How old is the roof on your home? When was the last time that you had your roof inspected by a professional? Unless you purchased a brand-new house instead of an older pre-existing one, you probably don't know the answer to either question. It's not that they are difficult questions in and of themselves, it's just that most people don't pay much attention to their roof as long as it's not actively leaking. While you could continue to exist in this manner until your roof does develop a leak, it's not the best way to go about things. Without inspections at regular intervals, a leaky roof could result in expensive damage to your belongings. Some signs that your roof may not be far from this outcome include:
Curling shingles: In order to function efficiently, asphalt shingles need to lie relatively flat and even across the entire surface of the roof. As these shingles start to near the end of their useful life, you may begin to notice that the edges of your shingles are starting to lift up and curl. This will be subtle at first and may require a roofing contractor to spot but the effect will eventually become so pronounced that it will be obvious even to someone standing on the ground.
Fallen shingles: After a strong storm, it's not unheard of to find a shingle or two has been torn from the roof and now lies in the yard. If you discover that this has happened, you need to contact a roofing contractor as soon as possible for a repair. The loss of even a single shingle can result in a gap sufficient enough to allow the roof to begin to leak. The sooner you can have it fixed, the better off you'll be.
Messy gutter system: As asphalt shingles age, they will start to lose the layer of pebble-like granules that help protect the asphalt layer from the sun. Without this layer, the shingle will age much more quickly and will start to show other signs of wear. These loose granules will get washed off your roof and into your gutters — in fact, they may get washed out of the gutters entirely and wind up collected around the downspout. If you notice a small pile of roof-colored pebbles anywhere, it's time to have a roofing contractor take a look at your roof to determine how much time the roof has left.