Articles » What are the Subtle Signs that You Need a New Roof

What are the Subtle Signs that You Need a New Roof

Tags: Roofing, Inspection, Replacement, Installation

A durable roof is one of the most essential, protective components of a  home. Faulty roofs commonly result in water getting into the home, which  can destroy the drywall, carpet, wood, and personal belongings. The  moisture also promotes mold growth, which can be hazardous to the home's  inhabitants. Even a small leak can cost thousands of dollars in  damages, so it is best to be proactive and know when to replace the roof  before disaster strikes. Sometimes the signs that a roof is  deteriorating are not blatantly obvious, and it is crucial to be aware  of the more subtle indicators.

At least twice a year, perform a thorough inspection of the outer  exterior of the roof. Be on the lookout for missing or damaged shingles.   If the roof has even one missing shingle, this can be a warning that  the tar strips are wearing out. This is caused by repeated exposure to  the elements and granule loss. Shortly after, the roof will likely lose  more shingles and increase the chances of serious water damage to the  home.

Damaged shingles are a major warning sign that the roof is nearing the  end of its life. Prolonged sun exposure causes the asphalt layers within  the shingle to break down, thus warping its shape. Weakened shingles  tend to coil onto themselves and take on a curled appearance. Curled  shingles are likely to catch a gust of wind and fly off, which leaves an  exposure for water to eventually leak into the house. Shingles with  cracks are also more susceptible to blowing away, and serious cracks can  allow water to seep into the home.

During biannual inspections, it is also important to look for shingles  with dark spots. Discoloration indicates that the shingles are losing  granules. Granules shield the roof's asphalt layers from being weakened  or deteriorated by the sun's UV rays. Shingles that lose a large portion  of their granules leave the asphalt unguarded and vulnerable to rapid  erosion. Aside from discoloration, another sign of granule loss is  brittleness and frailty of the shingles. Shingles in this condition  often have slight cracks that only worsen with time. Eventually, this  will lead to water damage.

While inspecting the roof's color, also look for apparent signs of plant  or fungal growth, as this also results in discoloration. Organism  growth on shingles is a warning sign that water is building up on areas  of the roof instead of being repelled. A moist roof results in an  environment that is conducive for the growth of moss, mold, lichen, and  algae. In chronically moist or tropical climates, this may not be a  surefire sign that a complete roof replacement is necessary, but it is  important to be certain. Moss and mold may result in loosened shingles,  so removal is always required. It may be best to hire a professional, as  some organism growths can lead to a very slippery roof.

In addition to inspecting the roof's exterior, it is also pivotal to  inspect the highest point inside the home, which is often an attic. Look  around the attic for dark blotches, water spots, or any damp areas.  Compromised roofs usually have an effect on the attic before the rest of  the home. There could be shingle damage, or the underlayments may be  worn out. Underlayments are supposed to protect against leaks and  usually consists of tar paper, rubberized asphalt, or a synthetic. These  are all vulnerable to wear and tear, especially with repeated sun  exposure. It may also be a sign of deteriorated flashings. Flashings are  thin pieces of impermeable material placed around the roof's joints and  seams to prevent water from seeping into the home. Another good way to  check for signs of roof degeneration is to inspect the attic during  daylight hours. Do not turn on any interior lights, and see if any rays  of light are coming through. This indicates a roof that has holes or  rotted sections.

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