When to replace your roof?

Extreme weather conditions, a variable climate or wear over time can lead to your roof being damaged and require replacing. Here are the signs to watch out for.
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Horizon 8

Knowing your Roof

Understanding your roof conditions ensures lasting performance.

As the first line of defence against the elements, your roof can be exposed to some rough conditions and plays a vital role in protecting you and your belongings. Yet despite its importance, it can be easy to overlook when considering home renovations. Your attention may understandably be drawn to the internal finish of your home, and all the ways you can make it warm and inviting, or to more obvious external elements such as windows, doors and facades. However, as the crowning glory of your home, your roof deserves just as much careful consideration and ensuring it is in top condition will help create and protect a safe, comfortable environment that lasts.


There are many things to be aware of regarding your roof’s condition. Obvious damage to shingles and tiles need to be watched out for, and it is also important that fittings around pipes and angles are tight, and that all the elements hidden below the roof covering are performing as needed.


With so much to consider, how do you know when your roof needs replacing? There are some typical signs to look out for, but we also recommend getting a professional assessment to guarantee a full and clear picture of the condition of your roof.

Signs that your roof needs to be replaced

Key questions to help establish whether you need a new roof

1. How old is the roof?
Depending on its material and the kind of weather it is exposed to, a roof can last anywhere from 20 to over 60 years. A good rule of thumb is to have your roof’s condition assessed by a professional around 30 years after installation. Unless it has been poorly installed or exposed to very extreme weather conditions, roof tiles and shingles should still be in good condition at this point. An assessment will confirm the state of all aspects of the roof – including those hidden by the covering. It is especially important to check the roofing from the inside for moisture penetration.


2. Can you see light through the roof from inside?
If you can see light coming into your roof space, this is a sure sign of a roof that needs repairing or replacing. After all, if daylight can penetrate your roof, other things can too. A few cracks in your roof can also lead to leaks or vermin entering your home.


Visible light means your roof may be suffering from cracks or missing shingles or tiles. It also indicates that the ceiling (the layer under the primary roof covering) is also damaged and needs replacing.


3. Do you have moisture damage or leaks inside?
If you see hints of moisture damage or leaks in your roof space or upper floors – or, in the worst case, rot and moisture that has been present for a while – the roof is often the culprit. Moisture ingress may be caused by missing or damaged shingles or tiles, blocked gutters or faulty installation. Such problems can sometimes lead to further, more significant issues (such as mould, mildew and water damage) and should be rectified as soon as possible. This is especially important as having mould inside your home is harmful to your respiratory system and could cause health issues for you and your family.


What many people may not know is that moisture damage due to lack of roof maintenance is not covered by insurance. For this reason, it is advisable to check the roof for damage every once in awhile, removing leaves and dirt from the gutters and replacing or repairing any missing or damaged coverings. 


4. Is your roof drooping or sagging?
If your roof simply needs more stability in your loft or attic, a professional can install extra rafters or struts. However, if the issue is that your roof is too heavy for your home, it should be replaced using a lighter material. Likewise, if your sagging roof is due to deep water damage, you will need to replace it to ensure it will protect your home for years to come.


5. Is there mould, moss, or fungi on your roof?
Mould, moss, and fungi originate from excess moisture. If the moss is only on the exterior of your roof and hasn’t made it into your home, a deep cleaning may be enough to resolve the problem. However, such growths could compromise the integrity of a roof covering as it can lead to hairline cracks and fissures, which then increase the possibility of leaks or further damage to tiles. The best way to deal with these issues, therefore, may be to replace the roof. Having your roof inspected by a professional will help establish the extent of the problem and is the best solution.


6. Are you undertaking other renovations?
If you have moved into an older house, choosing to replace the roof may be something to consider as part of your wider renovations. Many people choose to replace their roofs after repainting their house’s exterior, installing new windows or making other facade changes. A pitched roof is very visible and contributes significantly to your home’s overall appearance. A new, modern roof can therefore increase the value of the home, both because it refines the overall aesthetic and because any new owner does not have to think about replacements in the coming decades.