Why Is a Sagging Roof Such a Big Deal?

When your roof is just starting to lose a few shingles, you can sometimes delay replacement for a year or two by just applying patches judiciously. But if your roof is actually sagging, you need to have it replaced immediately. Why is a sagging roof such a big deal? Here's a closer look.

What does a sagging roof indicate?

Underneath the shingle layer of your roof, there's a piece of wood called the underlayment. This wooden structure is usually protected by the shingles. However, if the shingles deteriorate, and you don't replace them promptly, water will start leaking into the underlayment. First, this will cause the wood to start rotting, and then the wood will start to bend and sag. A sagging roof is essentially a sign that your roof has been in disrepair for some time and that you haven't acted promptly enough to have the shingles replaced.

What issues can arise if you don't replace the sagging roof?

The ultimate concern with a sagging roof is that it will collapse. Shingles are quite heavy, so if the wooden underlayment caves and buckles, the shingles will keep pushing it down, often causing serious damage to the attic and upper floors of your home, not to mention putting you and your family at risk of injuries.

A sagging roof is also probably letting a lot of water into your attic. This will get your insulation wet and will keep it from doing its job (reducing heat loss). Even worse, the moisture will inevitably lead to mold growth, which is bad for your health and hard to get rid of.

What are your options if you can't afford a roof replacement right away?

To avoid roof collapse and mold growth, your best option is, obviously, to have a new roof put on immediately. But if you don't have the cash to pay for a new roof right away, you have a few options:

  • Apply for a home-equity loan through your mortgage company
  • Take out a home-improvement loan with a local bank or credit union
  • Look for a roofing company that allows customers to make payments over the span of a few months

In the meantime, it's probably best to stay at a friend's house or at least avoid the upstairs of your home until you get the roof replaced. You would not want it to cave in on you. If you start to hear any cracking noises, or if your door frames start sagging, these are signs that a collapse is eminent. Get out immediately, and don't return until a roofing company looks at your home and says it is safe for you to move back in.