When your roof is failing and nearing the end of its lifespan, it will begin to need frequent repairs. Soon, you’ll need to replace the whole roof anyway, so it’s more cost-effective to simply do the re-roof right away, and save yourself the additional money of the repairs. However, it’s hard for homeowners to know when it’s time to stop repairing and get a roof replacement. Here is how you know your roof is failing:

1. Missing Shingles

As shingles age, their adhesive slowly wears out. Wind can then rip the shingles from your roof. One or two missing shingles may have improperly sealed. However, if you have several missing shingles, you can be sure that the rest will also soon fall off the roof.

2. Granules in Your Gutters

Another sign that your shingles have reached the end of their life is granule loss. Granules are the small bits of colored asphalt on the top of the shingle. You may find them in your gutters, or notice your shingles appear to be going bald. A small amount of granule loss is normal after the shingles are first installed. After that, granule loss indicates the shingles are breaking down and can no longer protect your roof.

3. Sagging or Bumpy Roof

Has your roof appeared to sag over time? Or perhaps it has developed a few bumps? Both of these problems could be from improper attic insulation that allows condensation to develop in the roof. If the roof deck, underlayment and shingles are exposed to condensation they can swell, shrink, and even collapse. If you have this problem, your entire roof will need to be replaced.

4. Moss or Algae Growth

Green growth on your roof doesn’t just look odd. Moss and algae grwoth can also damage the shingles. They may wear away at asphalt shingles and create gaps by growing beneath the shingles. If your roof has developed moss or algae, chances are your weather conditions require you to install a moss or algae-resistant shingle. If you don’t have them, you may need to get your whole roof replaced.

5. Your Roof is Fifteen Years Old

Many roofs last longer than 15 years. However, if your roof begins to develop problems after this mark, it’s more cost-effective to simply get it replaced. You’ll need to get it replaced within the next five years, so why use your savings for a band-aid fix?

If you’re not sure how old your roof is, a roofing professional may be able to tell you. Otherwise, pay attention to your neighborhood. Chances are, your neighbors will start to replace their roofs around the same time.

6. Excessive Damage

Hurricanes, wind storms, and ice storms can all ruin roofs beyond repair, even before the shingles start failing. Damage to the valleys and flashing is especially troubling, as valleys and flashing are the most likely areas to develop leaks, and they make up a significant portion of the roof.

If you’ve just experienced a storm, or if your roof shows any signs of failing, it’s wise to ask a professional roofer whether a re-roof job is in your best interests.