Your roof is a critical part of a safe and functional home. First, the roof protects your family and valuables from rain, snow, and debris. Additionally, the condition of your roof protects your property’s integrity and can boost your home’s curb appeal, thus, its value.
Therefore, even small roof problems can cause significant losses and costly repairs. So, you should always be on the watch out for signs of failure and make timely repairs.
A huge part of maintaining your roof’s integrity is through professional inspections. This step allows the roofing expert to identify and repair issues before they escalate. But how do you tell if it’s time for a professional roofing inspection? Discover some telltale signs below.
Your Attic is Wet
The attic ensures your home is adequately ventilated and insulated while providing access to your roof. As such, the attic is a great place to check for signs of a troublesome roof.
Wet patches or watermarks on the walls may signify leaks, which means that water from the outside is making its way to the attic. If not rectified sooner, the issue may cause wood rot, mold growth, and other expensive problems.
A wet attic could signify other problems, such as poor insulation, clogged gutters, blocked ventilation, or skylights. Therefore, don’t automatically assume that the roof is to blame, and let a professional roofer make the diagnosis.
Stains on the Ceiling
Brown patches on the walls and ceilings are surefire signs of roofing problems. The patches may mean that the roof is compromised and is allowing moisture to seep into the home, thereby staining the ceilings and walls.
The water stain patches may take various shades and shapes – from brown circles to streaks or orange spots. And if you aren’t keen, you may mistake the stains for dirt.
Water patches on the ceiling and walls may also emanate from a failing plumbing component or a damaged heating appliance. So, don’t take chances with your property’s integrity, and let a professional roofer inspect your home for any hidden moisture. During the inspection, the expert will check for signs of a sagging roof and missing shingles to determine if the roof is the culprit.
Peeled or Cracked Paint
If you notice peeled-off paint on the wall near your roof or cracked paint on the roofline and gutters, that could signal problems with your roof. When moisture seeps into a home through a damaged roof, the water may ruin the paint job and cause it to peel off and crack due to temperature changes.
In the same way, if you find bubbles on the walls, that is an indication of water seeping in from somewhere. But since paint peels can result from age, or a poorly done paint job, the best way to tell for sure is to hire a roofing expert who will inspect, diagnose and correct the real problem.
Some Shingles Are Missing
The condition of the shingles is everything in determining the functionality of your roof. If some shingles are missing or are compromised, your entire roof structure is at risk of potential damage.
Numerous situations can lead to missing shingles. For example:
Although shingles are made to serve you for the most extended period, a time comes when they start getting worn out and brittle. Therefore, the roof’s longevity may be slightly lower or higher than the mentioned lifespan, based on the weather conditions in your region and the quality of the shingles.
If you have had your roof for a long time, it may be time to call in an expert to check the condition of your shingles.
Rodents and other critters are known for damaging roofs. For example, raccoons may rip apart shingles to create easy passages for entering your attic. The same goes for squirrels and other birds that may feed on the roof’s material or build nests inside the gutters.
Others constantly search for insects and may scratch the roof with their sharp beaks. The secret to preventing this issue is to ensure your roof is clear of tree branches and other aspects that may create a thriving environment for animals.
Storms and strong winds can significantly damage your roof, specifically if the roof is old or has weak points. In addition, winds may pull off shingles and toss them around, exposing your home to further damage.
Therefore, if you have recently experienced a harsh weather system in your area, it would be wise to have a professional inspect the roof’s condition.
Shingles must be well-secured, and the roofing must be adequately vented to prevent moisture problems. Additionally, the roofing specialist uses a unique adhesive to fill in uncoated gaps between the shingles, which helps lengthen your roof’s lifespan.
Failure to observe all the installation requirements makes the shingles more susceptible to wind damage, and this will cause them to start missing.
Besides the usual roof leaks, you can tell if some shingles are missing by looking at the roof surface. For example, if the surface is uneven with patches that look different, some shingles have gone missing.
Gutters are a considerable part of an efficient roof. This system channels away rain and melting snow and prevents moisture from seeping inside your home.
Water will have nowhere to go if the gutters are broken or clogged. And the moisture may start to back up and pool around your roof, causing the shingles to start coming off.
Therefore, you should regularly inspect the condition of your gutters and clean them if needed. This step is especially critical if you have trees near your roof. The falling debris can easily enter your gutters and cause clogs.
The flashing is a metallic material used to securely seal valleys, vents, and chimneys. This component also prevents moisture from seeping through the gaps.
But water may penetrate through the roof surface when the flashing is compromised, resulting in gradual damage and missing shingles. Inspecting the condition of your flashing is a bit tricky since the process requires you to crawl into your attic or the top of your house.
As such, this task is best handled by an experienced professional since they are familiar with all roofing components and techniques used to repair them.
The roofer uses nails to secure the shingles. These nails may not be easy to spot from the ground, but they are essential for home safety.
When the nails get rusty, that means moisture has reached them. The rust may also be due to the use of poor-quality nails or old age.
