Is Your Roof About to Expire? A Checklist for Identifying Old Roofing

Roof Owner's Checklist | March 16, 2021  | By: joylandroofing


If your roof is getting up there in age, you might be wondering if it’s the right time to invest in a replacement. Getting a new roof will improve your home’s efficiency and curb appeal, but keeping the old one will give you a few more years to save up the money. 

Though the benefits of a new roof are undeniable, it’s only reasonable to want to get the most out of your current investment. That’s why it pays to work with a reputable roofing company that looks out for your best interests. Joyland Roofing will provide an honest inspection with video footage of your roof to help you understand our professional recommendations for roof repair or replacement. We also offer this guide so you can inspect your old roof yourself. 

The Age of Your Roof Is Important

No matter what kind of roof you have, it has an expiration date. It could be a few months, years or decades away. Every roof has a life span, which can give you an idea of when you should replace it in the future. 

Keeping your current roof for too long can cause damage to your building, including leaks and long-term structural problems. Even if you’re within the warrantied life span of your roof, you’ll want to monitor it as it ages. Severe weather, improper maintenance and poor installation can all shorten its life expectancy.

Replacing your roof at the appropriate time will help you avoid costly repairs and ensure that you get the greatest utility from your old roof. Preparing for that investment by performing proactive inspections will help you plan for a new roof both logistically and financially. You’ll have time to schedule an appointment with a reliable roofing company, rather than being limited to companies that can fit you into their schedule. 

Monitoring your roof for signs of age only takes a few moments every year and can save you thousands in the long run. Follow this checklist of common signs that your roof is nearing its expiration date to stay on top of its condition. 



10 Signs You Should Replace Your Roof 

If you know what to look for, you can monitor your roof and recognize the signs of damage or aging. Watch for these 10 signs that you need a new roof: 

1. Your Roof Is Old 

If you’ve owned your building for a long time, chances are you remember the last reroof. Keeping track of the installation date makes it easy to figure out your roof’s estimated expiration.

The exact life span of your roof will vary depending on the material, quality of installation, your local climate and many other variables. Traditional 3-tab asphalt shingles have an average life span of 12-25 years, while wood shakes can last up to four decades. Slate roofing can surpass them all, lasting anywhere from 50 to more than 100 years with proper maintenance. 

If you’ve bought your home or business location since the last reroof, it’s even more important to learn about your roof and monitor it for signs that it needs to be repaired or replaced.

2. Your Shingles Are Damaged

The status of your shingles will impact the appearance and functionality of your roof. Cracked, curled or missing shingles are signs that your roof needs repair. You can also check your gutters for shingle granules that have been washed away. Those granules protect your roof from wear and tear — once they’re gone, the shingles will start to decay at a faster rate. 

Losing too many shingles can lead to costly leaks and water damage. If most of your shingles are looking worn out, it might be time for a complete replacement. 

3. Your Roof Is Uneven 

If you notice any soft spots or sagging, you should have these areas repaired immediately. Catching these issues and fixing them right away can help you avoid a total roof replacement. 

Sagging is often the result of water damage below the shingles. It’s most common at the lowest points of the roof. If you notice patches of pooling water or standing ice, these divots could be taking on even more water every time it rains or snows. The excess moisture can rot the wood frame underneath, weakening the structure that supports your roof. 

If the sagging is too extreme, the damage may be beyond repair and require a replacement. 

4. Your Ceiling Is Damp

Check the top floor of your home for leaks coming through the ceiling. If you notice any brown patches that are wet to the touch, there might be a hole in your roof. A leak can drip gallons of water into your home every time it rains. If you notice any wetness on your ceiling, you should call a professional right away. Even the most minor leaks can cause significant problems if you don’t have them repaired. 

If you notice new leaks appearing regularly, that’s a clear warning sign that you’re likely due for a new roof. 

5. Your Attic Shows Signs of Wear 

Your attic can reveal a lot about the condition of your roof. It’s the first area to be affected when your roof is damaged or worn out. Regularly checking your attic will help you catch problems before it’s too late. If you wait too long, you’ll have to fix your roof and the interior of your home. 

Call a professional if you notice the following signs of wear: 

  • Excess humidity 
  • Stains on the ceiling 
  • Extreme heat or cold
  • Rotten wood or mold 
  • Light coming through the roof

6. Your Roof Collects Large Icicles 

Incredibly long icicles will make your home look like a winter wonderland. However, they can also indicate an ice dam forming on your roof. 

An ice dam can form after there has been a significant snowfall. As the temperatures fluctuate throughout the day, the snow can start melting down your roof and refreeze when it reaches the eaves. As the ice accumulates, it can break off your gutters or cause a buildup of water to run underneath your shingles and into your home. 

Ice dams can lead to major leaks, which cause your roof to wear out prematurely. If you notice large icicles forming on your gutters, be sure to inspect your roof for damage and have it repaired right away. 

7. Your Shingles Are Growing Moss

A patch of moss growing on the roof might give your home a charming storybook aesthetic, but it’s a bad sign for your roofing material. Moss needs moisture to grow, which indicates that your roof is taking on water. As moss spreads across your shingles, it prevents them from ever drying out. 

Over time, moss can cause your old roofing to rot and wear out. You can remove the moss with a stiff brush and a simple bleach and water solution. If you notice more damage underneath, you might want to consider replacing your roof. 

