As a homeowner, a problem with a major area like the roof can be a nightmare. However, you can save yourself some stress and money if you keep an eye out for signs of trouble. Most homeowners figure they need a new roof if they spot a leak in their ceiling. But what other signs could you be missing? If you notice one of these issues, reach out to an experienced professional roofer right away. To avoid expensive and extensive damage, here’s what you need to look for:
Roof leaks are one of the most obvious signs your roof needs repairs or replacement. To check for roof leaks, go up to your attic regularly, preferably right after a rainfall. Look closely for any signs of water intrusion, as serious leaks in your home are most likely to originate here.
If the leaks are confined to a specific area on your roof, you may not need a complete roof replacement. Whether you think you can get by with a repair or you need a new roof, any time you are concerned about a potential leak, time is of the essence. Putting off roof repairs may cause the problem to become more serious and require more extensive and costly repairs. Small pinhole leaks may not do much damage. However, if ignored they can continue to grow and eventually demand your attention at a higher cost.
Leaks are a definite sign that something is wrong with your roof. However, water exposure of any kind is a serious red flag. If you’re noticing any of the following, you need to act quickly:
- Water stains in ceilings or walls
- Dripping sounds
- Mold growing in ceilings/walls
- High humidity levels indoors
- Musty smell indoors
Cracked shingles are often caused by wind damage. If the cracks are limited to just a few shingles, replacing them is the most practical and cost-effective solution. However, if there are cracks dispersed randomly all over the roof, a roof replacement is likely necessary. If you notice widespread cracks on your shingles, you may make small repairs while preparing for the future. In that case, we recommend that you plan to have your roof replaced within three to five years.
You can also check for cracks by going up to your attic, turning the lights off, and looking up at your roof. Light coming in is a sign that you have holes and cracks in the roof. This is something you should have fixed as soon as possible. Some cracks and holes can be fixed relatively easily, but a widespread issue will require a roof replacement.
A rotting roof can lead to serious structural issues in your house. Wood rots when exposed to moisture for prolonged periods. Such exposure allows the growth of fungus, which can deteriorate a structure. It’s essential to identify a rotting roof quickly so the damage can be minimized.
Torn flashing or missing shingles can indicate roof rot. Roof flashing is a thin material, usually galvanized steel, used to direct water away from critical areas of the roof wherever the roof plane meets a vertical surface like a wall or a dormer. Flashing is installed to surround roof features, such as vents, chimneys, and skylights.
Water is a roof’s biggest enemy, and if your roof has a breach in its moisture protection system, it’s only a matter of time before it starts to rot. Take a close look at your roof with binoculars to see if there are any gaps in the shingles or tears in the flashing. If so, this means that the underlying roof deck is vulnerable to the elements and may start to rot.
Curling or Missing Shingles and Tiles
As shingles age, they start to deteriorate. The most common sign that wood and asphalt shingles have reached the end of their life is curling edges. If you see this happening to more than a couple of stray shingles, you need to start planning for a new roof.
When a few shingles are missing, likely, the remaining shingles are also aging. For tiled roofs, missing tiles might signal another underlying problem. Perhaps the sealants, flashing, and nails need to be replaced. These deteriorating parts can let tiles slip out of position or even fall away completely, letting in moisture.
Metal roofs can last a very long time, but their biggest issue is rust. If you spot some rust showing through on your metal roof, it is time to treat that rust. Don’t just paint it! A professional roofer can repair and recoat your metal roof. If left too long the rust will create pinholes very quickly.
Debris in the Gutters
Aging asphalt shingles will start to shed the embedded granules as they deteriorate. As your roof nears the end of its lifespan, granules and pieces from the shingles will fall into your gutters. The more granules, the sooner you need to consider a replacement. This is one reason why cleaning your gutters is important to do at least once a year.
Age is one of the most important indications for when you will need a new roof. As a rule, your roofing materials will determine how soon you need a new roof. With each material having an expected life span, it helps to know what you’re working with so you know when to budget for a replacement.
Here are the typical life expectancies of roofing materials:
- Asphalt shingles: 20 to 30 years
- Wood shakes: 20 to 40 years
- Clay tile: 50 years or longer
- Metal: 70 years
- Slate: 100 years or longer
Time For A New Roof?
If you are seeing any of the signs mentioned above, you may be in the market for a new roof. At Bristlewood, we offer the best products we can while keeping your budget in mind. So don’t delay; tend to any potential roofing issues today.