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Early signs you may need a roof replacement

Roofline replacement can sound daunting but it’s one of the best things you can do to keep your property a safe place to live or work. There are many ways to do a quick ‘health check’ on your roofline, both from inside and outside the building. 

Whether your roofline is a flat roof or a pitched roof construction, there are some simple telltale signs that roofline replacement is needed. 

For roofline replacement in NI, it’s important to consult trained specialists. It should go without saying, but do not entrust this important part of your home to tradesmen calling at the door. Unfortunately doorstep scammers are still active in this country and will often call at the door saying they have spotted a problem with your roof.

Many will unfortunately do poor work, or simply take your money and do no work at all.  Use our guide below to educate yourself, and then consult a qualified and experienced roofline replacement company such as ourselves if you suspect there is a problem. 

Age of the roof

When buying a property, your homebuyer’s survey should contain details of how old the roof is, and will usually contain a recommendation of when the roof should be replaced. The surveyor will also note any damage or weaknesses. The survey will contain details of the roofing materials on the roof, which can also yield clues as to its age. If your roof is over 20 years old and there are multiple layers of shingles, roofline replacement may be a good idea. Roofline replacement every 15 years is often recommended these days

Checking your roofline from inside the property

Signs of water, damp or leaks

It seems obvious that signs of leaks or water damage on ceilings and walls could be evidence of a damaged roof. However sometimes homeowners can mistake patches of moisture and water pools for damp, condensation, or even pipe leaks. It’s not always easy to tell where water is coming from, but if you spot signs of water inside your home, it’s a good idea to have your roof checked out.

Daylight shining through the roof

Go into the upper rooms of your house – for many this will be the attic or roof space – around sunset. It needs to be dark enough that if you turn out the lights, the room will be dark. However there needs to be enough sunlight to illuminate any holes or cracks in the roofing. 

We recommend trying this test in the summertime when days are longer and there are longer periods of semi-light such as sunset and early dusk. If you see any points of sunlight coming through, then roofing repairs are needed.

Checking your roofline from outside the property

Mould, moss or ice

The growth of ice dams, moss, mould or mildew can force tiles and shingles apart and create gaps that let in water and possibly even pests. These weak points can encourage growth of bacteria and fungi, threatening the health of occupants and widening roofline gaps and holes. 

Loose tiles

The slates or tiles of your roof should be fairly uniform. Look out for any tiles or shingles which are sticking out or sitting at a different angle from the rest. One or two loose tiles should be easy enough to replace; any more than that and you may need a roofline replacement. 

There are many reasons why tiles can become loosened, and wind damage is a common cause in the UK. 


If your flat roof is bowed in the middle, this is a strong sign that it needs to be replaced. An early sign of a bowed or sagging flat roof is the collection of water when it rains. If you notice even a small pool or puddle of water in the middle of your flat roof after rainfall, even if it’s not a leaky roof, don’t wait – it’s a good idea to consult an expert about roofline replacement as soon as possible. 

Cracks or splits

A flat roof is a simpler structure than the pitched type of roofs, which are usually shingle roofs. They can be more susceptible to leaks and damage, but issues are usually easier to spot too. Look for any cracks in the felting or roofing material of your flat roof. Even the tiniest hole or crack should prompt a roof inspection and properly repaired, or a new roof install carried out, to maintain the integrity of the roofline.

Sagging / uneven ridges

On pitched roofs, the ridge is the edge where the tops of each side of the roof come together. It’s like the ‘seam’ that runs down the centre of the roof; its top edge. Looking at the roof ridge from across the street, it should be a nearly perfect straight line. If there is any sagging or bowing in that line, or if you see any materials loose or sitting at a funny angle, that’s a warning sign. As with the tiles on your roof, one or two should be fixable; any more than that and there could be bigger issues. 

Debris on the ground or in the gutters

If you see any roofing material such as bits of tile or asphalt shingle, pieces of mortar, flashing or a grainy sandy material (the protective top coat of many roofing materials) lying on the ground around your house, or in the guttering, this may indicate that the roof needs repaired or that roofline replacement may be needed.

Roof replacement