How to Recognize a Roof That Needs to be Replaced

How to Recognize a Roof That Needs to be Replaced

If you’re looking to invest in real estate by buying a house, you want to make sure it’s a sound investment. You may not want to have to put in a lot of work into the house before it’s ready to rent or resell. For this reason, you need to be able to recognize when a roof needs to be replaced. If you’re not sure of the signs of bad roofing Georgetown homeowners can always consult a professional for help, but there are some fairly obvious indications that a roof needs replacement.

Start in the Attic

It may seem counterintuitive, but the best place to start looking for a bad roof isn’t on the roof at all. Take a trip up to the attic to see if there are any places where sunlight is coming through the roof or if there are stains and streaks on the walls and ceiling. These are both signs that there are gaps in the roof that are allowing water to leak inside the house. A roof is supposed to protect the home’s interior from the elements. If you’re seeing sun and water, the roof is bad.

Determine the Age

Ask your realtor or the current homeowner to provide documentation on the age of the current roof. The expected longevity of a roof is dependent upon the material, but since most roofs are made from asphalt shingles, if the roof hasn’t been replaced in the last 15 to 20 years, it is probably in its last years, if not months. Metal roofs, on the other hand, can last up to 100 years, so you can feel more confident that you won’t need to replace a metal roof as long as it’s been properly maintained.

Check the Shingles

You will probably need to climb up onto the roof and check the shingles, especially if you don’t find any signs of damage inside the house and the roof has been replaced within the last decade or so. Asphalt shingles are granular, so when they get old and brittle, the grains begin flaking off the shingles. You’ll find evidence of these grains accumulating in the gutters and there will be bare spots on the shingles themselves. Curled or missing shingles are another indication that the roof is aging beyond its capabilities to protect the house.

Check the Flashing

Flashing is the material that’s around vents, skylights, and chimneys, and along the seams of the roof. It needs to be tight against the roof to ensure no rain or snowmelt gets into the house through these gaps. If the flashing is torn, damaged, or loose, chances are that the rest of the roof is not in good condition.

Look for Moss

Plants should not grow on a roof (unless it’s a purposeful green roof), so if you see any moss growing on a roof, it spells trouble. This is a sign that there is moisture trapped under the shingles, which is causing the plants to take root. Typically, the shingles will need to be removed to address the underlying issue that’s allowing moisture under the roof.


Buying a house can be a savvy investment strategy, but only if you don’t have to sink a lot of money into repairs before it’s ready to be inhabited. Most houses can’t be lived in if they don’t have a decent roof, so ensuring the roof is in good condition before you sign the purchase contract is essential.

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