8. The Flashing Has Deteriorated 

Roof flashing is the material that surrounds any openings in your roof for things like vents, chimneys and skylights. In the past, flashing was made from cement or tar, but modern roofers use metal systems. As your roof wears out, the flashing can degrade as well. 

Cracks in the seal can let in moisture and damage the surrounding areas of the roof. If you catch it early, you can replace the flashing and avoid costly damage. Maintaining your flashing will help extend the life of your current roof. 

9. Your Roof Looks Stained 

If your roof looks dirty or discolored in patches, it could be the result of algae. Algae spores can be transferred through the rain or wind and grow on your shingles. It’s common for homes to grow algae in warm and humid climates. You can try removing algae with a water and bleach solution. If the growth returns or leaves behind a dark stain, you might have to replace your roof. Algae issues are less common with metal roofing. 

10. Your Neighbors Are Replacing Their Roof 

Neighborhoods are often built several homes at a time. If your neighbors are replacing their roof, that might be an indication that yours could also use an upgrade. This sign is especially helpful if you’re not sure when your roof was installed. A professional roof inspector can help you determine if you need repairs or a complete replacement. 

Joyland Roofing technicians will repair any damage to protect your home and extend the life of your old roof. Our trustworthy consultants will preserve your existing roof unless a replacement is absolutely necessary. Our priority is always to address your roofing concerns in the way that’s best for you, and you won’t pay a dime until the work is complete and you’re satisfied with the service. 

When Does a Roof Need to Be Replaced?

Now that you know how to tell if your roof is damaged, you can take action to fix the problem. Some issues can be repaired, while others might require a full roof replacement. The best solution will depend on your unique situation. Making the right decision can save you time and money in the long run. You can consider these factors to help you make the call: 

1. The Age of Your Roof 

If you just had your roof installed five years ago, a replacement is likely unnecessary. Minor repairs should resolve the issue so you can continue to enjoy your current roof and get the most return on that investment. 

However, if your roofing material is reaching the end of its life span, it might be worthwhile to have it replaced. You can invest your money in a new roof rather than paying for frequent repairs. 

2. Your Future Plans 

Are you planning on moving anytime soon? If you’ve found your forever home, a roof replacement will enhance its appearance and protect it from leaks for several decades. 

If you’re selling your home, investing in a new roof might seem like a waste. However, some buyers might be reluctant to purchase a home with roof damage. Investing in a new roof could boost your overall selling price on the market, and most sellers who install new roofs recoup up to 57.6% of the costs

3. The Extent of the Repairs 

In many cases, roof repairs are cheaper than a complete replacement. However, if there is extensive damage, a total replacement might be the wiser investment.

A Joyland Roofing inspector will provide a free estimate to help you choose the best option for your home or business. Whether you decide to repair or replace, fixing your roof will protect your building and prevent costly damage to the interior. 

Warning Signs You Need a New Roof 

Residential and commercial roofs are often made from different materials and installed using various techniques. They function differently and can show unique signs of wear. Here are some warning signs that you need a new roof for your home or business: 

1. Warning Signs for Residential Roofing

In addition to inspecting your roof’s surface and underlayment, you’ll want to look at the other components of your home’s roof for any concerning issues. These potential warning signs include:

  • Damaged flashing: The material surrounding the chimney or skylights should be in good condition with no missing pieces.
  • Broken caulk: The caulk should be sealed with no peeling.
  • Clogged gutters: A buildup of granules suggests that your shingles are wearing out.
  • Soft decking: The roof should feel solid and stable everywhere.

2. Warning Signs for Commercial Roofing

Wear and damage on commercial flat roofing will look different. Here are some warning signs to keep an eye out for:

  • Soft spots: The surface should feel sturdy and supportive. 
  • Cracked, curling or peeling tape: The tape should be sealed around corners and seams.
  • Pooling water: The roof should drain properly and dry out completely. 
  • Broken caulk: The caulk should have a tight seal around the seams. 



The Benefits of Maintaining Your Roof 

It’s better to learn about small problems with your roof while they’re still small problems. Maintenance is especially important if you have a flat or low slope roof. Flat roofing systems made of rubber, TPO and other materials require consistent maintenance to stay watertight for their estimated life span. Investing in your roof now will prevent costly repairs in the future. 

With proper inspection and maintenance, you can add years to your roof’s life. You can also prevent problems from spreading to the rest of your building and protect your possessions from possible weather damage.



Schedule a Professional Inspection With Joyland Roofing

If you notice any signs that you should replace your old roof, Joyland Roofing can provide a professional inspection to assess the damage. We offer honest recommendations based on years of professional roofing experience. You’ll be guided through the process step by step with videos and images so you can see for yourself what is needed to maintain your roofing. 

We understand the hassle of getting your roof replaced, so we make the process as fast and easy as possible. Once the inspection is complete, you’ll receive an estimate within 48 hours. Our team will answer any questions and provide updates so you know exactly what to expect. We’ll treat your property as our own and recommend the best solutions for your home or business. 

Homeowners can count on us for high-quality craftsmanship. Instead of trying to rack up unnecessary fees, we focus on solving your roofing issues. Customer satisfaction is our greatest concern, so you won’t pay until the job is complete.

For a free roof inspection and estimate for repairing or replacing your old roof, contact Joyland Roofing today to start the process! 


Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2017 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in November 2021.

    Pennsylvania Home Improvement Contractor License (HIC) # PA124258