The roof is a vital component, protecting a building from sun, wind, and rain. Eventually, a roof will need to be replaced. As a homeowner, it’s important to know the signs you need a new roof. Generally, it is more cost-effective to replace failing roofing before major leaks and structural damage occur.

Missing or Damaged Shingles

Roof materials are designed to weather windy days and the change of seasons, but eventually, these conditions take a toll on the nails, shingles, and flashing. When you see that one piece has broken free, it could be a sign that other shingles are degrading.

If the roofing materials are still attached but cracked, broken, or otherwise damaged, this could be a sign that you need a new roof. Some conditions to look for are corners that are curling up or ends that are broken or chipped.

The shingles may also look brittle and discolored. Shingles should lie flat against each other to protect the wood below. Once they start to lift, it creates an avenue for water to intrude, leading to property damage and mold growth.

Life Expectancy of Roofing Materials

While no one can predict what challenges severe weather will present, manufacturers can estimate how long a particular material should hold up under normal conditions.

Metal roofs have some of the longest life spans at between 40 and 70 years, while slate and tile roofs last even longer. An asphalt shingle roof is expected to last about 20 years. Try to find out when the roof was installed so that you won’t be caught off guard when it is time to replace it.

Moss and Algae are Signs You Need a New Roof

In some environments, moss, mildew, and algae may begin to grow on roofs. Once growth becomes well-established, plants can damage, degrade, and loosen shingles.

When you first notice green patches, it does not necessarily mean you need a new roof. If caught early, the growth can be removed with a homemade solution or a commercially prepared one. Work this chore into your yearly calendar to keep your roof in good shape for longer.


If you stand back from the house and notice a dip or sag in the roofline, it means you need a new roof. The sagging is usually caused by rotting wood or broken trusses. Trusses are the beams you see inside the attic that support the wooden roof deck. Leaks and moisture can damage the trusses and they’ll begin to warp.

Discolored Walls: Possible Signs You Need a New Roof

Discoloration on walls is often caused by water leaking behind them. When you see changes in drywall, it could be a failure in the roof. Check the attic for dampness. If you don’t spot a leak there, it could be coming in through the siding and missing the attic completely.

Discolored drywall is not always a sign of roof failure. It could also be a leaking plumbing pipe behind the walls.

Premier Inspection Services offers home inspections to upstate New York. Contact us to request our services.