No one wants to think about roof repairs, but it’s a crucial part of home maintenance. Ignore a small problem and you may end up replacing the entire roof.

A new roof isn’t cheap. The national average for a new roof is $7,654 to $10,136. But the average roof repair costs around $819.

Be proactive to save money. Keep reading to learn when to replace a roof.

Check Inside and Outside

The first step is to check your roof inside and out. Get a strong flashlight and look around the attic. Next, do a visual inspection on the exterior.

The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends inspecting a roof every six months. Let’s review nine signs it’s time for a new roof.

1. How Old is Your Roof?

A typical roof lasts 20 to 25 years. It depends on the type of roof and installation. Check your records to determine the age of your roof.

Repairs often work on a roof under 25 years-old. If your roof is older than 25, it’s best to replace it. Consult a residential roofing repair professional for advice.

2. Sagging or Droopy Roof

Are there sagging spots on your roof? Check for trapped moisture and rotted beams.

A steady leak can rot a beam or plywood underneath the shingles. If the roof is spongy when you walk on it, look for water damage.

Replace any sagging sections right away to prevent more damage.

3. Daylight Through the Roof Boards

If you notice a bounce when walking on the roof it means the decking is weak. Check from inside the attic to see if any light comes through the roof boards.

If you see daylight through the roof it isn’t watertight. Check for moisture in the insulation, too.

4. Streaks and Stains

Dark streaks or stains on a roof can reveal a leak. Examine the areas for damage.
If the streaks are from algae, clean them off with a mixture of water and bleach. Use a low-pressure hose so you don’t damage the shingle granules.

5. Moss

Moss grows on a roof located in cool, moist shade. It holds moisture on the roof. The trapped moisture can cause damage.

In a freezing climate, the moisture turns to ice and breaks the shingles.

Use a stiff brush to remove moss on the roof. Address any underlying causes for the growth.

6. Check Roof Valleys

If you see missing or damaged shingles in the valleys of your roof it’s a serious sign you need a new roof.

Moisture in the form of snow or rain travels through the valleys to the gutters. If the valley is weak you may get roof leaks.

7. Missing or Cracked Shingles

Check that all shingles are intact. Make sure they lie flat. If shingles curl or buckle it’s a sign you need a new roof.

If the roof isn’t old, but the shingles are curling, buckling or cracking it could mean the roof is defective.

8. Shingle Granules in the Gutters

Granules fall off near the end of the roof’s lifetime. If you find a lot of shingle granules in your gutters it could mean it’s time to replace your roof.

9. Loose or Worn Out Flashing

Pay attention to flashing around the chimney, skylights, and vents on your roof. Check for cracks or breaks.

If the original flashing is cement or tar, replace it with water-tight metal flashing. It’s a more durable long-term solution for sealing the roof.

Know When to Replace a Roof

If you see any warning signs, contact a roofing professional. A licensed contractor can give you a professional opinion on when to replace your roof.