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We all want to feel secure in our home. We count on it being a place to shelter and relax, free from worries about our safety.

Unfortunately, each year many people experience different kinds of home disasters, including roof collapses. These incidents tend to happen at the worst possible times, often with very little warning.

An unexpected home repair can be financially devastating to a family. Most families cannot handle a major expense like this without feeling significant stress. If a significant repair is needed, the homeowners may be forced to take out a loan or get emergency assistance to help cover the costs.

Replacing a damaged roof is a “non-optional” survival issue because a roof is one of the main protective elements of a home. If the damage is not repaired quickly, a family could become homeless or deal with significant long-term financial fallout.

The good news is that with some knowledge about roof upkeep and adequate planning, it’s possible to avoid worst-case scenarios and keep the safety of your home intact.

Here are 7 warning signs you need a new roof.

1. Water Is Coming Inside

If you see water dripping from the ceiling or collecting in your attic, your roof is scarily damaged and the problem could quickly become more serious. There’s either a gaping hole somewhere or a serious breakdown in materials that must be found and fixed immediately.

Even if water isn’t actively dripping on your head, if you can still see water stains in the attic, or on the walls or ceiling, you have a problem. These may change shape or fade and re-appear when new rain falls.

Mold growth is a side effect of water leaking into your home, and it can be very toxic and difficult to remove. Mold-related medical problems include conditions like asthma and allergies, which affect children and adults chronically and cost millions of dollars each year to treat.

The best way to deal with mold is to avoid the conditions that allow it to start growing in the first place. Regular monitoring of your roof’s condition, especially if you live in a humid, rainy climate, will help you keep your home water-tight and mold-free.

2. Your Utility Bills Are Increasing

In addition to the water leakage problem, a leaky roof will cause issues with your home’s airtightness. If your heating and cooling bills have started to skyrocket, your bad roof could be the culprit.

A bad roof will cause air-conditioned air to escape, and hot outside air to get in- as well as the opposite effect in wintertime. No matter how much you play with the thermostat, the house climate will just not feel right, won’t stay stable, and your bank account balance will bleed money you could be using to pay for something else.

3. You See Wear And Tear

No matter where you live, weather conditions can be brutal and take a major toll on your roof, even without a hurricane or tornado happening. It doesn’t matter if your roof is covered in tin, shingles, tile, or something else- eventually, it’s going to degrade and start breaking down. The sun is a powerful destructive force, and so is rain and hail.

When you start seeing crumbling, fading, cracking, or chipping overhead, you should wonder, “Do I need a new roof?” These signs take years to develop, so under normal conditions if you just bought a newly constructed home, you have some time before you should start to worry about it.

4. Tiles Or Shingles Are Missing

Occasionally homeowners may notice roof damage that seems to be located in only a small area, or in random small sections. If you see a few missing tiles or shingles here and there, it’s still a sign that you should plan for an upcoming repair or replacement of your roof. If you deal with minor problems early, you can prevent further damage like water leakage from developing.

Consulting with a reputable roofing company will help you determine whether a full or partial replacement is necessary. Here’s also a handy guide to knowing when your roof might be in trouble.

5. Your Roof Is Getting Old

Most roofs last about 20 to 25 years. If your home is reaching that point, you should prepare for a total roof replacement. Depending on the materials used, a full replacement can be expensive- so be sure to always budget for one if you can.

If you own your home for about 30 years you’ll probably only need to do this once, unless there’s a major weather incident that causes catastrophic damage.

6. Sagging

If your rain gutters and roof surface are sagging, that means a roof collapse could be happening shortly- don’t ignore this sign! Also, if you see sagging starting to show up inside your attic, that’s usually a sign of severe water damage.

Sagging can happen because of age, but it could also be the result of temperature problems melting the materials, the wrong materials being used, or other bad installation practices.

7. Tree And Weather Damage

If you live in an area with lots of hail, tornados, hurricanes, or long bouts of rain, watch out for weather damage. Tree branches can tear up your roof and gouge huge holes instantly, so if you have large trees in your yard that need to be trimmed, don’t wait.

There’s no way to get around a repair if you have massive damage from a tree or hail, so know where to go to get help if you need to.

What To Do When You See Warning Signs You Need A New Roof

Unless you’re lucky or move frequently, you will likely need to replace your roof at least once. Knowing the warning signs you need a new roof will help you avoid any nasty surprises and be able to afford this major undertaking if it becomes necessary.

The benefits of replacing your roof include a more attractive house, better resale value, and increased security for you and your family.

If you have enjoyed finding out more about this topic and would like to read more about optimizing your home for safety and comfort, please check out our other articles here.