Because it’s standing up so high in the open air, your roof is at high risk practically at all times. All kinds of natural elements—such as dust, rain, snow, pollen, and much more—can painfully penetrate the surface like a small candlelight to a finger.
Even the least visible factors could set it off. The more it collects, the sooner someone must make some kind of adjustment. You might need a whole new top to your house, or maybe you just simply need a couple things tweaked or polished so your old top can endure some more time.
So the question is: How do you know whether your current roof can continue on?
If you perform annual examinations of your roof, you should have plenty of time to get things adjusted. Issues like a discolored underside, a dark-stained ceiling, a moist fireplace base, and a damp air duct are usually the earliest flaws to develop and therefore the easiest to correct.
There are other potential factors, like a warped roof and gutters full of crumbled asphalt, that are rather complex to fix, but can usually be resolved with no replacement required. If unsure, try to get an opinion from an NRCIA inspector. It’ll cost less than $200.
Most roofs can endure about 20 years before calling it quits. Like most other objects, and even people, they eventually become brittle and dry. If the top coating layer is missing from just a couple pieces, or if the surface feels rather soft, its time may be coming to an end.
Its endurance can be further decreased if there are more layers of coating, asphalt or other materials stacked together. Check the roof annually so there’ll be plenty of time to take action if something is questionable.