How To Tell If You Need a New Roof for your Home

Along with the frame, the roof is amongst a home’s most critical structural elements. It not only offers protection from the weather, but it also adds aesthetic appeal and value to a property. Different types of roofing materials will affect how often roofs need to be replaced. Here is a guide to warning signs you need a roof and how long various types of roofs last.

1. Cracked or missing roof tiles

Cracked, loose or even missing roof tiles can indicate that your roof’s tiled surface has been weakened or damaged from roof age, weather exposure, the build-up of dirt and debris, or even animals like possums or pests accessing the roof and causing damage. Missing roof tiles can also indicate other problems, like cracked mortar or broken ridge capping.

Once tiles are compromised, they can also create gaps on your roof’s surface, making it susceptible to water and other substances entering your home. Water damage can lead to other issues like rot, mould and internal leakages. Over time, they can worsen, affect your home’s structure, and become more costly. At this point, if you are asking yourself, do I need a new roof, the answer is probably yes

2. Corrosion or rust

Corrosion or rust is formed when a metal roof is exposed to moisture, and a reaction occurs between water and oxygen. Older roofs can be particularly vulnerable to rust development as their protective surfaces erode over time. Modern metal roofing materials are highly resistant to corrosion thanks to the incorporation of aluminium, zinc or galvanised coatings.

However, they can still be susceptible to rust damage, depending on their material and location. Homes built near salt water may require extra roof protection to avoid rust forming, which is common in coastal areas. You can generally remove small amounts of rust yourself with a stiff metal brush. How to tell if you need a new roof? Call in the experts for a full appraisal. They will recommend actions for a roof restoration or advise whether you need a completely new roof.

3. Damaged roof elements

Damaged ridge capping, roof flashing or valley irons can be a major cause of roof leaks. Ridge capping is a type of roof flashing that joins two roof surfaces. Roof flashing is the strip of metal that provides a seal between roof joints, usually around areas like eaves, chimneys and skylights. Valley irons are the sections of metal positioned under tiled surfaces that allow water to be drained into gutters.

When a flashing is damaged, water can enter in and under your roof’s surface, where it can be absorbed and lead to internal leaks. If flashing is missing or partially dislodged, it can cause water leakage if it’s not correctly adhered to your roof. Loose flashing can be further damaged or blown away when exposed to extreme weather like thunderstorms.

4. Sagging roofs

Sagging roofs can be caused by a range of different issues, from the structure of your roof to damage from the elements. How can you tell if you need a new roof? A professional will need to inspect a sagging roof to determine the actual cause of any issues and provide a comprehensive issue to resolve the problem. Depending on what’s causing the damage, some sagging roofs may be able to be restored to bring them back to life, while others will need to be replaced entirely.

5. Roofs that are cultivating fungi, moss and lichen

While a few patches of lichen, moss or fungi on your roof may not be a significant problem, these fuzzy growths often indicate poor drainage, which can lead to cracks and leaks that allow water to seep through to the interior of your home. An expert will need to assess your roof, as if left unaddressed, these organisms will only continue to spread resulting in a blanket of plant life that will eagerly eat away at the integrity of your roof.

6. Roof colour is fading

The colour of your roof is a good indicator of its age and condition. Colour fading can be a sign that the protective coating on your roof has deteriorated over time. This can leave it weakened and susceptible to damage. It can also be caused by a build-up of dirt on the roof’s surface. Regular pressure cleaning can prevent colour fading, however, once this process starts, it’s an excellent time to assess its condition before more serious damage occurs. A faded roof can also detract from the appearance of your home and lower its value and street appeal. Restoring it will give it a fresh new look and return it to a ‘like new’ condition, rejuvenating its appearance.

7. A discoloured or sagging ceiling

Discolouration on your internal ceilings indicates that there is a leak somewhere in your roof. While small leaks may not seem like a big issue, any leak can quickly become an extensive and costly problem. If left unaddressed, leaks can cause severe harm, leading to mould growth and structural damage. A sagging roof is also a serious problem that should also be addressed. But how do you know if you need a new roof? Most often caused by water damage, a sagging roof can significantly weaken your roof’s structure and, in severe cases, cause it to collapse. A sure sign it’s time for a new roof

8. Internal or ceiling leaks

Dark spots or wet patches on your ceiling, areas of your ceiling bulging or bubbling and even puddles on your floors can all be indicators of internal leaks. They are also among the most common issues in old or damaged roofs. Water entering your home from cracks in your roof can be absorbed into wall surfaces and wooden beams and affect plaster, wallpaper, insulation and your home’s structural integrity. Internal leaks can be caused by a range of problems, including holes in your roof’s surface, roof vent damage or missing valley irons or roof tiles. They can also be hazardous as they may be located close to electrical wiring, so the services of a professional are required as soon as possible

9. Your energy bills have increased

If you’ve noticed a sudden and unexplained increase in your energy bills, it could be due to the deteriorating condition of your roof. As a roof ages, it becomes less energy-efficient and, particularly in homes with air conditioning, can cause your system to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. A new roof will improve your home’s energy efficiency and help you save money in the long run, particularly if paired with new roofing insulation.

10. The age of your roof

Over time, exposure to the elements and a build-up of mould, algae and lichen can deteriorate roof surfaces, allowing holes and other damage to form. Water and debris can then infiltrate your roof, causing more serious structural damage to your home. If you live in an older-style home and have noticed signs of roof deterioration, a roof restoration will help to stop further damage and the need for more expensive repairs down the track.

How often do you need a new roof?

Traditional roofs, and some that still exist today, were constructed of shingles or tiles, which meant a lot of wear and tear and the need for maintenance and even a replacement roof over a shorter period. These days, and given Australia’s often harsh climate, metal roofs have long been the preference due to their durability, aesthetics and versatility. But how long does a metal roof last?

A properly maintained metal roof can typically last upwards of 50 years, but the life of your metal roof will depend on the metal you choose.


An alloy of iron and carbon, this combination makes steel one of the strongest and most durable building materials available. Because iron is prone to rusting, model steel roof sheets are usually coated with a corrosion-resistant layer to increase their lifespan. If you want to reduce the risk of rust even further, opt for stainless steel sheets, which include chromium to prevent corrosion. They will be a bit more expensive, but may increase the life of your roof another ten years!


Aluminium is a lightweight but strong metal that is naturally rust-resistant. It is ideal for use in coastal areas. Aluminium isn’t prone to rusting because it doesn’t include any iron; however, it is lighter and slightly less dent-resistant than steel. An aluminium roof will also expand and contract more with variations in temperature than a steel roof, which means it’s essential to have it installed by a professional. The lifespan of an aluminium roof is typically between 50 and 70 years.


Copper is loved for its bright pink-orange sheen that develops a gorgeous green-blue patina over time. Naturally rust-resistant, it is one of the most durable roofing metals and can easily last up to 100 years. However, the key thing to remember is that it will change colour over time as it develops a patina, so will definitely look different from when you first had it installed.


Zinc is a low-maintenance, long-lasting roofing option and a premium building material that will last more than 100 years if properly installed and maintained. It corrodes very slowly and stands up well to the elements with minimal maintenance required.

To discuss the warning signs for a new roof, contact Strongguard to chat with one of our friendly roof and gutter experts.