Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson go camping. In the dead of the night, Sherlock wakes up Dr. Watson with the question: “Watson, what can you deduce from the stars that you see?” After a few moments of deep thought, Dr. Watson articulately responds, “I see an infinite space dotted with stars and planets, an expansive…”. At this point, Sherlock interjects him – “Watson, my friend, somebody stole our tent.” This is a very well known joke, but it does not have to be a joke on you. There are various signs that you can look out for to make sure you don’t wake up gazing at the stars. 

The roof of your house ages with time. Replacing a roof, however, is an expensive and arduous affair, one of the reasons why people tend to put it off. If not replaced at the right time, a damaged roof could have a cascading effect and lead to other problems, including a lighter wallet. It may even lead to structural damage. It is best to nip the problem in the bud. Read on to find out how you can know if your roof needs to be replaced.

Visual Signs

Numerous visual signs help you identify if your roof is going to give up on you. Some of these are quite apparent, while you may have to pay a little extra attention to spot the others. One easy way to inspect your roof easily from the outside is to visually run over it from the street. Misplaced or missing shingles, discoloration, and worn-out areas can be an early indication of damage.

Formation of Moss

While the presence of moss on the roof might make your house look rustic, it may also be because your roof is rusty. Moss generally grows in areas not exposed to sufficient sunlight and tends to absorb moisture. The same goes for algae. This can damage your roof. While the appearance of moss is not a foolproof indication of the need of replacing your roof, it is important to have your roof checked for damages. You may, at the very least, want to get your roof professionally cleaned and inspected to prevent potential problems and identify existing ones. 

Condition of the Shingles

The shingles of your roof are a good indication of its age and health. Curved, cracked, buckled or bent shingles are usually an indication of a damaged roof. If you are lucky, and there are only a few damaged or missing shingles, you may be able to get away, for the time being, with just replacing those with new ones. But if there are a significant number of shingles that appear damaged, it would be wise to invest in a new roof. Damaged shingles can get blown away by heavy winds, exposing your house to the elements. Another approach to check for damaged shingles is to check the roof gutters. Although for a new roof, the presence of debris in the roof gutters is expected and quite normal, if your roof is a few years old, it could indicate damaged shingles or roof tar.

Sunlight in the Attic

While sunlight in the attic will help kill germs, it definitely is not a good sign. Gaps in the roof will let water, snow, and moisture into the attic, leading to further damage. These gaps may be very small and difficult to identify. So, keep an eye out for any signs of wetness in the attic after a rainy day. This may not mean that an immediate replacement of the roof is essential, and you could get away with small repairs. But, it indicates aging and poor health of the roof.

Water Damage

Any sign of water seepage or damage is a wake-up call. Leaks, damps spots, peeling plaster, and rotting tiles are all signs of water damage. These can often occur where the chimney meets the roof. The experts at suggest urgency in dealing with water damage and roof leaks and advise that the best way to deal with roof leak repair is to resolve it immediately. Unattended roof leaks could potentially lead to significantly higher expenses and even health issues.

Sagging Roof Deck

A sagging roof deck should set the alarm bells ringing as it can be a sign of structural damage and weakness. This usually occurs due to water damage, and at this point, you should consider getting your roof repaired.

Age of the Roof

The lifespan of a roof depends on the material of the roof and could be anything between 15 to 40 years. Some roofs come with a warranty period. Knowing when the roof was last replaced could give you a general indication of what to expect. If you feel that your roof is way past its prime, it is important to get it inspected to avoid any nasty surprises.

Energy Bills

Your roof, when in good shape, acts as an insulator and keeps the heat or the cold out. If your energy bills are higher than average, it generally indicates poor insulation and ventilation, especially in your attic and roof. The higher energy bills are due to the extra load on your air conditioning and heating system to compensate for the poor insulation of your roof.

New Roofs in the Neighborhood

The roof of your house experiences the same weather conditions as your neighbor’s house. If your neighbors are getting theirs replaced, there is a high likelihood that your roof needs replacement as well. If you move into a new neighborhood, it is advisable to speak to your neighbors regarding the same.


A stitch in time saves nine. Delaying your roof repair and replacement only means increased expenditure down the road. Watching out for these signs can help you prevent unnecessary troubles and plan in advance. A large number of companies offer free roof inspection services. If you notice any of these signs, it is advisable to, at the very least, get your roof inspected by a professional.

Comments are closed.