Have you looked at your roof lately? And I mean really looked? If your roof is at least 20 years old and starting to look its age, it might be time to consider replacing it, even if it’s originally rated as a 40-year roof. And if you are considering installing solar on your roof, you’ll want to make sure your current roof is up to the task!

Here are a few important things to check for to see if your roof should be replaced or not:

When to replace your roof

Shingles curling and lifting

Condition of shingles

How do your shingles look? Shingles should lay flat on the roof in a nice, tight pattern, with plenty of little granules covering them. If they are starting to curl up at the edges, cracking, or balding, water may be able to start wiggling its way in compromised areas.

Also, check to see if any shingles are missing, especially around areas with flashing (the metal around vents or chimneys). Shingles can be replaced here and there, although the color may not be able to be matched exactly with the color of existing shingles, which can end up giving your roof the appearance of a patchwork quilt. Keep an eye on the rest of the shingles as they can start coming off in greater numbers during storms.

Leaks

Sometimes you can just make a few repairs to your roof to keep it going a little longer, but if you seem to be patching leaks constantly, there can be more damage than you may think. Once water starts creeping into your home, it seems to find all the best spots to sneak into. That can mean in between walls, which could end up eroding sheet rock and creating mold or even dry rot. If water is getting inside your house, you may begin seeing stains on the ceiling or on the walls. Perpetual leaks are a sure sign that the roof is getting tired and is unable to keep out the elements despite repairs.

Sagging

If your roof is sagging, that’s a bad thing and you’ll need to get on it, pronto. Sagging means that there are some serious structural issues that need to be addressed by a professional as soon as possible. Your roof is probably not going to cave in on you suddenly (unless you’ve let this go on for years), but the sooner it gets taken care of, the better.

When to replace your roof

Moss and algae can grow on shaded shingles

Moss and algae growing

Having a green roof sounds like a cool idea but not when it’s literally green from moss and algae growing on it! Although it’s mostly a cosmetic thing that can be eliminated with a little bit of diluted bleach, having moss or algae growing in certain shaded spots could be a sign that there is too much concentrated, constant moisture.

Look at your neighborhood

Have your neighbors begun replacing their roofs? Since homes in a tract are built at the same time, they’re going to start wearing at roughly the same time. If you see your neighbors start having issues with their roofs and replacing them, it’s a good idea to talk to them and find out why they’re replacing their roof. This will give you a few hints as to what you should expect for your roof performance.

As with most things, it’s wise to consult with a professional licensed roofer if you notice any signs that your roof needs some TLC. A strong roof can see you through many years of weathering storms and keeping your home cozy and comfortable. And adding solar will only enhance your home! So make sure your roof is maintained and able to continue keeping your home secure for many more years.