You don’t want to run the risk. With the possible exception of your foundation, your roof is quite literally the most important part of your home. It protects you against the elements, keeps the heat in, and the cold out. Especially in the cold winters and hot summers of Canton, Michigan, both of those extremes are equally important.
New roofs get older, and start becoming less reliable. And even if they are still relatively new, they might have some faults that are important to understand. Understanding when you need a roof replacement should therefore be a core part of any home ownership.
Put simply, knowing when your roof may not be pulling its weight anymore is not optional. If you don’t understand the need for a Canton roof contractor to take care of the problem, you might run into serious problems. That’s why it’s so important to understand these 15 signs you need a roof replacement in Canton, MI.
1) Damp Ceilings and Walls on the Inside
For identification of some roofing issues, you don’t even have to go outside or onto your roof. You can detect a number of potential problems just by looking at your own interior living room and bedroom ceilings and walls, which might lead you to draw some important conclusions.
Most importantly, look for damp ceilings and walls. Often, a roofing leak will slowly add moisture to the attic. That moisture finds its way through the attic and to the interior walls. In other words, those damp ceilings and walls you might be finding are actually an indication that your roof has been leaking for quite some time. The problem tends to be serious when it’s widespread, in which case you probably need a roof replacement.
2) Bending or Cracking Shingles
Once you climb on your roof itself, you will find a number of potential issues just by looking at your shingles. The first, and perhaps most obvious, are shingles that show their age by no longer laying straight on the surface and being bent and uneven instead. They’re a sign that moisture has gotten to them, and deformed them over time.
It doesn’t end there. You might also discover some cracks in your shingles that compromise the material’s integrity. Similar to bent shingles, this is a sign that they’re nearing the end of their effectiveness and are starting to let moisture through. Keeping them on the roof will invite serious problems, and only replacement will prevent those problems.
3) Roof Tear Off in Canton, MI After Storms
Especially around this time of year, Canton, MI sees some pretty rough storms that invite the winter in and make sure everyone knows: fall is pretty much over. Your home may experience anything from strong winds and rain to hail and ice that can tear at its very foundations. Your roof may not be able to hold up.
When it doesn’t, you might start to experience roof tear off. Individual shingles, and even sheets of shingles, may disconnect from your home entirely, and you might find them in your yard or on the road. In that case, don’t delay. A comprehensive repair by Canton, MI roofers or potentially a full replacement is your best bet in keeping your home sound and family safe.
4) Exposed Roofing Nails
As part of your simple inspection of the roofing surface, you might also find some exposed roofing nails sticking up between the shingles. You might find these nails for a variety of reasons, from wrong placement by a less-than-trustworthy roofer to simple age that has driven them out.
Again, this is a sign of an old and potentially failing roof. Exposed nails will be prone to rust, especially during the above-mentioned storms that are so common during this time of year. Once these nails rust, they become more likely to let moisture through, leading to potential roofing leaks. A full replacement might not be absolutely necessary, but could be in store depending on the extent of the damage.
5) Bald Spots with Missing Granules
If you’ve ever cleaned out your gutters, you’ve probably noticed those little rubber granules that tend to end up washing off the roof. These granules actually exist to protect the shingles and seal their fit to the home itself, so it’s an important part of the roof’s integrity.
It’s normal for some of these granules to wash off over time. Roofing shingles are manufactured with more granules than necessary because it’s impossible for all of them to stick to the material over time. But when that wash off becomes excessive, it’s time for new shingles. You’ll notice some bald spots on your roof that don’t look as ‘full’ or even anymore as they used to. In that case, you absolutely need a replacement.
6) The Age of Your Roof
The average shingle roof in Canton, Michigan lasts about 25 years. Most manufacturers estimate more conservatively, at 20 years. If you’re lucky, you might make it through as many as 30 years with the same roof. But anything beyond that, and in many cases anything beyond 25 years, is pushing your luck.
Some of the above problems, like granules that are washing off, are impossible to avoid. Shingles disintegrate in harsh Michigan weather over time, but there will come a point of no return. At that point, it’s important to consider a roof replacement to make sure that you don’t invite and encourage future leaks.
7) Dark Discoloration on Your Roof
Even a simple look at your roof from ground level could tell you a lot about whether or not you need a repair or replacement of the entire structure. It won’t be a conclusive look, but it does give you some initial insights that might cause you to either dig deeper or consider calling a Canton, MI roofer for a professional inspection.
That’s especially true when you begin to seek streaks of dark discoloration on the surface. This is a sign of algae growth, which happens only when there are moist spots that don’t get dry over time. In other words, it’s a sign that your roof is in bad health and will probably need replacement soon if not now.
