5 Warnings of Major Roof Damage
The last thing you want is to find out you have roof problems when you have water damage inside your home. There are a few things you can check or do to give you warnings about possible roof damage before it becomes painfully costly.
1- Check Your Records
If you’ve owned your home since it was built, you may have a great memory for when the roof was installed or last serviced in some way. Whether you had it built or bought an existing home, locate all records you can find of maintenance related to the roof. The date of installation or roof replacement tells you a lot. Depending on whether an asphalt shingle roof is the original or is installed over previous roofing, you should expect a lifespan of around 20 to 25 years. If your roof is hitting that age range, consider having it inspected.
2- Check for Plant Growth
Check your entire roof surface for moss or plant growth of any kind. A properly constructed and undamaged roof shouldn’t have any moss growing on it, as this can indicate trapped moisture. Moss or greenery on the roof can indicate an area with moisture that isn’t shed properly off the roof.
3- Check Your Attic
The first place to look inside your home for roof problems is in your attic. Get a flashlight and do a thorough inspection of your attic, from the underside of the roof itself to supporting beams and structures. You’re looking for any light coming through cracks or seams. You’re also looking for any stains or runs that indicate moisture has come through the roof.
Moisture indicators aren’t always there due to leaks, as there can also at times be condensation issues. It doesn’t matter though, as you don’t want any moisture in your attic at any time. Another thing to look for is any sign of animal activity, such as chewed wiring or disturbed insulation. This could indicate that squirrels are getting into your attic, and how they’re getting there could be the source of a future roof leak.
4- Inspect the Shingles
A good time to do this is right after a windy storm, as some of the damage this can cause may not be as visible after the sun heats the shingles and they settle into place better.
You’re looking for curling of the shingle edges, or even shingles that are pealing up as in the image.
When you see this condition, wind can blow water up under the shingles and it can eventually penetrate the sub roofing and get into your attic space.
Another thing to look for is roofing shingle granules in your gutters or collecting in other places. Too many of these granules coming loose and visibly collecting in gutters or other areas may indicate that your roof is at the end of its useful life.
5- Check Your Flashing
Flashing is metal trim pieces where the roof is penetrated by chimneys, vents, and skylights. The transition from the vertical part of the vents, etc. to the more horizontal roofing is where the flashing is designed to shunt the water onto the roof for proper drainage. If there is a problem with the flashing, whether from improper installation or damage, there could be leakage into your attic.
These are all easy to accomplish inspection activities that can warn of roofing problems. Of course, if you have portions of your roof that are sagging or exhibiting rot in the wood, you have a much more pressing problem and should call in a professional for a more thorough inspection.