Top Reasons for Replacing or Repairing Your Roof

If you rent out a home, are planning on selling your home, or your roof is more than 20 years old, Improve Group Roofing suggests having your roof inspected to assess any damage and determine if the roof can be repaired or if it’s time for a new roof.

Getting a roof installed or replaced is a major investment. You can protect this investment at all costs by addressing issues head-on while still in their early stages. However, unless you know the reasons to repair roof damage, you won’t take action in time.
Fortunately, you’re already thinking about it – so, good work! Acknowledging that there is a problem and knowing that you need to call in a roofing company is already half the job done.

Below are some of the most common reasons to repair or replace your asphalt roof.

Cracked Shingles

Shingles are going to have to be replaced if there is cracking going on. Once the shingles fall off or get broken, the area becomes exposed to the harsh weather elements. The scope of the replacement depends upon how soon the issue is caught, so having your roof inspected remains important.

Wind Damage

The trouble with a wind damaged roof is that the exposed spots on the roof can be difficult to detect, especially if the shingles have been lifted. A shingle that has been lifted due to winds may have loosened the sealant and possibly the nail, all of which means replacing the roof.

roof damage

Granules Missing or in the gutter

The presence of coarse granules lying in the gutter is a sure sign that some of your shingles are starting to wear out. If too many granules wear off, your roof will need to be replaced. Roofs will lose granules through the course of time, so whether you need a completely new roof depends on the age of your roof and how many granules remain.


Seeing curling shingles can mean a sign of bigger issues, like leaking, which can mean a roof replacement. Shingles can curl because they weren’t lined up properly, they’re old, they weren’t installed correctly, you have poor ventilation in the attic, or you’ve got a layered roof. If you see curls, it’s best to have it get checked out sooner than later.

Roof Curling

Roof Cement

Metal flashing prevents leaks where shingles meet other surfaces, like walls and chimneys. Proper flashing work takes time and know-how, so sloppy roofers sometimes slather on roof cement instead. It seals out water long enough for them to cash your check, but it soon hardens, cracks and leaks. In the end, all it does is make a proper repair more difficult. So, if you see heavy “tar” patchwork on your roof, fix it right—before it leaks and leads to interior damage, but hold off on replacing the entire roof.

No Chimney Cricket

no chimney cricket

A wide chimney forms a dam on your roof. Debris builds up behind that dam and holds moisture, which leads to rusted flashing and wood rot. Any chimney wider than 30 in. needs a “cricket,” or “saddle” basically a small roof built behind the chimney. A properly installed chimney cricket will direct water and debris around the chimney and off the roof. If your chimney does not have one, watch for holes rusting through the flashing. If you’re getting a new roof, be sure the contractor’s bid includes a cricket but don’t rush to replace a roof if there’s no signs of issues.

Missing Gutter Apron

When water flows off the edge of your roof, some of it clings to the underside of the shingles and dribbles toward the fascia. If you have gutters but no gutter apron to stop the water, it will wick behind the gutter. Eventually the fascia, soffits and even the roof sheathing will rot. You may see water stains below the gutter on the fascia and soffit. This is a sure sign that the gutter apron is missing. Though you may not need a new roof immediately, you might have to replace it eventually.

The best time to add gutter apron is when you’re getting new shingles. But it is possible to slip gutter apron under existing shingles. A dab of roof cement every couple feet will “glue” it to the shingles and hold it in place. You’ll have to remove gutter brackets or straps and then refasten them after the apron is in place.

Roof Vent Issues

vent issues

Check for cracked housings on plastic roof vents and broken seams on metal ones. You might be tempted to throw caulk at the problem, but that solution won’t last long. There’s really no fix other than replacing the damaged vents. Also look for pulled or missing nails at the base’s bottom edge. Replace them with rubber-washered screws. In most cases, you can remove nails under the shingles on both sides of the vent to pull it free. There will be nails across the top of the vent too. Usually, you can also work those loose without removing shingles, so you don’t necessarily have to replace the roof. Screw the bottom in place with rubber-washered screws. Squeeze out a bead of caulk beneath the shingles on both sides of the vent to hold the shingles down and to add a water barrier. That’s much easier than re-nailing the shingles.

Damaged Shingles

A broken shingle is both ugly and a leak waiting to happen. But as long as you can find matching shingles the repair is straightforward. Depending on the damage you may or may not replace your roof.

Streaks on my roof

The black streaks running down roofs are actually a hardy algae called Gloeocapsa magma. As the blue-green algae accumulate, they develop a dark, hardened outer coating, which results in the black stains you see. The algae feed on the limestone in shingles.
The algae will worsen and become more noticeable each year, trapping moisture and causing premature shingle aging and granule loss. If you don’t like the streaks, reshingle with algae-resistant shingles. If the streaks don’t bother you or you’re not ready to invest in a new roof, install zinc or copper strips along the top course of shingles. When rain hits the strips, it produces a solution that runs down the roof and keeps algae, moss and fungus from growing. However, the strips won’t eliminate the existing algae.

streaks on roof