair my roof for me! That way I don’t have to worry about any water getting in where the shingles are missing.

    1. Hey Braden, you definitely want to get a professional. Luckily for you, I see that you are associated with A Better Way Roofing and Construction. That’s very convenient! I’m sure they can hook you up and replace some of those missing shingles – if you can’t already do so yourself. Tell us about what you do and if you actually have roofing knowledge, please feel free to share. Your input is appreciated.

    1. Hey Joe, you are more than welcome! We appreciate your engagement in our post. We’d appreciate your input as well. Tell us more about Springfield Roofing Service. I’m sure you have some great knowledge to share with us and everyone else.

  7. It’s awesome that this article talked about how algae and moss streaks can be serious signs of trouble on a roof. My husband and I noticed some moss on our roof this past year and have been wondering what that meant for us. What you said about how clumpy greenery can cause virtually any material to degrade was very interesting to me.

    1. Hey Khorae, thanks for your reply. I’m glad our post was of interest to you. I see that you’re with American Icon Home Improvements. Do you not do roofing work? It seems like your website has a roofing page. Hopefully the guys at American Icon know how to resolve moss issues for you. If they don’t just let me know and we can tell you all you need to know about the impact of moss on a roof.

  8. I do like how you warned us about the most common mistake every roof owner does which is to be neglectful of taking care of their roof’s problems. That is something I will be sure to avoid which is why I will find the best roofing contractor to inspect ours regularly. The roofing contractor should provide me with the peace of mind that my roof will be lasting for a long time. Thanks!

    1. Elsa, I see you’re linked to Amick Roofing. Do you not work there? We don’t mind if other roofing contractors comment on our blogs.

  9. I am faced with so much uncertainty deciding whether or not I’m in need of a roof replacement. Some pros say I could get one while some say I might need one. I think I really need a roof inspector. Please tell how to get in contact with one.

    1. I see your linked to Roofing Ventures in Joplin, MO. There’s no need to sneak around in the shadows. Join the conversation and contribute. I’m sure we could all benefit from additional insight.

  10. Very interesting article! Thank you for that rule of thumb tip, at least now I have the idea that 20 years is the maximum life span for a roof to considered good and other things to consider in roof inspection. Good job!

    1. Hey Charlotte Pro! Thanks for the comment. Often when people wait too long it’s simply due to poor vigilance. There are definitely instances of flat out neglect, but most of the time it’s just the homeowner not making time for routine roof checks – or knowing routine checks should be done in the first place. And they are easy to do! You don’t even have to get on the roof. Simply check your attic for leaks in the roof decking. Doing so on a bi-annual or yearly basis is usually adequate.

  11. I like the suggestions. Sometimes the time is just not right or may just need a repair. I can appreciate you showing some insight into when is the right time to get your roof replaced.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Josh. You’re right. Sometimes the time just isn’t right and sometimes a simple repair will suffice.

  12. My wife and I noticed that some of our shingles have started to fall off these last few years, so it might be time we get an inspection. I like your point about how routine inspection and maintenance can go a long way. We don’t want to have to replace the entire thing because of neglect, so we might need to do this soon.

    1. Northwest Roof Restoration, all the way from Boise, Idaho! We’re glad you enjoyed the blog. Tell us a little bit about your roofing business. Love the url, btw. It’s nice and concise.

  13. I think I might need to have my roof repaired. It makes sense that knowing whether or not I do would be important! I’ll be sure to get a professional to take a look at my roof for me to see what they think.

    1. Absolutely! There’s nothing worse than waiting too long to solve a problem. It’s always best to be vigilante, especially when it concerns such a large investment. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  14. We have a metal roof on our barn, and we’ve been having some leaks, so repairs could be good. I like that you talked about how asphalt roofs should be redone every 20 years, but I was wondering if you know much about metal roofing. I think that our barn roof is probably pretty close to that age, but I don’t know if simple repairs would be our best option or if we should plan on a full replacement!

  15. My wife and I noticed that our roof shingles have been curling lately, so thanks for sharing this. I had no idea that it was recommended to replace your roof every 20 years. We’ll have to see when our roof was last replaced to see if we should do that soon.

  16. I noticed that my roof is looking pretty shoddy. It makes sense that I would want to get a professional to help me out with it! That seems like a good way to ensure that it’s taken care of properly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *