10 Warning Signs Your Asphalt Roof Needs to be Replaced

Warning Signs Your Asphalt Roof Needs to be Replaced

Your roof is your most important line of defense against all types of weather. Many people live in a house with a roof they did not have installed. You may have no idea how old your roof is.

Use these 10 warning signs to see if your roof is ready to quit, and how soon.

Warning Signs Your Asphalt Roof Needs Replacing

#1: If You Know Your Roof is Around 25 Years Old

Many sellers will be up-front about the age if the roof if they haven’t replaced it for the next buyer. If they are on top of their game, they will even give you the warranty information and all the information for their roofing company.

In any case, most asphalt shingles last between 20 and 30 years. If you know the previous owners needed to replace it and they didn’t – if it’s 25+ years old – you may be on borrowed time, even if the roof looks good from the ground. You could have a few years left, but it’s always a good idea to have a professional make a close inspection.

#2: Shingles are Missing

Missing shingles

If there are just a few shingles missing and no other harm has been done to the roof, you’re probably good to go just replacing the few missing.

If there are larger patches or if you find that you are ending up with missing shingles on a regular basis after higher winds you probably have failing seal strips and or poor original installation. Your roof will end up looking like a checker board. It’s impossible to find an exact match for an old shingle.

Shingles fade over time. Sometimes it’s best just to replace the whole thing. In addition, any missing shingle becomes an entry point for water. Any entry point for water that’s not designed to be there will start to compromise the whole roof. If you do regular inspections and maintenance, you will catch the damage and prevent more damage – but replace the missing shingles right away!

#3: Curling & Clawing Shingles

Curling shingles
Shingles that are curling up at the edges or coming up in the middle while the edges stay flat are a sign of failure due to extreme temperature cycles or a manufacturer defect.

If a shingle isn’t lying flat, it’s very susceptible to wind damage. This means your roof is susceptible to water damage when those shingles get torn off.

If your maintenance contractor says this is a problem on your roof, you have at the most a few years, but closer to a year to replace it before you start to see leaks and structural damage to your roof and home.

#4: Buckling

Buckling is a visible distortion running vertically up the roof. The cause for this could be your roof getting old, it could be the underlayment is wet or that it wasn’t installed correctly. In any case, these shingles are compromised and highly susceptible to wind damage, like curling, and clawing shingles.

#5: Cracked Shingles

If you are seeing cracked shingles that’s a problem also caused by extreme temperature cycles. You can replace a few if it’s only a few.

However, if you’re seeing random cracking all over your roof, not just in one area, it’s a good sign you need to start thinking about replacing your roof sooner rather than later.

#6: Missing Granules

Don’t confuse this with granules you see in the gutters with a new roof. Those are extra ones. If you have a 10 to 15-year-old roof this could be a problem. The granules are sun protection and if you lose them, the asphalt will start to bake in the sun and weather much more quickly.

Missing granules can be caused by poorly placed downspouts, lack of eaves troughs or poorly designed valley drainage. If water isn’t being routed away from your roof quickly, the granules get washed away too quickly.

#7: Damaged Flashings

You may not notice a leak right away in your home. A lot of times it stays in the insulation and deck sheathing before you see it inside.

In addition, if the flashing around your skylights, chimneys, valleys, eaves, rakes, wall details, and stacks are separating, lifting or have dried-out caulking, you will get a leak eventually. These are the most susceptible entry points for your roof. Have a roofing company come out and fix it right away.

#8: Moss or Algae Problems

The biggest problem with moss or algae is aesthetic. Most people don’t like the streaky look on their roofs.

A word of caution: don’t power wash or scrape it off! Don’t do it yourself at all, actually.

Call a professional removal service or have your contractor install a zinc strip that will get rid of it over time. If you’re replacing your roof anyway, you can ask about algae-resistant tiles.

#9: Sunlight In the Attic

It is sometimes normal to see light around roof penetrations even if they are flashed properly.

However, if you see light, your roof could be susceptible to water and snow infiltration. While you’re looking for cracks of light, look for water stains. As you monitor them, if they change shape or size that’s an active leak.

Call a professional to take a look. A small leak may be able to be repaired without replacing the entire roof. But, if there’s structural damage, it makes more sense to fix it by starting over.

#10: A Sagging Roof

A sagging roof may mean a structural issue or it may be old conventional framing that is simply sagging. It may be an indication of a problem with the roof decking or with the roof framing. The sooner the better to take care of a sagging roof.

Additionally, the best time to correct such issues is when the roof is replaced unless you have noticed it getting much worse recently in which case you may have an issue of immediate concern.


Hopefully, these 10 warning signs will give you an idea of when to start saving up and when to call immediately for common roofing problems we see. However, don’t hesitate to give us a call with any questions. We’re here for all your roofing needs.

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