Is It Time to Replace Your Roof?

Your home’s roof is integral to protecting the structure from moisture and making the building envelope as energy efficient as possible. A roof is a significant investment that homeowners understandably want to maximize, and it is often a challenge to time the roof replacement.

The Age of Your Roof

While timing is important, it does not have to be perfect. There is an industry adage that it is better to replace your roof a year too soon than a day too late. The reason this advice exists is that reroofing in response to damage is always more expensive than what you would save getting another year out of an old roof. Know the expected lifespan of your roofing material, and schedule replacement based on it. If, for instance, you have architectural shingles with a 30-year warranty, then the 25-year mark is about the right time.

Neighbors Are Getting New Roofs

If you live in a neighborhood where all the homes were built in the same period, then you can also use your neighbors as an indication. If a neighborhood reroofing project sets off a chain reaction of roof replacements, it likely indicates that your home is due for a new roof as well.

Rising Energy Costs

A roof plays an integral role in the overall energy efficiency of a home, and an inefficient roofing system can have a dramatic impact on your energy costs during the cooling season. If your air conditioning costs are on the rise and you are not sure why, schedule a professional roof inspection.

Failed Roof Inspection

Most homeowners do not have their roofs inspected often enough. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends a professional inspection twice a year and no less than once a year. You should also consider scheduling an inspection after any severe storm that could have caused damage. After a professional inspector assesses your home, they may recommend maintenance, which you should have completed as soon as possible. They may also advise that the roof is beyond a repair and needs to be replaced. You may want a second opinion depending on the age of the roof, but if the second inspector concurs, you should replace the roof right away. You should also perform cursory examinations of your roof in the attic and from the ground looking for the warning signs discussed in the upcoming sections.

Water Damage in the Attic

If moisture has penetrated your roof, then the attic is often among the first places where indications of that will manifest. Look for any signs of moisture damage, and call a roof inspector even if there are just minor signs of water. A small leak is relatively inexpensive to fix and will only worsen and get more expensive with time. Also, be sure to inspect the attic during the day as any sunlight peeking through the boards is a sign that the roof has been compromised as well.

Damaged Roof Ventilation

Ventilation features are an important aspect of any roof. These are the vents that facilitate airflow and thus allow the roof and attic to remain at an optimal temperature. If ventilation is damaged, the roof will get hotter than is ideal, and the shingles will wear out faster. Ventilation damage can be difficult to spot from the ground, which is why regular inspections are so important, but if you do notice that the ridge of the roof looks misshapen or that a turbine doesn’t look quite right, call a roof inspector right away.


A sagging roof may seem like an obvious problem, but when sagging develops, it is often relatively slight. If there appears to be any depression at all in the roof, this may be the start of the roof sagging, and sagging typically means that there is trapped moisture undermining the boards. If you are unsure if it is a depression, you can get a better view by looking at your roof from across the street.

Missing, Torn, or Otherwise Damaged Shingles

This is the most common roof problem, and just about every roof will lose a shingle or several over the course of its life. If you do notice a shingle that is missing, torn, or otherwise damaged, have it repaired right away. Even a single missing shingle can lead to significant moisture intrusion that develops into a much more serious and expensive problem in a short period.

Shingles That Have Lost Their Granules

Many roofing shingles have granules that serve as a top layer that protects the fiberglass and asphalt underneath. When these granules are lost in high volume, the shingle is now highly prone to water penetration. If just a shingle or two has lost their shingles, those can be replaced, but if it has happened to a large number of shingles, it likely means that you need to replace the roof. Look for the granules not only on the shingles themselves but in the gutters and around the foundation.

Curled or Buckled Shingles

Buckling and curling indicate that the shingle is no longer properly attached to the underlayment and sheathing, and therefore, moisture intrusion is likely. Buckling shingles throughout a roof can indicate a serious problem. The most common place to see shingles curled up is at the edge of the roof, and this happens due to the wind. While this is not as serious, it does need to be fixed as soon as possible because moisture will get up under those shingles and lead to rot or ice dams and continue to erode the roofing system further.

Algae, Fungi, or Moss Growth

The growth of algae, fungi, and moss on your roof will undermine the curb appeal of your home, but it may also be a sign of a serious moisture problem. Algae often looks like dark streaks, and that is more often than not benign despite being unsightly. Still, it is a good idea to schedule an inspection and make sure.

Missing, Damaged, or Rusted Flashing

Flashing is a thin metal that is required in place of shingles wherever there is a joint. This includes valleys, where the roof meets dormer walls, and areas around chimneys and other roof protrusions. Flashing that is damaged or missing can lead to serious water damage, and rust will allow for water intrusion over time.

Damaged Gutters or Fascia Boards

Damaged fascia boards and gutters that are pulling away from the home need to be inspected and repaired in a timely fashion. It may just be the gutter system and fascia boards that need to be repaired, but failing to do so will lead to ice dams and water intrusion.

Local Roof Replacement Experts in Charleston

Charleston Roofs + Windows is a locally owned and operated roofing company that has provided roof replacement services throughout Charleston and the surrounding areas for more than a decade. Our company is fully licensed and insured, and we handle everything from the tear-off to the finishing touches. Homeowners throughout the region also rely on us for roof inspections, roof maintenance, storm repair, window replacement, gutter installation, and gutter repair. Call us today or contact us online if you have any questions about our services or would like to schedule an appointment.

Charleston Roof & Windows Team

company icon