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When do I need a New Roof? - Roof Repair and Replacement Series

When do I need a New Roof? - Roof Repair and Replacement Series

Sooner or later, all buildings will need a new roof. The need for a new roof can be a result of desired renovations to other parts of the building, or due to accidents like lightning strikes, or, more commonly, due to daily wear and tear compounded over years. No roof lasts forever. Roofing professionals are happy to help you determine if a roof replacement is needed in your case. Here are some situations when you may need to get a new roofing system installed.

Change in the Structures:

  1. The Building Below: When you are altering the building beneath the roof in an important way, like making an addition, you may need a new roof. Roofs have to fit the shape of the house to shield it from weather, debris, and critters. The old roof may not fit the shape of the new building. When that shape changes significantly, you may need to change the framing, the layer at the base of the roofing system, and so too, all the materials on top of it. As well, the trusses may not support the new, added weight. You need input from an engineer, architect, and roofing contractor to determine whether there is a way to make use of part of the old roof or if a complete replacement is necessary.
  2. Decking and Framing: If your roof is sagging, chances are there are critical structural issues with the attic decking or framing that need to be fixed quickly, generally requiring a replacement of the other parts of the roofing system. 


Roofs are subject to colossal wear and tear from their exposure to the elements, the very elements they protect you from. Wind rips at it; snow, rain, and hail can wear away waterproofing over time, and ice can swell and break portions of the system such as gutters from their moorings. Insects, rodents, and debris can damage a roof quite significantly – just ask anyone who has had racoons or squirrels overwintering.

  1. When Minor Damage Is Not So Minor: Minor damage can be caused by leaks, ice dams, or animals. It is possible that what appears to be minor damage to a small area of your roofing system could turn out to be extensive hidden problems once you examine it more closely. Damage to one component may mean extensive damage to the whole thing.
  2. Major Accidents: If you have experienced major damage to the building as a whole, such as from an earthquake, fire, or fallen tree, your roof may well be affected beyond simply fixing a section or two.

Old Roof:

This is when you are nearing the end of your old roof’s warranty period. Your roofing materials do have a lifespan, and need replacement to do their jobs.

Signs that your roof’s lifespan is ending and you may need a new roof:

  1. If your roof is 20 years old or over, it’s time to think about replacing it. An asphalt shingle roof should last 20-30 years. As well, if your house is older than 20 years and previous roofing jobs, no matter how recent, involved simply shingling on top of existing shingles, it’s time to get it done properly. Shingled-over jobs may not allow the materials to fit together snugly for optimal wind and waterproofing, add unnecessary weight, and don’t last as long.
  2. You live in a housing development where the houses are all about the same age as yours, and your neighbours are all replacing their roofs.
  3. Shingles are warped or buckling.
  4. You have more than a few cracked shingles. While a few may mean a more minor repair job (see our previous blog on When Do I Need Roofing Repairs), many cracked shingles mean the whole roof has reached the end.
  5. Shingle granules are looking spotty and uneven, balding, or you find lots of them on the ground. Granules are the pebbly substance which enhance the durability of asphalt shingles.
  6. You are finding more granules in your eavestroughs and downspouts than usual. There is often a little loss of granules over a season, and usually this is of no concern. It’s when the amount becomes noticeably greater that you need consider a new roof.
  7. The low areas of your roof (valleys) look damaged. These areas channel water away from the rest, and are the first areas to show wear and tear.

An old roof almost always needs replacing. Speak to your roofing professional about timing, choices, and costs.

And finally, be aware that over 80% of all roofs are replaced prematurely because of problems that occur before they reach the expected end of their lifespan.  Regular preventative roof maintenance can reduce that number. To learn more, please see our blog series on Roof Maintenance.

Roofing Replacement and Repair: What McArthur Construction can do for you:

We can install, maintain, and repair all aspects of your roofing system. We are BP Certified Roofer and Master Shingle Applicator by CertainTeed in every aspect of shingle installation techniques, good workmanship practices, roof systems, estimating, flashing, ventilation and approved procedures for installing all CertainTeed roofing shingles and BP roofing shingles.

We can provide comprehensive services such as:

  • Residential and commercial roofing maintenance,
  • Shingle repair and replacement
  • Complete roof replacement if needed
  • Roof ice and snow removal
  • Temporary protection for storm or accident-damaged roofs.

Talk to your roofing professional about how they can help you.

Happy Roofing!

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