Rain on roof

The Most Common Problems Caused by an Old Roof

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So we always tell our customers – if your roof is 15-20 years old, it’s OLD. And an old roof means less energy efficiency, and protection from the elements and definitely nets you negative curb appeal points. So what should you look for if your roof is old and you’re worried there might be problems? Here’s our quick list: 

1. Shingle Problems

Shingles protect the roof’s structural components from the elements. If they’re damaged or missing, your roof would be at more risk from water damage. 

If your shingles are old and worn (which will happen naturally over time), your roof can run into several different kinds of problems.

  • Shingles can absorb too much moisture, which can lead to them rotting or growing mold and algae.
  • If your area has strong winds (Hello, Treasure Valley!) over time your shingles can weaken until they get blown off the roof.
  • Granule loss – old and damaged shingles can experience granule loss, meaning they won’t effectively protect your roof from the forces of nature.

2. Less Weather Protection

A roof in good shape is the first line of defense against the elements for your family’s home. But an old or damaged roof doesn’t offer much protection and can lead to many different kinds of issues.

  • Shingle loss (like we discussed above) can lead to a weakened ability to protect against the elements.
  • If your roof’s construction is weakened, it can collapse if there’s a severe enough storm.
  • Leaks! A damaged or old roof can leak, meaning dreaded (and expensive to fix) water damage.

3. Possible Fire Hazards

This one might not be as obvious, but leaks can also lead to increased fire hazards! Stay with me:

  • Water + wires = bad news. Your home’s wiring, outlets, and other electrical components could get exposed to water from a roof leak.
  • Wet wiring (especially older wiring) could short circuit and start sparking, leading to flames. 

4. Higher Chance of Pest Infestations

Over time, your roof’s shingles and structure can become brittle with age, making it much easier for pests. And no one, literally no one, wants pests.

Rodents, spiders and cockroaches can make their way through damaged or weak parts of your roof and enter your attic.

Once pests of any kind start nesting up there, their population could easily grow undisturbed until they spread throughout your home. Their bodies and droppings carry all sorts of germs that could cause various health risks like leptospirosis, typhoid fever, and cholera. 

5. Higher energy bills 

Besides protecting your home from the weather, a properly installed roof also helps insulate your home. It’ll help the house stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer, saving you money on heating and cooling bills. But an old or damaged roof can start causing your energy bill to skyrocket.

  • Damaged insulation: When your old roof starts deteriorating because of damaged or missing shingles and general exposure to the elements, moisture can get trapped and clump together, becoming unable to insulate your home as effectively.
  • Increased energy bill: Roof damage means your HVAC system will need to work harder, so watch your energy bill – if you’re seeing higher and higher costs year over year, it could be a sign your roof needs a refresh.

Reasons to get your roof checked out NOW rather than later:

  • No More Warranty Coverage: When the old roof is past its expected lifespan, it’s likely past its manufacturer’s warranty, too. At this point, you’d then have to shoulder the costs of any future repairs yourself. So how do you know if your roof’s warranty is expired? 20 years: Most roofs are under warranty for up to 20 years (or the life of your roof). After this warranty expires, you will pay much more for any repairs needed.
  • Insurance Might Not Cover Roof Repairs: Home insurance providers can typically cover roof repairs caused by weather or any accidental damage that isn’t your fault. However, if the roof is too old and past its warranty, they might not accept your insurance claim. They could argue that since the roof is past its life expectancy, you should already expect it to break down sooner or later. 

Ways to Deal With Your Old Roof 

Replace the Roof

Getting your roof fully replaced can be an ideal way to help keep your home protected. The average cost of replacing a roof in the US is $8,000, though it can go much higher than that, depending on where you live and how big your roof is. In any case, it’s a significant investment for any homeowner. So you’ll need to make sure you can afford the project or have a way to finance it – Idaho Roofing Contractors is happy to help with financing!

Schedule Preventive Maintenance and Repairs

​Keeping your old roof in good condition helps prevent more extensive and costly damage. You could have routine maintenance work done on your roof, whether it’s DIY or with a professional roofer. It’ll help spot and address roof issues before they get worse.

Get Your Old Roof Taken Care of Today

Idaho Roofing Contractors offers completely free inspections and estimates. You can call 208-921-7821, or visit us online anytime to request a free quote!

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