Denali Exteriors

How do I know when it's time to replace my roof?


Spring time again in Winnipeg means that the snow covering your roof is starting to melt away, and you’re about to see what condition it’s in. A question on everyone’s mind with an older roof is “how do I know when it’s time to replace my roof?”.

In this article, we’re going to discuss common signs it’s time to repair your roof. But before we get into it, here are a few things to consider:

  • Consider the age of your roof. When did you last replace it? If it wasn’t too long ago, it might still be under warranty.
  • If it’s not too old, you might just need to repair a part of it as opposed to redoing all of it.
  • It’s important to do regular check ups. Maybe two to three times a year, take some pictures of your roof in the same spot, so that you can compare how your roof is ageing.


There are a few things that can happen to shingles that you should be aware of.

Missing or broken shingles

Probably the most obvious and easy to see are any missing or broken shingles. Missing shingles can weaken the integrity of your roof over time and leave vulnerable entry points for water. If there’s just a few missing shingles, you can always get a Winnipeg roofer to replace them instead of replacing your entire roof.

Damp or dark shingles

If you happen to see any dark, damp or discoloured shingles on your roof, it may be that water is getting trapped underneath or around them. While roofs are designed for water to flow down and away from your home, sometimes there are specific spots where water pools.

It’s important to note that the discoloured or damp shingle is not always the one that is problematic. It’s possible that the issue is higher up, which causes the water to run down and pool in that particular spot. If you notice these types of shingles, but you’re not sure where the problem is originating from, definitely call a Winnipeg roofing company to check it out before it becomes a much bigger problem.

Cracked or curled

You know a shingle is nearing its end of life cycle when it starts to crack or looks curled. If you only see a few, it’s probably not quite time to replace your roof yet as long as there is no water coming into your house. However, if you are noticing that there are a lot of shingles that are curling or cracking, then it’s definitely time to take action.

Curling in shingles can also mean that there are environmental factors affecting them, such as extreme heat, ice or wind. Overtime, severe weather can make the shingles rigid to the point where they can possibly break off and fly away.

Sand in your eavestroughs or gutters

If you notice that your eavestroughs aren’t flowing properly, it could be because there is too much sand in them, which means you have a bigger problem. The sand, especially if it’s coarse black sand, is actually granules from worn out shingles.

Asphalt or composite shingles will start to lose their granules as they age. Those granules will get deposited into your eavestroughs by wind and rain.

As it’s natural for an older roof to lose granules, if your roof is relatively new and you’re noticing granules in your eavestroughs, it might be because of physical damage to your roof. Once you lose the protective granules on a shingle, it starts to harden from sun and heat exposure. The loss of granules will accelerate your roof’s ageing and could also create water entry points.

Buckling shingles

Buckling shingles, just like broken or missing shingles, can be greatly susceptible to wind and ice damage, which means that they can tear off easily.

Not sure if you have buckling shingles? One way to tell is if you have a wavy distortion that normally runs vertically up the roof slope. Buckling shingles can also be caused by wet or poorly installed underlayment.

Roof Accessories

Things like vents, pipes, chimneys, or skylights can also be sources of damage for your roof. If the caulking around them starts to separate, lift or dry out, water is more susceptible to seeping into the cracks.

Ceilings and inside your house

Stains on walls or ceilings

Are you seeing discolouration on your walls or ceilings? While they can be caused by several different things, one of the most common causes is a leaky roof. More specifically, the roof’s underlayment could be allowing moisture into your home. This leads to staining. If the underlayment is the cause, you will probably have to replace your whole roof.


Are you noticing any water or light in your attic that you normally don’t see? Your roof might be to blame for that. If you do find any leaks in your attic, it might be as simple as replacing the flashing, but it could be as serious as having to do a lot more.

A good thing to remember is that if you can see light coming through, water can also get through. Missing shingles could be why light is getting in.

Also, pay attention to the rafters or decking in your attic. If you see that they are sagging down instead of being straight, the rafters might be absorbing water from leaks.

Energy bill changes

Do you see a jump in your heating bill in the winter? Is your summer air conditioning bill higher than normal? This could be due to air leaking through your roof, which is a ventilation problem that needs to be fixed.

Need a quote on a new roof or roof repair?

At Denali Exteriors, we have seen the worst of the worst. If you think it’s time for a new roof, have us come out to give you a quote.