How to Know When to Replace a Roof

Posted on When to Replace a Roof

Puzzled homeowners often ask us, “How do I know when to replace my roof?” Do you need an estimate for roof repairs in Salem, or a full roof replacement in Salem?

Without seeing it firsthand, it is hard for us to give an exact answer, but we are writing this free guide to help steer you in the right direction as it comes to the timing of your roof replacement. Trustworthy Salem roofers will tell you that asphalt roofs in the area tend to last just over 20 years on average. If your roof is more than 20 years old, it very well could be time to replace your roof.

We want to note here that when we say replace your roof, we do not mean covering it with a new layer of roofing material. Home insurance companies hate this and will likely charge you higher premiums. Fully replace your roof for the best results and long-term cost effectiveness.

If your roof is not quite 20 years old, there are other things to look at and consider before you make your decision to re-roof your home or put it off. Aside from the obvious, like looking for leaks from inside your attic (learn how to find leaks in your roof here), there are slightly more subtle ways your roof can show wear and tear.

Please be safe and try to inspect your roof from the ground rather than climbing up a ladder and walking on your roof yourself. Binoculars work well for this, otherwise we recommend calling a licensed and bonded roofing contractor in your area to assist. With that in mind, here are things to look for to help you determine when you should replace your roof:

  • Is there any sagging on your roof?
  • Are there any patches of dry rot you can see from inside your attic or standing under the eaves (overhang) of your roof?
  • Are there any smooth looking black spots without asphalt granules?
  • Are there cracked, torn, or missing shingles throughout your roof?
  • Can you see light coming through your roof if you stand in your attic on a sunny day?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might have the answer to your question on when to replace a roof. The time would be now or very soon. As we have detailed before, procrastinating roof repair or replacement, especially in a rainy place like Oregon, can lead to much higher end-costs.

Written by
Terry Slate
Terry is the Vice President of Slate & Slate Roofing and has over 28 years of experience with both residential and commercial roofing. He specializes in metal roofing, composition roofing, and PVC membrane roofing.