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Roofing Warning Signs You Should be Aware Of
by Pavel on Oct 20, 2016
Your home is an investment - one of the biggest you will likely ever make. It makes sense then to ensure that your investment is taken care of, looked after and well managed and your home of course is no exception. Unlike other investments however, your home not only holds value in equity, but sentimental value as well. If left unchecked, your home can degrade over time as a result of the elements, which can lead to costly repairs or worse.
It’s important then to properly maintain your home for all of these reasons, but if you don’t know what to look for this can be easier said than done. So how do you know what to look for? How can you recognize the signs of wear and listen to what your home is trying to tell you? One of the most important parts of your home, and probably the most costly to repair or replace, is your roof. Identifying the early signs of damage and degradation could save you big money in the long run, so it is absolutely vital to keep a close eye on your roof. In this article, we provide the absolute best ways to help you, the homeowner know what to be on the lookout for!
Know the Signs
Believe it or not, there are several signs that you can watch for that will help you gauge the state of your roof when it comes to maintenance. One of the most important aspects of ensuring your home is protected from the elements is the quality of the roof. While roofing contractors can certainly help you understand the state your current roof is in, there are things that you yourself can watch for that will give you a fairly good idea of what needs done.
Sign number 1: Roof Age
The age of the roof will oftentimes be one of the easiest ways to gauge how much time in the lifespan of the roof you have left before it needs to be replaced. It’s the generally accepted rule that most roofs will last between 15 and 25 years, depending on the quality of the shingles that were used. Additionally, you’ll want to look and see whether the current shingles were layered over existing shingles and whether there is currently proper ventilation.
Sign number 2: Roof Valleys
Valleys on your roof are where rain and snow will flow through to the gutters, so if valleys are not in good repair it’s usually a good sign that your roof needs to be examined.
Sign number 3: Missing shingles and curls
Look at the shingles, especially at areas that receive direct sunlight for curling on the edges of the shingles themselves. You may also want to get up on the roof itself and inspect the amount of granules on the shingles themselves as the amount can decrease with the age and wear on the roof. Either of these can be an indicator that the roof is at or past its life expectancy and needs to be replaced. Also, there should not be any missing shingles, and if there are, it’s a very good indicator that the roof needs fixing.
Sign number 4: Daylight through the roof boards
This sign is especially concerning - if you’re able to see sunlight seeping through cracks in the ceiling while in the attic, you’re not only looking at replacing the shingles but likely the roof boards as well. If things have degraded this far, you most definitely need to replace the roof.
Sign number 5: Chimney Flashing
Depending on the age of the roof, you may need to look into an updated flashing method. Old ways of flashing chimneys was to use tar, whereas galvanized nails are hammered through metal flashing more commonly these days.
Sign number 6: Shingle granules have accumulated in the gutters
If you have a large build up of granules in the gutters themselves, this is also a good indicator that the roof is at the end of its life and will need to be replaced. Granules tend to fall off the shingles more easily towards the end of their life cycle, rolling down the roof and accumulating in the gutters. Look for dark, patchy areas on the shingles as a good sign of granules falling off of the shingles.
Sign number 8: Water spots on your ceiling
A sure sign of a roof in disrepair is seeing water spots on your ceiling inside the house. This is where water that managed to leak in through the roof pooled up on the inside of the ceiling. Often, it can’t get through the paint on the ceiling, so it pools and moistens the ceiling enough to create these patches of bumpy, odd looking spots.
Sign number 9: Water spots on the outside of the home
Often found where the roof meets the wall, water spots can cause deterioration, rust or rot. This can be a difficult job to fix and will likely require the skills of a professional roofing company but is certainly an issue that will need to be addressed right away.
Sign number 10: Cracked and brittle shingles
Another sure sign of a roof that needs to be replaced is cracked and brittle shingles. Shingles will lose their effectiveness over time, especially in areas where sunlight directly hits them. If you’re not near the expected end of the service life of the shingles however, you may need to check to see whether they’re under warranty and have them replaced.
Sign number 11: Build up of ice
Ever notice that some homes have very large icicles hanging from their roofs during the winter? This is a sign that heat is escaping the roof, melting the snow on the roof, which then turns back into ice as it’s exposed to the cold outside. The result is very large ice chunks hanging from the roof, called ice dams, which in turn can also seriously damage your eaves.
Sign number 12: Black stains on the roof
This is a sign that there is algae build up on the roof. While this doesn’t damage the roof, it doesn’t look great. There are zinc stripes that you can install at the ridge of the roof that release a fungicide that will kill the algae, or you can install algae resistant shingles the next time you replace the roof.
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