Is Your Roof In Need Of Replacement?

June 10, 2013

Is Your Roof In Need Of Replacement?


Common Warning Signs It May Be Time To Replace Your Shingles

You may be seeing Roofing Contractors in your area and wondering, “Is it time to replace my roof? How do I know for sure?”

Aside from the obvious, there are common warning signs to watch out for. In case you were unclear as to what an “obvious warning sign” might be, we’ll cover those too. Let’s start with the basics. A leak(s) inside your home is always the fastest way to tell that your roof is in serious need of attention, but by this time, the damage has already been done and now it isn’t just the roof that needs attention, but the insulation, drywall, paint, carpets, etc., will certainly warrant inspection to avoid mould and other health concerns. Minimize your costs by acting quickly and responsibly. The health of your family depends on it.                                                                                

Helpful Homeowner Tip #1) A leak will not stop by ignoring it!

 Second, if you have seen pieces of shingles around your home or backyard, then likely they came from YOUR roof! Broken or missing shingles on the ground means  a portion of your roof is no longer being protected. This may be exposing portions of the roof deck/plywood, which quickly leads us back to “obvious warning sign #1”.                                                                                                                                            

Helpful Homeowner Tip #2) A shingle on the ground is one less on your roof!

Now for the not so obvious, you may have seen small black/coloured granules(crushed stone) on your decks, walkways, filling your gutters, or even below your downspouts after a rain. This is a sign your shingles have become dried out. When this happens you will also start to notice black patches in your roof, irregularly shaped and ranging in size from a loonie to a softball. Keep in mind, these patches can be hard to spot without binoculars or being on top of the roof (which I DEFINITELY DO NOT SUGGEST ATTEMPTING!). These patches have exposed the matte in the shingle. This is bad for a number of reasons; the shingle will start to absorb water, and you run a high chance of losing that shingle in a windstorm. It has lost or is losing the weight that kept it sitting flat on your roof!

Helpful Homeowner Tip #3) Do not sweep your granules under the rug!

Now that you are taking a good close view of your roof, safely, with binoculars, firmly planted on terra firma, see if you can spot any swollen rain lines. If you have a traditional 3-tab shingle, by far the most common roofing product, you’ll notice broken vertical lines. These “rain lines” are meant to keep the rain moving in a straight line as fast as possible down to your eaves/gutters. Over time these rain lines become “swollen”, a sign that your shingles are shrinking…it happens to the best of us. A typical rain line should be approx 1/8” wide. This shrinkage, caused by massive temperature swings (-20c in the winter to +30c in the summer, respectively) will start to expose the seams on either side of each individual shingle, inevitably exposing the roof deck/plywood. This warning sign is much harder to spot, but a sure way to tell trouble has arrived at your door!

Helpful Homeowner Tip #4) When “Trouble” arrives at your door, let it know the rash shouldn’t be contagious and dinner will be ready in 5!

One last issue I’d like to address is, YOU! Likely the single biggest reason for a failing roof, leaks, and interior damage due to leaks, is directly attributable to us simply not wanting to believe it’s true. We tell ourselves “this can’t be possible“, but what we really mean is “this is the absolute last thing I want to deal with now”. I get it. Roofing is not a sexy renovation, like having a hot tub installed, or the new kitchen you can show off to friends. It’s a HAVE TO renovation, and will likely protect the single biggest investment any of us will ever have.  Here’s an example of what I’m referring to. I am told repeatedly, “my roof is less than 10yrs old, there’s no way I should have to worry about this already!”, this is undoubtedly true, but it simply isn’t reality. And not wanting to face it, or dole out the money for this type of renovation isn’t going to make it go away.  In most cases, your builder has likely installed the bare minimum of requirements to whatever code may have been at the time. That time has passed…Code/requirements evolve constantly based on changes to the economical landscape and the needs and understanding of the consumer.

Helpful Homeowner Tip #5) Get a big glass of water and swallow that pill as fast as you can, before it costs you more money than absolutely necessary!

At the end of the day, listen to what your gut is telling you. If you think there may be a problem and want an honest, unbiased opinion, call a reputable professional roofing contractor like TURNBULL ROOFING & RENOVATIONS LTD.

To learn more visit us at  and book an appt for a complimentary inspection and a “no obligation” in-home consultation. And don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook!

-Steve Turnbull
President & General Manager,
Turnbull Roofing & Renovations Ltd

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