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We talk about “having a roof over our heads”. But what happens when the roof over our heads is no good as a roof anymore?

Usually, homeowners decide to change their roof once they find a leak… but by that time the damage can be extensive, and sometimes a roof needs to be replaced even though it’s not leaking.

Here are some of the major signs that your roof needs replacement.

1. Shingles are missing

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Once shingles start peeling and falling off your roof, it’s time to get it replaced. Damaged shingles usually come off after strong winds or a storm, so make sure to have a look whenever that happens.

2. Your roof is 20-25 years old

No matter its current condition, the useful lifetime of a roof is about 20 to 25 years old. By then, you will start to see problems, such as the ones mentioned in this post. Other things that influence the lifetime of a roof include ventilation and if the current roof was installed from scratch or over the old shingles.

3. You catch shingle granules in the gutter

Some granule falloff is typical, especially after hard rains, but when you start finding more and more granules in your gutter, it’s a sign to have an expert look at your roof. It might be time to replace it.

Worn shingles with eroded granules usually appear darker than the surrounding roof.

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4. Shingles are curling

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Another visual sign related to shingles: once they start curling and buckling, it’s time to plan a roof change. Curling and buckling shingles may lead to water infiltrating your roof, and mold and rot attacking the structure.

5. Energy bills are increasing

When a roof is damaged, it doesn’t retain heat (or cool air, in the summer) as well as it used to. Your heater/air conditioner has to work harder to maintain the same temperature, which uses more electricity.

An increasing power bill can be a sign that the roof needs changing. While you’re at it, you should also have a look at your windows!

6. Algae is growing on your roof

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No, it’s not a sign of “good old age” when green algae is growing on your roof. Algae spores are transported by the wind and take hold wherever they can. And they grow fast, damaging the surface they’re growing on.

If you see algae on your roof, it’s a sure sign that it’s time to change it. It won’t take long before the algae does worse damage and reaches the interior of your roof structure.

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7. Your ceiling is leaking

That is the most obvious sign of a failing roof, but also one of the last. By the time there’s a leak in your ceiling, the damage is probably extensive and you might need to have a look at the roof structure as well.

8. There is sunlight through the roof

Once in a while, visit your attic during a sunny day and look for sunlight. If light makes it through your roof, it means that the underlayment is damaged. Daylight through the boards might look quaint, but it’s actually a sign that your roof needs to be replaced.

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9. The paint is peeling

If you have painted shingles or boards, the paint peeling is one of the signs that the roof is aging. Although only small repairs may be required at this point, once the paint starts peeling, keep an eye out for more extensive damage.

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Anabelle Bernard Fournier

Anabelle is a freelance writer, writing teacher and blogger. She spends a lot of time at home, so she likes to make sure that it's cozy and nice, especially in her reading nook. In her free time, Anabelle knits, walks and learns how to write stories.