How to tell when you need a roof replacement

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Orca Roofing is in the roof replacement business. We are a local, customer-focused roofing company featuring high-quality materials, no mess and smooth installation. When your home needs a new roof, choosing Orca Roofing means you’re choosing the best. Getting a roof replacement can be stressful and homeowners delay because roof replacements are disruptive, messy and loud. Orca Roofing invests in state-of-the-art tools to make your roof replacement clean from start to finish. In fact, we’re proud of the mess we don’t make. Our dumpster collects the mess at roof level, so construction waste never makes it to the front yard or landscaping. Each job has a project manager who is your go-to contact for problems or praise from day one. They are accessible and available, and see your roof replacement to completion. We make our roof replacements as efficient as possible with the least disruption as possible. 

Water is the Roof’s Enemy

A roof is the most important defense your home has against the elements. Maintaining and caring consistently for your roof extends the longevity of the roof, but all roofs wear out after a while, even with attentive care and maintenance. When your home needs its roof replaced, it’s best to do it quickly. Extended time with slow, usually invisible, problems rapidly deteriorates the roof. Water and warm, moist air is a roof’s greatest enemy, and many times these slow, hidden problems cause a lot more damage to other areas. You might not discover a roof leak for a month or two, but when you do you will need roof repairs, fans, possible mold treatments, new insulation, dry wall repairs, and paint. A seemingly small problem can snowball into a big event. Replacing the roof before there’s a problem is the best way to prevent further, bigger, problems. Seeing the natural signs of an aging roof, instead of dealing with a massive leak, is preferable and recommended. 


There are a number of things to look for when evaluating your roof’s longevity. It’s a good idea to know what type of roof you have in order to evaluate its health. 

Asphalt Composition Roofing

Many roofs, especially in the greater Seattle area, are composition roofs, made from asphalt shingles. They are effective against the elements, and with the proper care, feature a reliably long life. When composition roofing begins to wear out you might notice curing at the edges of the shingles. You might see bald spots where the asphalt granules are missing. You might observe cracks, making it look old and worn. Any usual coloring like dark streaks, indicating airborne algae, moss or small plants growing on your roof is a telltale sign the roof is on its last legs. If your home is in a neighborhood, most likely most of the homes were built around the same time. If you notice neighbors getting their roofs replaced, it’s probably time to think about getting yours replaced as well. 

Cedar Shingle Roofing

Orca Roofing replaces many old and failing cedar shingle roofs, but we don’t install cedar shingles for a couple reasons. We believe the highest-quality cedar shake is produced from old-growth cedar. Being from the beautiful Pacific Northwest, we know this old-growth lumber is too valuable to harvest. Much of the current cedar shakes are made from inferior-quality, farm-raised cedar. This wood is more porous, less dense, thinner, and more susceptible to cracks and breakage. But, Orca Roofing is proficient at tearing off a cedar shake roof and replacing it with other higher quality material. If you have a cedar-shake roof there are a few signs to look for when evaluating if it needs to be replaced. The first is curling or cupping. After years of sun, rain, snow, ice and wind exposure, if the cedar shingles on your roof are curled up at the sides, they are most likely ready to be replaced. Another clear sign your cedar shake roof is wearing out is when there are distinct cracks in the shingles. Cedar naturally has a long grain, and will obtain some natural splitting as it expands and contracts, but large, distinct cracks splitting the entire shingle is a bad sign. When the cedar gets old it gets brittle and cracks easily. Another sign it’s time to replace your cedar shake roof is if you can see the edges of the shingles are rotting. They will look uneven, and there might be green or dark debris near the edge. A section of roof that is shaded for most of the day will frequently have rotting shingles. Because of the rain and lush conditions in the Seattle area, roofs that can’t dry out like they need are at risk to have rotting shingles. 

TPO Roofing

Some roofs in the greater Seattle area have flat roofs. TPO roofing is a flexible and highly durable material for flat roofs. They are sturdy and long-lasting, but over time will wear down. If your home has a TPO roof and you are seeing signs of water damage inside your home (in the form of dripping water, mold growth, bubbling interior walls or ceiling, and water spots), don’t wait to call Orca Roofing. There is likely extensive damage from the roof to your ceiling, and waiting only increases the final bill on repairs. Keeping an eye on the exterior layer of your flat, TPO roof will prevent interior problems. There are a few exterior signs to look for when evaluating if your TPO roof needs to be replaced. If there are visible rips in the black membrane material, your TPO layer may be wearing out. Small rips can be repaired, but too many small rips or bigger rips, might call for a replacement. Pooling or ponding water is another sign your roof might need replacement. Pooling could be a sign the roof’s drainage system has failed. Because water is the roof’s enemy, water that sits on your roof for too long will damage it and ruin it over time. Over time, and with extended exposure to the weather, small cracks are an indication the TPO material is wearing out and needs to be replaced. The final indicator it might be time for a new TPO roof is to examine the flashing. If the flashing is loose or dislodged, your roof will be more susceptible to leaks.

Orca Roofing: Your Solution in Roof Replacement

If you notice any of these signs your roof is on its last legs, reach out to Orca Roofing today. Our roof specialists will asses your roof, make recommendations, and schedule your replacement. Your roof replacement will be efficient, clean and on time. You will have support and access to your job manager when you need them, and your finished roof will be of the highest quality installed by well-trained professionals. 

The post How to Tell When You Need a Roof Replacement appeared first on Orca Roofing.

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