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Check/See For Yourself
Not all things maintain the longevity they are promised, and the lifespan of aspects of your home – your roofing, for instance – are no exception. There may not always be an obvious sign that something is wrong and in need of attention or repair. Your roof is made up of many layers, after all, so inspecting all of the obscure crevices of it could prove to be a near impossible feat without the professional training and tools necessary to conduct such an evaluation.
As a homeowner, it may benefit you to learn a couple of key lessons regarding your roof so that you never have to go through an unfortunate water drip or a worst case collapse.
There are a several things you can inspect on your own that might inform you of an impending repair or signal a bigger need to re-roof your home. Some of these signs you’ll be able to look for inside your home, while others are things to be externally aware of. When you see any of these things, make the next move outlined below, and if all else fails and you’re completely unsure of what to do – call in the pros. We’ve got you covered.
Checking the Interior
Can you see any natural light through the roof boards?
If you can detect any source of natural light getting through possible cracks or holes in your roofing, that means there’s no reason water can’t get it, too. The call to action for this should be immediate repair or replacement. It would be easy to detect cracks or holes in the daylight; so, check for repair sites in this manner before you go further by sweeping the area with a flashlight.
Do you see any dark stains or streaks on the underside?
As with the daylight, this should be easy to detect with the naked eye. If there are any dark stains or streaks along the underside of the roof, or the wall from the base of the roof, it suggests a leak; so, water is gradually damaging both your roof and your interior.
Can you tell if there are any sagging areas?
This may not be as easily detectable, but if you detect spots that appear to be sagging and prod them lightly with your hand or a broom, you’ll know you have water damage if the spot feels soft or bends easily.
It would be in your best interest to look for obvious signs of leaks and water damage too. Should you see any, we recommend contacting someone to inspect your roof immediately. Give yourself the opportunity to check the roof from the outside, as well. Identifying any signs here could do a couple of things: For one, it could give you an idea of what damage could have already reached the inside of your home. Moreover, detecting any signs of damage here that haven’t appeared to make it to the inside of your house yet essentially saves you money.
Checking the Exterior
Are there any dark stains or streaks on top?
Just as you did inside, look for any dark marks that could suggest water damage.
Can you identify any leaks or water damage?
The suggestive signals of this would be parallel to the interior of your home – leaks, dark stains, sagging, rot… all of these are clear signs of water damage.
Is there any moss, algae, or even rot on your roof top?
In humid areas, signs like this could likely just be an eyesore and not constitute an emergency. Algae and moss commonly buildup in areas that are humid, geographically speaking.
Algae and moss could be a quick fix: Try forcefully spraying that area of your roofing with your garden hose; most of it should easy break off from this. If there is a lingering bit of it, try removing it with a weak solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. This is supposed to “burn” away any remaining algae.
Rot, however, could be a little different, as it suggests decaying. It’s common to see rot on wooden and asphalt roofs. Typical signs of this sort of damage include rotting, missing or broken tiles. If there appears to be moldy buildup on a group of tiles, this is also a telltale sign of rot.
Do the shingles appear to be decaying, or even chipped and in your gutter?
Decaying and cracking are common characteristics of damaged shingle roofs. Scope the roof top for areas that are missing shingles, and areas where shingles are out of place, cracking, or curling up. Furthermore, check your gutter for particles or pieces of shingles. Should any pieces of your shingles have washed down to the gutter, it’s likely that your roof is susceptible to further water damage and roof decay than you may have initially thought.
Can you detect any damage to your chimney (if applicable) or roof flashing?
Flashing made of roof cement or tar is more likely to incur water damage than a metal flashing system, which is proven to be more durable. Look around the base of your chimney (if applicable) for any vulnerabilities, as that is typically where flashing is found.
Does the roof valley appear to be damaged?
The roof valley is the part where two sloping parts of your roof meet. Because elements like rain or snow flow through the valleys and into the gutters, this area is commonly susceptible to roof damage.
Does the age of your roof exceed 20 years?
The age of your roof is easily indicative or whether or not you’d need a roof replacement. If you’re not sure of how old your roof is, observe neighboring houses; houses in communities, particularly, are built around the same time frame. If your neighbors are getting replacements, chances are you may need one, too.
Does the workmanship of your roof appear to be shoddy?
Most of the time, this is an easily detectable thing. Your roof might not be in great shape if it appears to be covered in patches, if your shingles are awkwardly positioned, or if you can detect multiple layers of shingles; the latter suggests that corners were cut the last time the roof was repaired.
If You See Any Roof Damage, Write it Down
Take note of whatever signs may have come to your attention as you thoroughly inspected both the interior and exterior of your roof. Once you do your research, call a roofing inspector to evaluate your roof and give his/her professional opinion. They may be able to validate the damage you believe you already saw, as well as indicate any damage you may have missed. Roof inspections are typically done free, so be wary of any company that doesn’t offer it as so.
Damage gets progressively worse if it goes unignored. Do your due diligence, and give a call to a professional roofing company (like us!) as soon as you’re sure something is amiss.
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