It's never good to go without a new roof when yours needs repair, as ignoring leaks can mean allowing water to get absorbed into the building materials of the home and, in turn, mold might grow and spread. An old roof can also be allowing out heat and air conditioning so that you're paying too much for your utility bills. Unfortunately many homeowners overlook signs that they need a new roof, assuming that if the roof hasn't actually caved in then it's fine, but this isn't always the case. Note a few signs that you may need a new roof on your home or, at the very least, some repair work done.

1. The age of the roof

First consider a roof's age. Each type of roofing material will have an expected lifespan, and this will also vary according to the manufacturer of those materials on your roof. This can be ten or twenty years, or longer depending on the roofing material. Check any paperwork you have for your roof or visit the manufacturer's website and determine how often they recommend you have the roof inspected and shingles or tiles replaced. As with getting your car's oil changed, doing this as recommended, even if everything is still functional, can mean avoiding more expensive repair bills down the road.

2. Wet or shrinking insulation

If the insulation in your attic is wet and seems to be shrinking, this often means a leak in the roof. You can note if the attic seems especially damp and if other building materials are holding humidity and moisture, but it's good to start looking for damage to the roof just above the areas of insulation that are wet. You're likely to find holes in the roofing material or missing shingles.

3. Discoloration

Your shingles may all still be attached to the roof, but if they're seeming to lose their color, this often means they're getting old and need replacing. Discoloration typically means that shingles are old and weathered and have suffered more than enough exposure to the sun, snow, and the like. If you examine them when you notice this discoloration, you may see that they've become dry and brittle. In turn, they're at risk for crumbling away from the roof or from being blown off in any storm. You may be able to replace just the discolored shingles if they're in direct sunlight and are more prone to early aging, or may find that all the shingles have aged and need replacing.

For assistance, talk to a roof repair professional.