How to replace your roof

Protect your home in 10 smart moves

When is it time to replace that old roof?

Cracked, curled or missing shingles are a good indication your roof has reached its expiration date. But those aren't the only warning signs.

An accumulation of asphalt shingle granules in your gutter can indicate severe wear, and stained walls or ceilings often mean you have water damage, which might be the result of a faulty roof. The same goes for cracked paint and peeling wallpaper. Worn-out shingles can allow water or melting snow into your attic or your living spaces.

Use binoculars to examine your roof, and look in your attic at the underside of your decking for signs of damage. If your initial inspection reveals problems, get a contractor’s input on whether it’s time for repair or replacement.

If a new roof is on the horizon, our 10 smart moves can help you navigate this costly and sometimes complicated project. Making the right choices can add curb appeal and increase your home’s value if you intend to sell soon.

By Amy Fontinelle Contributing Editor

  • Harry Moore

    Improper ventilation (not just age) can cause premature roof system deterioration. In the summer, in particular, extreme heat (in excess of 160 F) can cause "fried" shingles. That amount of heat can also crack framing boards, and warp the roofing panels.

  • Russell Houle

    Understanding the shingle manufacturers warranties should be a Key Decision in your research. Many manufacturers warranties are "Null and Void" if you do an "overlay" on top of existing shingles. Caution if the contractor you are speaking with does not tell you the truth about the warranty. You can research all this directly through the shingle manufacturer. All certified contractors have been "vetted" to make sure they are a company in good standing, licensed and insured. Please use your head in dealing with legitimate contractors.
    Pro Source -Farmington, CT

  • Paul Barsalou

    How many years can I expect out of 20 year shingles,installed 11 years ago still look like new no curls, wrinkles,live in Mass

    • Rusty Beedle

      It depends on the pitch of your roof. the steeper the pitch, the longer your roof should last. Ventilation is VERY important. Keep your eave vents clear so you have ample air flow out the vents on top of your roof.
      Take care of your roof and it will last a long time. Keep leaves from piling up in areas on your roof. A 20 year shingle could last up to 25 years. I have replaced a roof that was 30 years old and it looked like it was 10-15 years old. The guy just wanted a different color.