Red flags that signal it's time to replace your roof may be over your head.

Sunlight permitting holes and bucket brigade-sized leaks are obvious signs it's time for a new topper for your home.

There are however, additional indicators that may not be so obvious.

"Certainly if your roof is approaching the end of its life cycle -- usually 20 – 25 years for asphalt shingles -- it's time to think about a new roof," says Ray Rosewall, president and CEO of DaVinci Roofscapes in Kansas City, KS.

The National Association of Homebuilders says decorative slate, metal, masonry and newer synthetic roofs can have a life expectancy of 50 years or more.

"However, a calendar shouldn't be the only way you determine if it's time to replace your roof," said Rosewall.

Think about replacing your roof when:

• Your neighbors have new roofs and you want to maintain the value of your home. Also, given most homes in a neighborhood were built at the same time, your roof may reach the end of it's lifecycle at the time your neighbors' roofs are failing.

• Your neighbors have not added a new roof and you want to increase the resale value of your home. Hanley Wood's Cost vs. Value 2008-2009 report says a new roof can return an average 65.5 percent of the cost in the form of value added to the home. On a $18,825 roof, that's $12,336 added to the value of your home. That adds up to greater salability.

• Your geographic area has seen an increase in severe weather conditions, (including hail or tornados) that require a stronger roofing material to handle the dramatic weather changes.

"With the changing weather patterns in our country, combined with the need for homeowners to add value to their properties, consumers should be vigilant about looking for signs of wear along with upgrading their roofs," said Rosewall.

• Your existing roof is functional, but has staining that detracts from the look of your home. In a housing market laden with poorly-maintained foreclosed homes, it's a good idea to make yours standout from the eyesores.

• You want to shrink your carbon footprint and take advantage of more sustainable green roofing alternatives that are low maintenance and energy saving and can come with 50-year warranties.

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