By 2021, the roofing industry is estimated to grow by 4%.

With an increase in the market and an increase in do-it-yourself roof solutions, things can get overwhelming before a first-time homeowner even chooses to purchase a new roof. Some may not even realize they need a new roof. Here is a great guide to repairing any roof from beginning to end.

Luckily, you only need to keep reading for five things you should look out for.

Need A New Roof

Understanding the Language

Before you can understand roofing, you need to understand its terminology. This also helps you know what to look at.

• Shingle – These are the overlapping tiles on the outer layer of any roof.
• Step Flashing – Also called “roof flashing,” these are simple thin sheets of metal nailed into place along any area where the roof meets with a vertical surface (like a chimney).
• Decking – The portion below the roof’s weather-proofing. The most common material for this is plywood.
• Roof vents – Small vents placed outside the attic space to allow heat to escape.

Now that’s covered, what do you need to keep an eye out for?

1. The Age

The first thing you should note is the roof’s age and the material used to cover it. Sometimes the roof condition is pristine, but age still plays a factor in its replacement.

Typically, asphalt shingle roofs last about 20 years, fiber cement shingles last 25, wood shaker roofs last 30, and slate, copper, and tile roofs can last 50 years or longer.

2. Shingle Condition

If shingles are curling, clawing, missing, cracking, or chipping, it might be time for a new roof. These conditions are a sign of weather damage or old age and can lead to bigger problems down the road.

In some cases, replacing the shingles is all that needs to happen (especially if a hurricane or bad storm came and blew a few off the roof). In others, you have a few years before things go awry and it’s time for a new roof.

3. Are There Leaks? 

Leaks can come from several things. Whether that’s loose shingles or aged flash stepping, leaks are a repairable problem. If it’s bad enough though, it can sometimes mean an entirely new roof.

An extensively leaky roof is noticeable through water damage on ceilings or down walls. However, some first-time homeowners may not notice their leaky roof until a storm hits and they’re left with buckets underneath a spout of water.

The first step in fixing a leak is to pinpoint its source, which can be tricky to do. Water doesn’t always drop straight down, and it can cascade through roof panels in the attic. Small leaks are harder to find than big ones, but both should be treated equally.

Enlist the help of a roofing contractor if this is the case. Finding the source of any leak immediately after it’s noticed is better than waiting for the damage to appear.

Moss can appear under and between roof shingles. Though it doesn’t usually cause leaks, it could mean there’s excess moisture trapped inside. Tend to moss with a stiff brush, but be on the lookout for other underlying issues.

4. Check the Attic

Take your ladder and climb into the attic on a sunny day. If light streaks are coming through the roof, this could mean missing tiles.

However, taking a flashlight to search for water damage can potentially find the source of leaks, or tell you if there’s a bigger problem.

5. Dark Streaks

If you’ve ever seen dark streaks running down a roof, you may have just thought it looked wet or like it had water damage. That “water” was algae.

Known as Gloeocapsa magma, the algae develop a hard outer coating that feeds on the limestone in shingles. Over the years, the shingle condition becomes worse and the color becomes more noticeable. As a result, moisture becomes trapped and causes premature aging, which can lead to other problems.

The problem can be temporarily cured with zinc or copper strips (though it won’t take away the existing algae), but the roof eventually needs to be replaced. To prevent it from happening again, use algae-resistant shingles.

6. Granules in the Gutter

This problem occurs mostly with asphalt shingle roofing and can be a sign that your shingles need attention.

Losing granules is normal, but if you’re noticing a buildup in your gutter then that could be a sign that you require a new roof. If you just got a new roof, excess granules should be expected to fall off.

Granule loss is an expectation over time, and you’ll find a buildup if the gutters haven’t been cleaned in a while. However, first-time homeowners should always ask about the exterior care that happened on the house amid selling.

If the roof and its gutters were cleaned before move-in, and then a pileup is noticed a few weeks later, it’s time to call a professional.

First-Time Homeowners Shouldn’t Fear New Roofing


If you’re a first-time homeowner that does need to replace their roof, it’s highly likely that you’ll see a return on your investment when and if you sell your home. New roofing is seen as an upgrade, just like kitchen remodels or room additions.

Newer roofs are safe and keep dirt, debris, excess water, and even animals from getting into your attic. Keeping an eye on the roof vents is always necessary as well.

Tempe Roofing is always an option when you decide to revitalize the top of your home. Contact us, or keep perusing our website to find out more.