What Qualifies as a Roofing Emergency?

What Qualifies as a Roofing Emergency?

Picture of moisture damaged ceiling.

If you’re from Minnesota, you’ve no doubt heard of roof collapses—they’re the stuff of homeowners’ nightmares. Roof collapses can result from excessive snow load to a faulty attic, and these most certainly qualify as a roofing emergency. Even non-roofing contractors can attest to that!

But is everything that goes wrong with your roofing considered an emergency? Certainly, you must think that your roofing should not be a constant source of anxiety for anyone in your home. You’ve got enough on your plate as it is!

Honest reports on the relative severity of different roofing problems are difficult to find, but Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors is here to help! Below, you’ll find a brief primer on a variety of roofing problems, one that answers the pressing question: is my current roofing problem worth panicking over?

What to Panic About: Indubitably Destructive Roofing Hazards

We’ll start with the nasty problems—the ones that will cause anxiety, and rightfully so. While all roofing problems are destructive to your roof’s structural integrity, these are signs that the given issue has progressed enough that your family’s health is at risk or that your roof itself might not last much longer.

Saggy Roofing

Never ignore a roof that’s looking deflated, as this could be a sign that a collapse—yes, a full-out collapse—could be in your future. While sagging’s severity (and thus the likelihood of the aforementioned collapse) can ultimately vary, sagging roofing is still roofing that can no longer properly support itself; it’s not doing the job it was designed to do.

You’ll need prompt roof repair in this case to keep your family safe and if you want your roofing to last any significant length of time.

Soggy Insulation

This problem can come from many sources. However, regardless of the source: it’s time to get roof repair pros out there ASAP. Wet insulation isn’t good at insulating, of course, and this can lead to higher energy bills—but that’s not a health emergency.

What is the potential for mold growth and moisture’s presence next to electrical wiring, as water and electricity don’t mix. If your insulation has seen drier days, you need a roofing repair pro now.

A Rotten Roof Deck

Your roof deck is the sheath of material between your shingles and your rafters. It’s an integral part of your roof. Suppose you take a trip up to the attic and notice mold or rot in this area, even if your shingles are seemingly unaffected. In that case, it’s time to call for immediate professional help, as the problem will only worsen.

A Leaking Roof

Yes, even if it’s just a trickle! A roof that’s actively leaking isn’t on its way to being damaged—it is damaged. Water exposure on its own can weaken your roofing’s structural integrity to dangerous levels, but left alone, and it can easily lead to mold infestations.

Said infestations don’t take long to set up shop, either. According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, “Mold growths, or colonies, can start to grow on a damp surface within

24 to 48 hours.”

Alongside the potential for mold growth, there also exists a fire hazard. As with soggy insulation, a leaking roof means that water could be turtling up next to electrical wiring—not a good mix and not a combination that’s likely to coexist for long. In fact, The U.S. Fire Administration cites electrical malfunction as one of the top four causes of residential fires in 2019.

Long story short: If you’ve got a leaking roof, you should already have a roofing company on the way!

What Not to Panic About: Regular Roof Repair Needs

The above problems, while severe, are rare. You’re unlikely to encounter them unless something is seriously wrong with your maintenance routines or your roofing contractor was downright incompetent.

However, the problems below are much more common and are often dependent on fluke things, such as the weather. As we said above, don’t neglect professional roof repair, no matter how severe or benign the problem is! Professional help is the best way to ensure that little problem like the ones listed below doesn’t snowball into one of the scarier ones.

Minor Hail Damage

Unless you’re fully missing shingles, that is! A couple dents, while still needing prompt attention, are unlikely to immediately make your whole roofing system collapse or threaten your family’s health.

Small Amounts of Moss Growth

Moss can hold moisture against your shingles—certainly a problem—but a bit of it won’t leave your roof in shambles. Remove it carefully, taking care to assess the health of your shingles underneath (evaluating if you’ll need roof repair), before doing so, and take preventative measures in the future.

To learn more about roof moss and removing it, check out our roofing contractor blog that touches on the subject.

Curling Shingles

These can be a sign that your roof’s protective shield isn’t functioning like it used to. Invest in roof repair ASAP. On their own, though, curled shingles generally are not a sign that your family’s health is immediately at risk.


No roofing job will last forever, but provided you replace your roof before it seriously starts to fail, you don’t need to worry about sudden collapse. How long a roof lasts varies, depending on its shingle type and the workmanship put into it. According to Bob Vila, a trusted provider of home advice, asphalt shingles can last from 15 to 30 years, while architectural shingles—a premium variety—can push the envelope to 25 to 30.

Even if your roof is doing well towards the end of its lifespan, you may need to think about replacement anyway after a certain period of time. Many insurance companies have limits when it comes to how old of a roof they’ll cover.

Although age isn’t something to panic about when it comes to your roofing, you should opt for replacement before your roof ages out of coverage, or you’ll be left unprotected if it fails inspection from the company—not a good way to be in Minnesota, where storm damage is an ever-present risk!

Contact Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors for All Your Roof Repair Needs

From saggy shingles to hazardous hail damage, we can tackle it all. Give our Sauk Rapids office a call today at 320-252-9086.

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