How to know it's time to replace your roof

How to Know it’s Time to Replace Your Roof

Having a roof above your head is essential. And keeping said roof in good shape is vital for keeping your home cosy, warm, and without leaks. This guide aims to help you recognize when, exactly, you should replace your roof.

Your roof is close to 25 years old

Asphalt shingle roofs wear out after 20 to 30 years, even if they are maintained well. If your roof is 25 years or older, chances are it should be changed. Having a 40-year-old roof is just asking for trouble, even if it looks good from the ground. How much time do you have when your roof is this old? Anywhere from 5 to 10 years, depending on your roof’s condition. When you reach this point, it is time to replace your roof. Or, if you don’t know how old your roof is, if your neighbours start replacing their roofs, chances are it is time to replace yours. If you want it to last as long as possible, consider adding wind turbine roof ventilators to help keep it in good condition longer.

How to know it's time to replace your roof
An old shingle roof should be replaced as soon as possible

There are shingles missing

Missing shingles are, obviously, a pretty bad sign. Functionally, when you have missing shingles, it isn’t difficult to replace a few of them here and there. However, it is almost impossible to get the new shingles to match the colour of your old ones. With granule colours changed over time and the shingles on your roof changing colour due to weathering, you should be prepared for your new shingles to be slightly different if you replace them one by one. How much time do you have to replace shingles? Patching up your roof shingle by shingle shouldn’t be a problem as long as a more significant issue doesn’t present itself. But, many people choose to replace their roof instead of having it look like a checkerboard.

Your shingles are curling.

Curling shingles are a clear sign that you should replace your roof. Clawing and cupping are the two types of curling. Cupping is what happens when the edges of the shingles turn upward. Clawing is when the edges stay flat, but the middle begins to come up. Either of them is a bad sign, as they bring a risk of leaks, and when you notice this happening, you should try to have your roof replaced as soon as possible. Because curling shingles are typically caused by built-up moisture, you should consider installing sisalation foils to help waterproof. How much time do you have when you notice curling? Anywhere from a year to 5 years, depending on how severe the condition of your roof is.

old black roof
Curling shingles are a bad sign

Your shingles are cracked.

There are several reasons why your shingles will crack: wind damage, ageing, heat, even a bad mix in the asphalt. Regardless of the reason, cracked shingles are not a good sign. Of course, you can easily replace a cracked shingle here and there. But, if the cracked shingles aren’t isolated to one part of your roof and are instead randomly spread out, that’s a clear sign you need to replace your roof. Cracked shingles expose the vulnerable part of your roof and make it prone to leaks. As for how much time you have to replace your roof in this scenario: you will likely have to get a new roof within 3 to 5 years, depending on roof condition.

Sunlight in the attic

This one should be pretty obvious. If sunlight can get in, so can everything else. This is a clear sign of a leak. If you notice sunlight in your attic, check for water stains nearby as well. If you find any, keep an eye on them during rain to spot any active leaks. It’s hard to tell how much time you have to replace your roof in this case, so calling a professional is probably the best option. You can patch up minor leaks, but larger ones could indicate structural damage. After your leak is patched up, it could be wise to get a roof vacuum service. All sorts of nasty things can get in through a leak, and getting them cleaned up should be a top priority.

Any leaks in the attic should be patched up immediately.

a patched up, brown roof
Any leaks in the attic should be patched up immediately

Finding granules in the gutter

If you’ve recently gotten a new roof, then finding some granules in the gutter is no big deal. These are spare, loose granules and are expected after a fresh installation. However, if your roof is ten or more years old, this could be a very bad sign. These granules protect the asphalt from the sun. If they fall off, your shingles will start to bake, and their quality will deteriorate rather quickly. In the scenario where your roof isn’t new and you are finding granules in your gutter, your shingles are about halfway through their lifespan.

Sagging roof

A sagging roof is a panic signal. Any amount of depression or sagging means you need a new roof immediately. These are signs of a problem with the decking in your attic, or worse, an issue with the supports in the foundation. While this may not be a sign of imminent danger, this sort of problem is much easier to deal with when it is small rather than when it progresses. As for how much time you have to act: not a lot, consider calling an expert as soon as possible.

Renovating after a move

If you have moved into a new home and want to make it more pleasant, the roof is where you should begin. But beware that this can get a little complicated and pricy. However, with the right service and good advice on what you should do in the house, you should be able to spruce it up in no time. The same goes for when you move out. You can renovate a bit to make your home more presentable for sale, attract more buyers, and get a better deal.


There are many reasons to replace your roof, and some of them can be difficult to spot. We hope that this guide helps you identify these issues before they become hard to solve.