Skip to content Accessibility info

Advanced Insurance Solutions Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Top of mind: When do you need to replace your roof?

In early 1963, The Drifters had a big hit with the song, "Up On The Roof," which began:

When this old world starts getting me down
/And people are just too much for me to face/
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
/And all my cares just drift right into space
/On the roof, it's peaceful as can be

It was a perfect perch for stargazing in the song, but a roof plays an even more essential role in providing a peaceful, secure home for your family.

For that reason, be sure to look up on your roof to see what kind of shape it's in. A typical asphalt shingle roof -- a single layer of shingles that is properly ventilated -- will last 20 to 25 or 30 years before it will need to be replaced.

If your roof comprises two or more layers of shingles and is older than 20 years, Angie's List notes, you may need a new roof now. On average, it costs $11,095 to tear off and replace an old roof.

Here are some other factors to help you determine whether your roof needs to be repaired or even replaced, courtesy of Angie's List and Good Housekeeping:

• When shingles cup (edges turn upward) or claw (edges are flat and the middle comes up), these are signs of weathering and that leaks aren't far behind.

• Snow and rain flow through roof valleys on their way to gutters. If shingles are falling apart of missing in the valleys, you could be susceptible to roof leaks.

• If you have missing shingles, it could be the result of strong winds, or it could be a sign of age. Missing shingles should be replaced to ensure the roof's integrity. Aesthetically, it might be difficult to color-match new shingles with older ones.

• Shingle granules keep the sun off the asphalt. On a new roof, it's expected that extra granules will come. But if you have an older roof and notice granules in your gutter, the quality of the shingles will deteriorate quickly.

• If your existing chimney flashing is made of roof cement and tar, you might want to replace it with metal flashing for a long-term, water-tight seal.

• If daylight can get in your attic, then so can rain, cold air and snow. Check for moisture in the attic insulation. If you see water stains that change shape or size over a few rainfalls, then you have an active leak.

• Moss on shingles could be just an aesthetic issue, or it could indicate trapped moisture below.

• If the roof is sagging, it is a sign of a structural issue that needs immediate attention.

Bear in mind that the items listed above involve regular wear and tear to a roof over time. These repairs are not covered by a typical homeowner's insurance policy.

Sudden damage caused by an act of nature is another matter, as explained in this blog post from Erie Insurance.

Here's wishing that you, as the Drifters song suggests, find "a paradise that's trouble-proof" up on your roof.