Many people don’t think about how much work their roof does to protect their home until an issue arises. A well-maintained roof is an important investment, which is why the National Roofing Contractors Association (NCRA) advises homeowners to inspect their roofs each spring and fall.

After a long winter and record breaking rainfall in our area, you may notice some signs that your roof needs a little touch-up, or may even need replaced. 

Signs Your Roof Needs Replacing

Whether you can get away with just repairs or a partial re-roofing versus a full replacement will depend on the types and extent of any issues you discover. Even if you discover any of the common issues below, if your roof was installed properly and isn’t over 20 years old, you may not need a full replacement.

  • Water stains or mold. Water stains or mold growth on your ceiling are sure signs you’ve got a leak. If your home has an attic, you should climb up with a flashlight and perform a thorough inspection. Look for water stains or streaks as well as beams of light coming through the ceiling.
  • Damaged shingles. Shingles should lie flat against the roof, so if you spot a large number of buckling, curling or cracked shingles, repairs are in order. Inspect the gutters and downspouts for shingle granules. If your roof is losing a lot of granules in rainstorms, it’s probably time for a new one.
  • Moss overgrowth. Moss and algae thrive in a damp, dark environment, which is why they’re frequently found on the shady, north side of a roof. If left to grow unimpeded, thick moss can cause asphalt shingles to lift. This encourages water to collect underneath, leading to more rotting, deterioration, and leaking.

When You Need a Professional Inspection

It’s fairly easy for homeowners to spot leaks, moss, and flapping shingles from the ground or by climbing a ladder to the roof’s edge. But other types of damage are not so easily detected and require a professional’s trained eye.

If your roof is more than 10 years old, protect your investment by having a reputable roofing contractor perform an inspection. You should receive a detailed report that analyzes the condition of your roof’s structure, materials, workmanship, and interior. If repairs or a full replacement are necessary, schedule them as soon as possible. The NRCA cautions that a deteriorated roof system only gets worse with time.

It’s helpful to understand the average life expectancy of a roof.  Knowing when a roof was installed and what it’s made of offers insight into how much life it has left.  A typical asphalt shingle roof lasts 20 to 25 years, while a roof installed over an existing layer of shingles should be replaced after 20 years.  If you aren’t certain the age of your roof review your home improvement records to see how long ago the roof was replaced or re-shingled. 

Choose Your Roofing Contractor Carefully

Replacing a roof is a big investment and involves many decisions. Be sure the person you’re relying on is worthy of your trust and can get the job done right the first time. The NRCA recommends that you prequalify roofing contractors using the guidelines below.

  • Consult your state’s Department of Professional Regulation or Licensing Board to ensure the contractor is properly licensed and bonded.
  • Request copies of the contractor’s liability coverage and workers’ compensation certificates.
  • Obtain a list of client references and completed projects. Call the references to see if they were satisfied with the work.
  • Check with your local Better Business Bureau (BBB) to look for possible complaints filed against the contractor.
  • Insist on a detailed, written proposal. Be sure it includes complete descriptions of the work to be performed, including starting and completion dates and payment procedures.
  • Carefully read the roofing warranty. Be sure you understand any provisions that would void it.

Before making any final decisions about repairing or replacing your roof, talk to your independent insurance agent.  Remember that we are here to help!  If you have recently replaced your roof make sure you notify your insurance agent so that we can update the policy and information with your insurance company.  The age of a roof is a determining factor in the rate on your homeowners insurance and may provide a discount!  Sent your homeowner updates to


Encompass Insurance

National Roofing Contractors Association

Bob Vila