7 Signs You Need to Replace Your Roof

The roof protects your property from external elements. Hence it is necessary to maintain it with the passing seasons. However, many of us neglect the roof’s condition until it is too late. Most often, the decline in the roof’s condition occurs gradually until it eventually becomes apparent.

Although most roofs can last for at least 25 years, they may not last as long if exposed to harsh weather, such as excessive heat, strong winds, cold temperatures, and heavy annual rain. Properties are most susceptible to early signs of roof damage in areas where the weather constantly changes.

An example is Pittsburgh, which experiences a continental climate featuring harsh, snowy winters, with 44.1 inches of annual snowfall (Source: National Weather Service) and hot, humid summers with scattered thunderstorms. Such brutal elements can make the shingles on your roof bend, break, tear, or fall apart. The severity of the damage is difficult to gauge from the ground, but if you notice any of the crucial warning signs, you should consider hiring a roofing contractor for an inspection.

Since your roof protects your home and contributes to its curb appeal, it is vital to do thorough research and seek the services of an experienced and well-reputed roofing company in your area. Doing so will guarantee the desired results, preventing your money from going to waste. Residents of Pittsburgh should search the internet for the best roofing company in Pittsburgh for their needs and budget. They should look into each option before hiring one.

With that said, look for the following signs to determine the extent of damage and decide if you need to replace your roof.

Missing shingles

Missing shingles indicate a pressing need for maintenance. With time, the shingles weaken, and the glue keeping the bottom attached to the roof starts wearing off. When this happens, a strong gust of wind is enough to tear the shingle off the roof, creating unsightly gaps.

One or two missing shingles are not a major concern, and you can purchase the missing pieces from the hardware store, although finding the exact color match might be a problem. This process hardly demands much time and attention and is a quick solution to a small problem.

Grit in the drains

The characteristic feature of asphalt shingles is the presence of grit or granules on their surface. These granules create a protective barrier between the shingle and sunlight. It is normal for some grit to fall off, especially when the roof is new. But if you notice a collection of granules in the gutters, it will result in problems. Without the protective effect of the grit, the sun will bake the shingles, warping their shape.

Cupping shingles

Clawing, cupping, and curling are the strongest indicators that the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. Cupping and curling shingles appear similar, with the corners pulling away from the surface below and pointing upward.

Clawing has a different look. It occurs when the ends of the shingle are still attached to the roof while the center lifts. Both conditions indicate an urgent need for repair and result from age, poor ventilation, inappropriate installation, and severe temperatures.


Changes in the surrounding temperature result in a cyclic pattern of thermal expansion and contraction. During the day, the roof heats up, and the shingles expand. Likewise, as the temperature decreases, they contract. This prolonged expansion and contraction cause tears in the shingles, which appear as cracks in the roof when you inspect from the ground. Over time, the tearing between the tiles and shingles results in leaks and structural damage.

A sagging roof

Another sign indicating a pressing need for a new installation is a sagging roof. Sagging suggests a structural problem below the shingles, such as a broken rafter or water damage. Either way, to solve the problem, a contractor will remove the shingles and plywood sheathing to assess the issue underneath.

Water damage

The most obvious sign that the roof is no longer functional is water damage inside the home. Apparent water damage inside the house can be because of missing shingles, ice dams, or poor installation techniques. Regardless of the cause, the leaks will not improve or disappear, and homeowners should consider repairing or replacing the roof completely. A damp roof can stimulate mold growth and attract carpenter ants.

Loose shingle pieces

Shingles typically do not come off in full strips. When a roof is deteriorating, it is common to notice shingle pieces scattered in the yard, although it is hard to tell where they are falling from. Shingle pieces in the yard should motivate you to hire an expert to come and inspect your roof and advise you on how to prevent further damage.

Bonus tip: Look at your neighbors

Most houses in subdivisions and developments are close in age since contractors commission their construction together. Hence if you can hear repairmen at work on the roof of your neighbor’s property, it might be a sign for you to get your roof inspected as well. Additionally, for houses in a development, the builder uses the same materials bought at a bulk rate, so the rate of deterioration for all the roofs should be similar. Thus if everyone else is replacing their roof, maybe you should consider some repairs too.


Many homeowners hate the idea of a roofing project because it can demand a lot of money and be inconvenient. However, if your roof is damaged and requires repair work that you keep delaying, it will result in bigger problems requiring more money and attention in the future. Moreover, most roofing contractors now understand how expensive this entire process can be, and they offer financing to break up the cost of the new roof into a flexible payment system. Although investing in a new roof can seem unnecessary, remember that a remodel will result in a beautiful change in your home’s exterior, which may add to its real estate value.

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