Your roof is trying to tell you something—are you paying attention? Ignoring the warning signs that your roofing is in trouble will end up costing you in many ways, so it is important to learn how to spot the trouble signs around your house before the damage is done. Here are some tips on what to look for and when it may be time to get a contractor in quickly to do the work.
If there’s a leak.
Water can seep into your home from many different areas, but the first and most important place to check is the roof. It may sound obvious, but some homeowners may ignore a small water spot or leak that seems too tiny to be serious. But even these minor leaks can cause serious and expensive damage, such as mold and rotting. To avoid this, make sure you or a contractor inspect penetrations such as chimneys or skylights, as well as the shingles, at least once a year. Fall and spring are best for doing a thorough inspection. Also, take a look in the attic for water stains after a strong storm or wind-driven rain. Many times, a leak will start in an attic, and if you wait until it moves into the living space, you may be too late for a simple repair job.
Curling or brittle shingles.
Shingles that curl on the edges or rise up in the middle are a sign of weathering or an aging roof system—and leaking could occur as a result. If your shingles are brittle and practically break when touched, they have likely reached the end of their life, which means it’s time to invest in a new roof. Shingles in this condition may be susceptible to damage during extreme weather conditions.
It’s not a problem to replace a few shingles if some are missing, but if you don’t have spare shingles left over from the installation, replacement shingles may not match exactly. In fact, even spare shingles left over from the installation may not match exactly due to the natural weathering of the shingles installed on the roof. Many missing shingles could mean that your roof is nearing the end of its useful life and may need replacing.
The roof is getting old.
Even if the roof looks good for its age, have a contractor check its condition to see if there are any underlying problems that need to be addressed. Some issues cannot be seen from down on the ground, so periodic roof inspections are important. It’s best to let a contractor go up on the roof, as they have the necessary safety equipment and are trained in the safety procedures.
Excessive granules in the gutter.
If your roof is new, it’s normal to see granules in the gutters, since they can be loosened during installation, but if your roof is older it could mean your shingles are wearing down and may be in need of replacement. Granules protect the shingles from the sun and once they are gone, the shingles may deteriorate more quickly.
Stains on interior ceiling and walls.
If you see stains or, even worse, mold growth inside your home, it may be caused by inadequate or faulty shingle underlayment that is allowing water to seep into the house. Inadequate ventilation could also be the culprit, which causes excessive moisture—conditions in which mold and mildew thrive. Call a contractor immediately to inspect.
Your roof is sagging.
A droopy roof is likely a sign of a serious structural problem with your home, and the roof should be inspected immediately. Rafters or the ceiling joists under the roof can lose their strength and start to rot. The weather could also be responsible for the sagging roof. Call a professional contractor as soon as possible, as this is a serious safety hazard.
Critters have made a home in your roof.
Infestation from insects or animals like raccoons or squirrels or even insects can wreak havoc on a roof. While critters inhabiting part of your space may not warrant a full replacement if caught early, make sure you check for signs around your house and have the roof and attic inspected to assess the damage. You may need to also call an exterminator if there is a serious infestation like termites.
This guest post was provided by GAF.