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How to know when to replace your roof

Updated on December 13, 2012
Curling roof shingles indicate that the shingles need to be replaced.
Curling roof shingles indicate that the shingles need to be replaced. | Source

Asphalt shingle roofing is the most common roofing material in the United States. While it is a very reliable roof covering, it is important to understand that the average asphalt shingle roof will only last between 15 and 25 years. If your roof is in this age bracket, you should look for some basic tell-tale signs that you may need a new roof.


The most obvious sign that you need a new roof is if it is leaking. Leaks around plumbing vents and chimneys is typical after a number of years or an improper flashing installation. However, leaks in open spaces of the roof are not typical and usually indicate that the asphalt shingles have been compromised and need to be replaced.

Shingles without Granules

The granule layer on asphalt shingles is actually crushed rock that is spread over the shingles to help prevent wear and tear from the UV exposure, rain, snow, and wind. AS the shingles age, the granules are lost on the surface of the shingle causing the shingle to become very weak. Granule loss on shingle surfaces indicates that the shingles should be replaced.

Curling Shingles

When the shingles curl up, then they are done. When the shingles curl (see above picture), they do not cover the nails from the shingle course installed below them. This exposes the nails and causes the shingles to lose their waterproofing ability.

It is important to know that all asphalt shingle roofs that need to be replaced should be torn off to have new shingles and underlayment applied to the roof. Applying new shingles over old shingles may void manufacturer warranties and reduce the life of the new shingles.


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