If you’re like most people, your life is already filled with appointments, and there’s still a long to-do list waiting to be checked off.
So when did you last have time look at your roof? Probably after the last snow that left several inches standing on it, or after the big storm littered it with branches, twigs, and leaves.
Other than those times that catch your attention, you ignore your roof and take it for granted. But your roof is one of the most important parts of your house. It protects you from the rain, snow, and the wind. It helps keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Without it, you would be left with four walls and a foundation.
Keep in mind, however, that your roof is aging just like everything else in your life, and at some point, it will wear out. But, just like the human body, some symptoms warn of impending trouble and give you an opportunity to act before it becomes an emergency.
Here are nine signs that might be warning you to replace your roof before you wake up to a major leak:
1. You Have an Old Roof
Even if your roof looks fine, there may be underlying problems that you can’t see. So if your roof is older than 20 years, have it checked out by a professional. If your roof isn’t that old, you may only need repairs to the damaged areas instead of a complete replacement.
2. It’s Sagging
There are many roofing issues to be concerned about, and sagging is one of them. If your roofing sags noticeably, there could be a serious structural problem. The boards under the roofing may have been exposed to moisture and are rotting. Or there might be something wrong with the foundation.
As soon as you notice that your roof is sagging, call a roofing company. You need to replace a droopy, sagging roof before further damage occurs to your home.
Shingles that are curling or buckling is another warning sign that you may need a new roof. Check the areas of your roof that get direct sunlight, and if you notice the shingles are curling at the edges and losing granules, it probably means they are past their life expectancy. There is also the possibility that the roof is defective.
Call a roofing company to make the final determination.
4. There are Leaks around Chimney Flashing
Flashing seals the seams in roofing and around chimneys, skylights, and vents, so it’s another area of concern.Eventually, flashing will fail, at which point it can break or crack, leading to leaks and water damage. Most newflashing is made of metal and can easily be replaced by a professional.
But if you have an older roof, your flashing may be made of tar or cement, and you should consider replacing it with metal flashing right away.
5. Your Attic Leaks
The first place to look for leaks is in your attic. If you see wet or dark stains on the interior surface of your roof in the attic, especially after a driving rain, then your roof has a leak. The leak could be caused by failed flashing or inadequate shingle underlayment. Or, your roof’s surface could have suffered damage from a fallen tree limb.
Inspect your attic to see if there is daylight coming through the roof boards. And be sure to check for moisture in the insulation.
6. You’re Noticing Higher Energy Costs
If your home has higher than average energy bills, your roof might be one of the causes. In many cases, the problem is with the ventilation in the attic, which is causing the home’s heating and cooling system to run more often.
Homeowners are well aware of the benefits of properly insulating their homes, caulking their windows, and setting the thermostat a little lower. But they forget that a substantial amount of their home’s heat goes right through the roof.
If your roof is deteriorating, you can be sure your heating costs will increase. Replacing your roof will help to insulate your home, thereby reducing your heating expenses in the winter.
7. You Find Shingle Granules in the Gutters
Asphalt shingles have a layer of granules on their surface, but roofs tend to lose those granules toward the end of their life cycle, resulting in smooth shingles. Look in your gutters to see whether they are loaded up with shingle granules. Inconsistent or a darker color on some parts of the roof is another sign the granules have worn away.
As soon as you spot bald shingles, call a roofing company. You probably need to replace your entire roof. When the shingles shed a lot of their granules, your roofing quickly loses its usefulness.
8. There are Stains on Interior Ceilings and Walls
Everyone knows that water rolls downhill, so if you have a leaky roof and don’t climb into your attic often, then the leak will find its way onto the interior ceiling and down the walls. You will begin to notice drip stains, along with mold or mildew growth. This usually happens because of faulty shingle underlayment or inadequate ventilation in the attic.
9. You have Moss on Your Roof
Moss can look great in the woods behind your house, but on a roof, it spells trouble. Moisture can get trapped in the roofing and result in moss, mold, and fungi growth that can ruin it.
To get rid of any moss that collects in shaded corners of your roof, use a stiff brush. Then address the underlying problems right away.
Call a Roofing Company
Be diligent in checking your roof. Replacing it can be a significant expense, but you don’t want to add the costs of ruined drywall and carpeting from a devastating leak.
As soon as you notice any of the nine warning signs of roof problems, call a roofing company before serious damage occurs to your home.