You depend on your roof to keep your home dry and safe. Even if it seems like it is doing it's job, wear and tear, or just plain age, could be allowing moisture to seep beneath the shingles. You may not even notice the damage occurring at first, especially if you don't go into your attic often. Taking the time to survey your roof at least once a year can help you catch issues and plan for a replacement before major damage occurs. Watch for these signs that your roof may need to be replaced.

#1: Curling Shingles

As shingles age and wear down, the edges often begin to curl. They usually curl up, but sometimes they curl inward. This means that moisture can now seep beneath or between the shingles. It will eventually seep through the roof sheathing and drip into the attic. Combine curling with moss growth on the roof, which can further force shingles up, and a leak is imminent.

#2: Missing Shingles

Shingles can blow off in storms, but you might not notice they are missing right away unless you take the time to look. If you lose only one or two shingles in a bad storm, you may be able to have them replaced as long as the rest of the roof looks fine. If shingles keep coming off in subsequent storms, it's likely time to replace the roof. You may also want to replace the roof if you lose a lot of shingles simply because it may be hard to color-match replacement shingles.

#3: Deteriorating Gravel

Asphalt shingles are coated in gravel, which helps them prevent leaks. As the shingles age, the gravel begins to break free. If you start finding large amounts of gravel in your gutters or on the ground beneath the eaves, the shingles need replacement. You may also notice smooth or shiny spots on shingles, especially after a major hail storm. This is also a sign of gravel loss and the need for a new roof.

#4: Cracked Shingles and Flashing

Sometimes the damage to shingles is less noticeable. This is often the case with cracked or torn shingles, especially if the shingle is still laying flat. You will need to keep an eye out for ragged edges, especially after a windy day. The flashing in the valleys and on the peaks of your roof, along with flashing around rooftop chimneys and vents, will also become torn or begin to pull up over time, which is easier to spot. Damage to shingles and the flashing may indicate that it's time for a new roof.

Contact a roofing professional like Independent Roofing Inc in your area for more help.