"Well, it's not missing any shingles — it doesn't need to be replaced yet." Have you ever muttered these words after looking up at a roof? Many homeowners have. But while multiple missing shingles are a sign that a roof needs replacement, sometimes roofs fail far before the shingles blow away. Here are four other signs that your roof may need to be replaced, even if the shingles are still intact.
1. Insulation Damage in the Attic
When you go up into your attic, look closely at the insulation inside. If the insulation is discolored, compacted, has a musty smell, or is moist, that means your roof is probably letting moisture into the home — and probably at multiple points. If the roof is more than 15 years old or so, this insulation damage probably indicates that the shingles are no longer serving their function, even though they're still attached. Replace the roof ASAP so you're not left dealing with a moldy, wet attic space.
2. Granules in the Gutters
Shingles have little pieces of gravel on their surface. This gravel is meant to direct water off the roof surface. If the gravel wears away, water is more likely to seep through the shingles. The best way to tell if your shingles are losing gravel is to look inside the gutters. If there are granules inside the gutters (which may be causing your gutters to clog), your roof may be near its end.
Look up at the roof and make sure all roof surfaces look completely flat. If any area of the roof seems to be sagging, this is a very bad sign. It means the wood that underlays the shingles is breaking down and rotting, which can happen even if the shingles themselves are still in place. Sagging roofs are at risk of collapse, so you'll need to have a residential roofing service come to make some repairs — ideally before the next rainstorm.
4. Moss Growth
A tiny bit of moss here and there is not a terrible thing. However, extensive moss growth can indicate that your roof's shingles have begun to deteriorate. The moss is using the deteriorated shingle material as a substrate and actually holding the shingles in place in the process. Soon, however, you'll start to get leaks. Arrange to have the roof replaced, and consider installing zinc strips along the peak of the roof to prevent moss from growing on your new shingles.