9 signs your roof needs to be replaced

Anywhere in the world, any roof is subject to wear and aging. But in Wisconsin, severe storms in summer, heavy snow with sub-zero temps in winter, and everything in between can speed up this process.

Since you’re reading this, you might be worried about the condition of your roof. Keeping an eye out for tell-tale signs of damage is key to understanding the health of your roof and whether it needs a second life.

Let’s examine nine signs that suggest it may be time for a roof replacement.

Exterior warning signs of roof damage

Maintaining your home’s roof involves paying attention to visible exterior signs that may indicate the need for a replacement. Here are a handful of signs to watch for:

  1. Missing or damaged shingles: If you notice areas where shingles are completely gone or visibly cracked, blistered, curled, or buckled, it’s time to consider a replacement. These issues leave your roof vulnerable to leaks and further damage. For a metal roof, rust or corrosion are signs its best days are behind it.
  2. Excessive granule loss: Check your gutters and downspouts for granules. If they’re piling up, this could mean your shingles are deteriorating and shedding their protective layer.
  3. Vegetation growth on the roof: The presence of vegetation, like moss or algae, can cause significant damage over time. These plants retain moisture, which compromises the shingles and underlying structure of your roof.
  4. Loose or damaged flashing: Flashings are used to seal joints and prevent water from seeping into vulnerable areas of your roof, like around chimneys, vents, or skylights. A bad flashing can lead to leaks and water damage, so it’s crucial to have it repaired or replaced.
  5. Discoloration: Over time, exposure to the elements causes the roof to fade or develop dark spots, indicating the protective layer has worn off, leaving it more vulnerable to Wisconsin’s elements.

Quickly addressing these exterior warning signs will prevent further damage to your home and save you from expensive repairs down the line. If you notice any of these signs, find a professional roofing contractor (not a storm chaser!) who can assess the condition of your roof.

Interior warning signs of roof damage

You can learn about the condition of your roof from the inside, too. Here are three interior warning signs to look out for:

  1. Light coming through the attic: If you notice sunlight coming through your attic, it’s a clear indication your roof is vulnerable. This could be due to missing or damaged shingles, leaks, or holes.
  2. Water stains on ceilings or walls: A leaky roof will often result in ugly water stains. If you notice brown or yellowish stains on your ceilings or walls, it’s time to investigate.
  3. Mold or mildew growth: Mold and mildew grow in moist environments, making your attic a perfect breeding ground. A moisture problem will reveal itself via visible patches or a musty smell, possibly because your roof is leaking. Mold and mildew not only compromise the structural integrity of your home but also the health of you and your family.

Major warning sign of roof damage

The final warning sign should be easy to spot on the exterior or interior of your roof.

  1. Sagging or drooping: This is a serious sign of structural damage, possibly caused by the weight of accumulated moisture (like heavy, wet snow), compromised roof decking, or poor attic support.

Now you have a checklist of things to look for when evaluating your roof’s condition. Remember, a proper, thorough roof inspection should always be done by a professional. Know your limits, and only self-inspect if it’s safe to do so.

Reach out to a local Rural Mutual agent to make sure your home is protected through the extremes of Wisconsin’s four seasons.