This problem will compromise the security of the shingles, and you may find them easily falling off over time. For this, it is essential to ensure your roofer uses good-quality nails when installing new shingles. The roofing specialist should also inspect the condition of these nails during regular maintenance to ensure they aren’t rusty or corroded.
Higher Energy Bills
A sudden spike in your energy bills indicates that the insulation of your roof may not be doing a poor job, and a damaged roof may be to blame. An efficient roof prevents the escape of heated and cooled air, keeping your home comfortable during the winter and summer. But a damaged roof will allow conditioned air to escape from the attic, resulting in higher energy bills.
Therefore, if you notice an increase in your monthly utility bills without any changes to your consumption patterns, hire a professional who can inspect the condition of your roof. The specialist may be able to identify areas that are letting air escape and suggest repairs or advise you to install a cool roof so you can start saving money on energy costs again.
You Wish To Sell Your House
Whether you plan to sell your house to move to a different city, get married or move to a bigger house, you certainly want the house to sell fast and at the best price. The key to achieving this goal is to ensure your property is in its best condition, starting with the roof.
A roof inspection is a chance to spot all visible and invisible underlying issues, so you can rectify them before you sell your property. In the same way, you can present the records to potential buyers to boost their confidence in your property.
Plus, having a damaged roof puts you at risk of being sued for not disclosing all details about your property. Therefore, get an experienced roofer to inspect your roof before putting it on sale. The step will also give you a negotiation advantage since you can demand a higher price due to the excellent condition of your roof.
Pro Tips On How To Extend The Lifespan Of Your Roof
Like we’ve already mentioned, roof repairs can be very costly so as much as possible we want to avoid them. With that said, here are a couple of pro tips you can use to make sure that your home’s roof lasts for a really long time.
1. Do Regular Roof Inspection
One of the simplest ways to extend the lifespan of your roof is to regularly inspect it for signs of damage. According to the experts, homeowners should inspect their roofs at least once or twice a year. That said, in case of any extreme weather event, including snow, hail, or hurricane, you should check the roof immediately when the weather permits you.
You should look for missing, curled, or cracked shingles during your roof inspection. You should also check for any leaks around your vents, chimneys, or skylights.
If you’re not comfortable with DIY roof inspection, you can always hire a professional roofing contractor to do this for you. Contractors like Braun’s Roofing, one of the best roofing companies in Houston owned by Skeeter Braun, can do thorough inspections. Roofing experts have the right tools and experience to safely reach your roof and check for the smallest damage that homeowners may miss. This way, you can catch any problems early on before causing major damage and frustrations.
2. Remove Moss
Depending on your location, your roofs may have moss growth. If you live in a tropical or wet climate or your house is under or near a lot of trees, then there’s a chance that your roof is experiencing moss growth.
You probably think that something as lightweight and natural as moss wouldn’t cause any harm to your roof. Actually, it can.
Moss is like a sponge since it can absorb water. So, if you have moss growing on your roof, then it’s collecting water every time it rains. The accumulating weight can put more stress on your roof, affecting its structure. Plus, moss growth can severely damage your shingles and other roofing materials.
So, make sure to remove moss or other natural plant life growing on your roof. Doing so can help your roofing system to live up to its expected lifespan.
3. Clean Your Gutters
If you want to extend the life of your roof, you should also shift your focus to your gutters. Gutters are the horizontal metal part of the system that are installed along the edges of your roof. This part of your roofing system is mainly responsible for collecting and draining water from the roof’s surface.
Unfortunately, gutters are prone to blockages due to dirt, dust, leaves, and other debris. Clogged roof gutters cause water to back up, accumulate, and seep under your roof, causing leaks and water damage. Not only that, but when gutters are full of debris, they also become heavier, which puts unnecessary stress on your roof.
To avoid this issue, make sure to clean your gutters at least twice a year, or more if you have trees nearby. Cleaning your gutter can help with proper water flow and ensure the integrity of your roofing system.
4. Trim Trees
Speaking of trees, your roof can benefit if trees are at a safe distance from them. Overhanging branches can damage shingles and other roofing materials which can cause leaks and water damage. Furthermore, during a storm, large branches and trees can fall on your roof, causing holes or creating severe damage to your roof.
So, to avoid these issues and costly repairs, make sure to trim any branches that are at least 10ft from your home. If you have tall trees, make sure to cut them down to manageable heights if possible. Trimming trees that are covering your roof can also help prevent further plant debris accumulation on your roof and gutters, which as mentioned before, also helps in extending the lifespan of your roof.
The roof does more than protect your building structure and interior. Ignoring minor roof problems may result in significant structural damage that can cost you a lot in repairs.
As such, don’t wait until your roof fails to rush to hire a roofer. Instead, watch out for the signs above, and hire an experienced professional to repair them.
Louis is a community manager for Baltic Roofing where they help the greater Chicago community with everything from high-quality roof replacements to skylight repairs. He is an expert on all things roofing and home improvement. Outside of work, he’s a huge Cubs fan and enjoys spending time with his dog, Roscoe.