8) Visible Broken or Damaged Flashing
Just like your shingles, your flashing can tell you a lot about the health of your roof. It’s the metal that separates areas where shingles hit non-shingled parts, like your chimney or the valleys between two angles. When the flashing goes, you could just get away with a specific repair job. But that’s not always the case.
Sometimes, the flashing is so visibly damaged or broken that a new roof becomes non-optional. It might even affect the health of the shingles around it. Don’t jump to conclusions, but take it as a sign that a professional (when inspecting the roof) might tell you that it’s time for a replacement.
9) Ice Dams During Cold Michigan Winters
Canton, MI gets cold during the winter. When it does, your roof will accumulate some snow and ice. A lot of snow on your roof when there’s snow on the ground is actually a good sign; it shows that your insulation is working and heat is not escaping. However, other signs during this cold season could spell trouble.
Maybe the most obvious is the appearance of ice dams. These are ridges of ice and icicles forming on the edge of the roof, and typically point to problems with ventilation. Snow melts on the roof, flows into the gutters, and freezes. Over time, that effect creates a sort of damn and those beautiful icicles you often see. They can actually further hurt your shingles as well, causing leaks on their own. Once you see them, they might look good – but they also point towards the need for replacement.
10) The Presence of Critters in Your Attic
Who doesn’t love a squirrel or mouse making their home in an attic? Especially as the Michigan weather gets colder, these critters will try to find a winter home. If you find them (or their droppings) in your attic, the roof may be causing the problem and letting them in.
You might have open access to your attic that allows this type of movement. But if you don’t, a critter in your attic often points to the fact that you have a hole in the material. That’s especially true if your roof is within jumping distance of large tree branches. In addition to calling an exterminator, you might need to call a roofer.
11) Paint Damage on the Inside and Outside
Painting and your roof are more directly connected than you might think. Damage on one tends to point to damage on the other, whether you’re looking at your interior or exterior wall paint. On interior walls, peeling paint is a sign of moisture just as damp areas might be.
But that’s not the only indicator you have. Exterior paint near the roof line is caused due to moisture and ventilation problems. When you see it begin to happen, chances are it’s just a symptom of a much larger roofing problem that you’ll need to take care of.
12) Leaks in the Attic
The most obvious place to look for a roofing leak is naturally your attic. This is the area where, if any water or moisture gets through, it will pool. A finished attic might just mean paying attention to the walls and ceilings as described in the first step. For an unfinished attic, perform the occasional informal inspection.
Simply go up in the attic and look for leaks or moisture. A flashlight will often be enough – wet spots tend to reflect light more. The leaks might be small, which indicates that you only need simple repairs. If you find a significant pool of water, you will probably need a full replacement.
13) Higher Energy Bills
Some of the roofing issues you might come across actually have nothing to do with moisture at all. The insulation might just be breaking down. Considering that’s a layer under all your shingles, that’s more serious than it sounds. If it gets bad enough, a full roof replacement tends to be warranted.
The easiest way to check whether your insulation is causing your problem is monitoring your heating bill. Temperatures fluctuate every month, but checking the year-over-year comparison over the course of several months gives you a good idea on whether your bills are increasing. If they are, the insulation might be breaking down – and you need a new roof.
14) Roof Ventilation Problems
We’ve already highlighted several symptoms of problematic or failing ventilation in your roof, but it doesn’t hurt to directly check whether or not you have an issue. Rather than waiting for those icicles, why not have a closer look at what your ventilation actually looks like?
Cracked housing or broken seams on roof vents are one important sign to look for. Another consists of missing nails at the connection point between exterior vent and the roof itself. Don’t try to fix it with caulk; instead, look for a more comprehensive solution. That might be as simple as a new vent, or as significant as an entire roof replacement.
15) Sagging Ceilings
Finally, it’s time to consider the most serious sign that you need a new roof as soon as possible. When your ceilings aren’t just damp but begin to sag, you have a serious leak. In fact, the leak is probably big enough that a simple patching job won’t be enough.
The sagging ceiling is likely caused by the weight of water that has entered your attic. It could break through at any time. If you spot this sign, call a qualified roofer in Canton, MI as soon as possible. It’s the only way to make sure you keep your home and family safe before the issue gets worse.
Where to Turn for New Shingle Roofing in Canton, MI
You might have noticed that with a couple of exceptions, most of the above signs do not immediately tell you whether you need to repair or replace your roof. That’s because they’re signs of general damage, not necessarily the extent of that damage. Judging what you need to do next can be difficult.
You need a qualified and credible partner who can evaluate your roof, and make a recommendation you can believe in. Roofing replacement is no simple feat, and it can get expensive. We’d love to work with you in taking a look at your home, and making a recommendation on next steps. Trust us to help make sure that your home is intact and your family is safe.