New Year, New Roof?

If your home was built before 1995, chances are you need a new roof. If you live in a much older home and your roof is say, 25 years old – a roof inspection is in order. Even though Marin contains various micro-climates that can age a roof differently, most roofing materials won’t last much more than 20 – 25 years, no matter what your roofer might have told you.


Once you’ve factored in the age of your roof, there are a number of signs to look for that help to tell you if you need a new roof.

Top 5 Reasons for a New Roof in 2020

  1. Curled, split or missing shingles. Any roofer will tell you these are a sign of wear and tear. They are weak points where rain and moisture can make their way beneath the protective surface of your roof. You can often see them without even getting on a ladder. You could be missing shingles from an area of your roof that you can’t see easily. Shingles can be blown off in a storm, or they can be rubbed or torn off by tree branches. Missing shingles can be replaced, if the rest of your roof is in good condition, making it a roof repair rather than a roof replacement.
  2. Gutters littered with sand-like granules, or granules blown onto the patio, are a clear sign of worn shingles. You can often see the worn areas where the shingles look flat and dull. This can happen to a roof that gets a lot of severe weather, like heavy winter winds and rain.
  3. Sagging areas along your roof. This is a clear sign that your roof’s infrastructure is compromised. It may be due to moisture trapped beneath the shingles that has allowed the plywood to rot. If you have an attic, or attic crawl space, you might be able to view the damage from there.
  4. Damaged chimney flashing and plumbing vent boots. These might be less noticeable, especially from the ground. Chimney flashing is metal often reinforced by caulking or roof cement, like Black Jack, that ages over the years. Vent boots can be made of plastic or metal and also use sealants like roof cement. A visual scan will tell you if the metal or plastic is damaged, allowing moisture to seep in around the chimney or pipes.
  5. Holes drilled deliberately. Don’t laugh. This can happen. Ever seen a satellite dish on a roof? What happens when the homeowner switches to cable and takes down the dish? Sometimes, those innocuous looking holes are not repaired properly. Filling them with roof cement or caulking is not the best solution. Flashing or a minor roof repair to that area is the best idea.

Lastly, it is always a good idea to do a thorough inspection of your roof from underneath. Yes, that means either going up into the attic, or at least sticking your head up in the crawl space. Use a flashlight and shine it on every area of your attic ceiling. This will give you a good view of any leaks, if they exist. And remember, where the worst damage takes place may not be where the leak originates. A leak may begin at a higher level but since water flows downward, the damage may be seen where the water pools.

If you have concerns about the age of your roof, or its condition and would like to schedule an appointment for an inspection, contact us today. One of our professional roofers would be happy to help you determine whether your roof needs replacing or if it has life left in it.