Skip to main content

«  View All Posts

Roof Replacement

When Should I Get a New Roof?

May 1st, 2024 | 7 min. read

When Should I Get a New Roof?

Print/Save as PDF

Is your roof leaking? Are you wondering if this means you’ll need a full roof replacement? 

Just because a roof is leaking doesn’t mean it needs to be replaced. However, it could also signal that it’s time for a new roof. 

So, how are you supposed to know? It all comes down to recognizing the different signs. 

For over 30 years, Bill Ragan Roofing has provided transparent roofing advice to homeowners just like you. Because of this, I want to help you determine if you need a new roof. 

In this article, you’ll learn when you should get a new roof and the signs that it’s time for one. 

When should you get a new roof?

As long as it is properly installed and your attic is adequately ventilated, you should get a new roof when your current one has reached the end of its life. However, there are plenty of cases when a roof needs to be replaced earlier than expected, like storm damage or premature roof failure

architectural asphalt shingle roof that needs to be replaced(Example of a roof that needs to be replaced)

No matter the reason, you need to know how to determine if it’s time for a new roof. Let’s look at the main signs you need a roof replacement.

Continuous roof leaks

You don’t need a new roof just because your roof has common leaks like nail pops or a cracked pipe boot. However, continuous leaks are a sign that your roof is improperly installed or has reached its maximum lifespan.

Now, there are situations where a leak is hard to find and repair. So, it’s possible that it’s the same problem that wasn’t fixed the first time.

But continuous leaks in multiple areas are a sign of a bigger issue that won’t go away until you get a new roof. Just keep in mind that you won’t know if you need repairs or a full replacement until after a roof inspection

That’s why I recommend getting multiple opinions to determine what service you actually need. The last thing you want is to be sold a roof when a repair will do the trick.

Cracking or curling shingles

One of the best ways to determine whether you need a new roof is to examine the condition of your shingles. If you see curling and/or cracked shingles, it’s a clear sign that your roof has reached the end of its lifespan.

examples of old shingles that are cracking and curling

Once your shingles reach this point, there’s nothing left to do but get a new roof. Unfortunately, you can’t spot this sign without getting on a ladder or fully on the roof.

I definitely recommend against walking on your roof and getting on a ladder if you don’t have experience or feel 100% confident. There’s no point risking your safety, so it’s better to let the professionals do it.

Granular loss

Granules are pieces of asphalt embedded in shingles for fire resistance, color, and UV ray protection. They are crucial to the longevity of an asphalt roof, and losing them is a huge sign that it’s time for a new roof.

While it’s natural to lose some from general wear and tear, extreme granular loss means the shingles have reached the end of their effectiveness. You can spot this sign by looking at your shingles, in the gutters, and on the ground. 

extreme granule loss on asphalt shingles

If it’s bad enough, you’ll see bald spots and discoloration on the shingles. This can be hard to spot with an untrained eye, so that’s why you look in your gutters or on the ground around downspouts for loose granules. 

loose granules in a gutter and on the ground

I also recommend checking splash blocks if your downspouts are in grassy areas. Just know that hail damage also causes granule loss, so you may have an insurance claim if you find loose granules after a big storm.

Vegetation growth on shingles 

If you see greenery or other vegetation on the shingles, it’s a sign that you need to start considering a new roof. While it may not be an immediate need, moss and other vegetation growth usually signals that a roof is on the older side. 

moss growth and algae streaks on asphalt shingles

Algae streaks also form on a 10 to 15-year-old roof, but seeing them doesn’t necessarily mean you need a new roof. This is more of an aesthetic issue that forms on shingles as they age. 

However, some homeowners don’t like to see these black streaks when pulling into their driveway. You can clean algae off your roof, but it’s crucial not to pressure wash it. 

This will cause significant damage to your shingles, which is why I recommend hiring a professional roof cleaning company that knows how to soft wash.

Dented or missing shingles

While most of the signs we’ve covered have been for an aging roof, you may need a new roof if a storm damages it. Wind damage is easy to spot if there are missing shingles or whole sections are torn off the roof.

wind damage and fallen tree damage to asphalt shingles

In extreme cases, tree or tree limbs can fall on or through your roof. Hail damage, on the other hand, is a little tougher to spot with an untrained eye. 

hail damage to asphalt shingles and roof vents(Hail damage to shingles and roof vents)

If your roof has hail damage, you’ll see dents (around 1” in diameter) on the shingles and soft metals (roof vents, flashing, etc.). But as I said earlier, don’t risk your safety if you’re not 100% confident on a ladder or roof.

Instead, look for collateral damage on the following things around your property:

collateral hail damage on screen door, downspout, and wooden shudder

  • Dents on gutters and downspouts above 5’
  • Dents or strikes on your garage door
  • Holes in your window screens 
  • Dings to any painted wood or shutters 
  • Splatter marks or dings to your electric meter, AC unit, or grill 
  • Dents to your mailbox and other soft metals on your property

There’s a good chance you’ll get a new roof if it gets damaged after a storm. Luckily, homeowners insurance covers most or all of the cost if you have a viable claim. 

What do you need to consider before getting a new roof?

Now you know the signs to help you determine if it’s time for a new roof. Remember, you won’t actually know until you get an inspection. 

However, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll need a replacement if your roof shows any of the signs we've covered. Now, you may think you’re ready to reach out to a roofer and start the process. 

But before doing that, there are some things you need to consider. Getting a new roof is an expensive project, and the last thing I want is you going in blind. 

That’s why I wrote another article breaking down the things every homeowner should consider before replacing their roof. 

Since 1990, Bill Ragan Roofing has provided the residents of Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas with high-quality roof replacements backed by a lifetime warranty. If you’re local to Nashville, Tennessee, Request a Quote for a free roof inspection from one of our experts today.

Check out the 7 Things to Consider Before a Roof Replacement to get the information you need before a roofer sets foot on your property.

New call-to-action

Table Of Contents

Related Articles