How to Tell if You Need a New Roof

How to Tell if You Need a New Roof

If you live in Canada, you know that the weather can be harsh on your roof- especially in the winter months. Your roof protects your home, keeping you safe from unwanted damage such as leaks and collapse. Having a strong and durable roof is essential to keep you and your family safe, warm, and cozy.

Your roof may have a few more years left before it needs to be replaced, or you could be overdue! Here are 8 tell-tale signs to look out for to determine if you need to replace your roof.


How old is your roof? The average roof lasts between 15-30 years, depending on what kind of shingles you have. Every roof has an expiration date, so it’s important to note how long your roof lasts for the type of shingles you have. The following provides some general information on how long your roof should last based on the type of shingles you have:

  • Asphalt roofs: 15-30 years
  • Metal shingles: 30-45 years
  • Concrete tiles: 35-50 years
  • Rubber shingles: 10-16 years
  • Cedar shingles: 30-50 years


Grey, aged roof shingles

Have you noticed your neighbors replacing their roofs? Homes that are built around the same time will usually have the same roof expiration date, so pay attention to your neighbors! Generally, it’s good to check on your roof once it hits the 15-20-year mark. The life of your roof may be extended if you have the correct amount of roof vents. To calculate if you have enough ventilation on your roof, check out this helpful guide.

Curling or Buckling Shingles

Your shingles should lie flat on your roof. If your shingles are curling, the edges of the shingle will be turned up. Buckling shingles will appear to rise in the middle, giving the shingles a cupped and distorted appearance.

curling shingles

Curling or buckling shingles are often the result of weathering and are a tell-tale sign that could indicate you have 1-5 years before your roof needs to be replaced.

Missing or Cracked Shingles

Are there empty or exposed patches on your roof? Your shingles should cover the entirety of your roof to protect it. Missing shingles could be the result of improperly nailed shingles or weathering such as strong winds.

Missing Shingles

If your shingles show cracks in them, this could leave your roof vulnerable to exposure and lead to leaks. If you only have a few cracked shingles, they can easily be spot treated to be replaced. If most of the shingles on your roof or cracked, you may only have a few years before you will need to replace your entire roof.

Moss or Algae

Moss, algae or even mold buildup on your roof is a sign of moisture retention. In most cases, this is nothing to worry about but rather an indicator that you need to take care of your shingles. However, mold growth on your roof can affect the air quality of your home and should be dealt with professionally.

Moss and Algae Build Up On Roof

If you have moss or algae growth on your roof, it can trap water and lead to leaks as well as ruin your roof. There are some DIY methods you can use to remove moss or algae on your roof, or if there is too much growth it may be time to replace your shingles.

Leaks or Water Damage

If you’re noticing leaks, water damage, or water stains in your home, your roof may have exposed patches where water is getting in. One way you can check if your roof has leaks in it is by starting in the attic of your home. If sunlight is coming through the beams in your attic, water can too.

Water Stains

If your roof was recently installed and done correctly, you can easily patch a leak in your roof by replacing a section of the roofing deck and shingles. If you notice that there is damage across the entirety of your roof, it’s important to consider replacing your roof as the water damage can lead to problems inside your home.

Roof Valley

Check for water build up in your roof valleys! Roof valleys are where two parts of your roof meet each other.

Roof Valley

These sloping areas are one of the most common areas on your roof where damage can build up as snow and water can get stuck when flowing down into the gutters. Be sure to look out for pooling water in these areas.

Granule Loss

Granule Loss on Roof

Roofs tend to lose granules towards the end of its lifespan. One of the most common ways you can check for granule loss from your roof is by looking in your gutters. Another way to spot granule loss is to look out for inconsistent colouring of your shingles. If you notice that there is granule loss from your roof, it could be time to replace your shingles.

Chimney Flashing

Chimney Flashing

The flashing around your chimney and roof vents help prevent leaks. To spot if your flashing is vulnerable, look out for cracks or breaks. It is common for older homes to have flashing made from tar or cement. Newer homes typically have more durable metal flashing. If your flashing is showing signs of wear and tear, it may be a good time to upgrade.

What to Do If You Need a New Roof

Still unsure whether you need a new roof? Hire a home inspector to help you determine if you need a new roof right away or if your roof has a few more years left before it needs replacing. If your roof does need replacing, you’ll likely need to hire a roofer.

We’ve Got Your Home Covered

 If you’ve gone through an interior and exterior roof inspection and do need a new roof, Tamar Building Products offers a wide selection of roofing materials to protect your home. Check out our shingles and low slope roofing products when upgrading your roof!

Have questions? Visit our large showroom where you can browse our products and ask our friendly, knowledgeable staff about all your roofing inquiries.