Question: I have a 3-tile asphalt composition roof – very standard. It’s about 20-25 years old. There are stains in a couple of the rooms, but since I just bought the house, I’m not sure if they’re old stains or new leaks. A roofer walked me around the roof and there is definitely evidence that the gravel has come off over time and that the fiberglass is exposed. He said this is a sign that the shingles will need to be replaced – is this true? Should I replace my roof now or should I wait until there is a real leak to warrant a roof replacement?
Answer: Shingle roofs in Phoenix are generally made to last for about twenty years, so its sounds like your roof is ready for replacement. With the shingles having been worn down by the elements, even if you do not have any leaks yet, you will likely find yourself with some at a point in the near future, likely during a storm, with you out of town, and over your most valuable wood furniture or your expensive electronics if Murphy’s Law holds true.
While the roof may or may not hold for another year or two, you will need to replace it soon. Putting it off will only increase the potential cost and you may find yourself with more extensive repairs needed once leakage starts rotting away the wood of your house, growing mold or compromising your ceiling. Even if rain doesn’t drip into your house, moisture can still be absorbing into the wood of the roof, your attic, and into the supports of your house. Remember, by the time you have to put out a bucket, you’ve likely already had a problem for long enough to create a lot of damage.