As a homeowner, it’s hard to know when your roof needs replacement because your roof isn’t something you get to check daily. With so much to do in day-to-day life, it’s easy to forget regular roof maintenance. It’s important to look out for problems in your roof and fix them as earliest as you can to avoid bigger problems. Homeowners are advised to have their roofs inspected at least twice a year.
During roof inspections, you should always look out for various early warning signs of roof problems. While some types of roof damage are usually obvious, like missing shingles and easy-to-spot leaks, some signs of damage are not easy recognized. Learning to spot signs of roof damage is important so that you can do repairs early enough.
Take a look at some of these signs of roof damage.
Water damage is one of the most common roof problems in homes. Knowing how to spot signs of water damage is important to save not only your roof, but your home structure as well. Water spots are sure signs that tell you something’s not right about your roof.
Look out for these particular signs:
- Water stains on your exterior walls
- Yellow spots on your ceiling
- Bubbling wall paint and ceiling paint
- A mold smell in your attic
- Misplaced shingles on your roof
- Water leaks
The best way to avoid water damage on your roof is by being proactive in inspecting your ceilings, walls, and roofs throughout your house. If you notice any of these problems, including water spots and stains, you have a leak. To repair roof leaks that are causing water spots, hire the services of a certified roofing expert.
If you’ve noted any sagging or saddle back in the middle of your roof, it could be an early sign of structural damage that might cause the collapse of your roof if not fixed immediately. The entire line of your home’s roof should follow a straight line, from top to bottom and along the ridge.
What causes roof sagging?
- Improper roof installation
- Too much weight caused by snow, water and ice during winter
- Faulty roofing materials
- Frequent roof exposure to moisture and water pools
The best way to prevent further damage on your roof is by regularly cleaning your roof from rainwater and snow, ensuring proper installation and use of high-quality roofing materials. If you see any signs of roof sagging, it’s time to get it fixed.
Loose Roof Shingles or Tiles
During regular roof checks, look for any loose, detached or missing shingles or tiles. Any of these signs mean that you need to schedule repair services for your roof. A few missing or detached shingles could be caused by wrong installation or damage by extreme weather elements. Repairs can easily fix the problem. However, if there are too many loose or missing tiles, you may need to consider roof replacement.
Clogged Roof Gutters and Downspouts
If your gutters and downspouts are frequently clogging than normal, it might be a sign that your roof gutter system is damaged and needs repairs. Gutter clogs can cause major problems like causing water to back up and form pools on your roof, leading to extensive water damage.
What should you do after seeing signs of gutter damage?
- Clean your gutters regularly
- Use a gutter helmet to collect debris that may cause clogs
- For multiple clog problems, get a professional roofing inspection
- For damaged gutters and downspouts, get quality repair services
Moss and Mold Growth
Mold or moss growth on your roof is a clear sign of roof damage. This is mostly caused by loose shingles or tiles that leave gaps in your roofing structure, letting water and daylight in. If your shingles show any signs of moss, mildew or rotting, you should deal with the problem right away. When mold develops underneath your roof shingles, it spreads slowly into your home, posing a health risk to you and your family.
Most people will experience an allergic reaction to mold and experience symptoms like:
- Runny noses
- Watery or itchy eyes
If your home feels dumpy with a musty odor, it’s mostly likely caused by mold growth. To get rid of mold, you will have to hire mold testing & removal experts and have your roof inspected to determine if repairs or roof replacement is needed.
Curling and Buckling Shingles
Shingles or tiles that are buckling or curled are a sign of roof damage. To check for damage, look at the slopes of your house that get direct sunlight. If you notice any curled shingles and missing granules, it could be a sign that your roof is defective or your roof shingles or tiles are past their life expectancy. To get your roof fixed or replaced, call a licensed roofing contractor.
Lighting Coming In From the Roof
Regularly turn off the lights in your home’s upper rooms and look up at the roof. Do this every once in awhile around sunset. Any lights coming in from the roof or ceiling is a clear sign that your roof has holes and cracks. Check the roof personally or call a roofing contractor to see if repairs could fix the damage.
In most cases, cracks or holes on your roof mean that the damage has been happening for some time and could be extensive. Sealing the holes or cracks may not fix the problem. A roof replacement is the best option when you have glaring holes or cracks that cause water leakage.
Falling Mortar and Damaged Ridges
Your roof ridges and verges are highly susceptible to cracking and damage due to constant exposure to weather elements. Falling mortar and damaged ridges are signs of roof damage that should be taken seriously. If mortar is used as bedding for your roof shingles or tiles, you should do regular inspections to check its state. If the mortar starts breaking down, it may be an indication that your roof is old and needs replacement.
Worn Out and Rotting Underlay
Roof tiles and underlays work together to keep water out of your home. If there is a tear in your underlay, water may seep through causing water damage. A rotting underlay significantly weakens your roof’s foundation and might cause a roof collapse. Underlay problems are often caused by damaged shingles which expose the underlay to weather extremes.
Noticeable Parts and Granules of Your Roof Tiles
If you notice excessive amounts of granular material on the floor or in your gutters, or parts of tiles, your roof could be damaged. Although roof shingles or tiles are made to last for many years, constant changes in the atmosphere will likely cause sealants to chip off, weaken, or crack. With regular checks, you will easily notice chipped off parts and call a roofing repair expert to fix the problem or recommend changes.
Working With a Professional Roofing Contractor
While knowing the signs of roof damage is important for every homeowner, what matters most is the steps you take when you identify roof problems. Working with a certified, licensed and experienced roof contractor is critical. The right expert will plan and schedule a regular roof maintenance program for your home. That ensures proper inspections are done to identify roofing problems at the earliest and also ensure repairs and replacements are done when needed.
Carolyn Clarke is a licensed and insured roofing expert working with one of the leading roofing contractors in Los Angeles, CA. She is also a certified home renovation expert with expertise in residential roofing structures. She also works with homeowners to help them learn and implement simple roof maintenance tips.