The fast answer to how to know if you need a new roof is to phone a roofer and get a free roofing estimate. Our company, J and J Roofing, services most all of the Los Angeles area and you can get scheduled for a roofing estimate by phoning the office or using the online form.
But if you phone just any roofer, one who does not have many positive reviews, who can’t produce a contractor’s license or proof of liability insurance, you might not get the result you hope for. Being a good roofing contractor and knowing if a new roof is needed or just repairs, has a lot to do with experience. Even with decades of experience the best roofer in town will look at a leak situation and not immediately figure out what the cause is. Sometimes it takes tearing open the roof (destructive testing) in order to find the source of the leak.
The key to finding the leak is noticing the tell-tale signs of water entry. It might be rusty nails heads underneath (not always a sure sign but if they are the electro-galvanized nails, they shouldn’t rust easily), sediment under the shingles in places it shouldn’t be, indicating water entry and so on. It is not always the easy to spot the signs of a roof needing to be replaced.
A flat roof may appear “too clean” – there ought to be black lines where the rolls of roofing material would overlap, but sometimes they have covered them with extra white granules.
If you have any idea that you might have roofing problems, a professional roofer should be called. They will check your roof to see if you need a new roof. You don’t have to have a leaky roof to ask for a free estimate. There should be no obligation to buy anything or hire them.