A failing, leaky roof is something nobody wants to deal with. Spotting the warning signs of a deteriorating roof can help you avoid a disaster.
The best way to ensure your roof is sound is to work with a reputable, professional remodeler. As a homeowner, you may miss problems that a professional eye would not. But there are some signs you can look for on your own to monitor the quality of your roof.
T.W Ellis recommends you do not head up on the roof yourself to look for damage. That’s a job best left to professionals!
There are a number of factors that go into the life of a roof, but the average asphalt shingle roof lasts 20 to 25 years. If your roof is more than 20 years old, there’s a good chance you are at or nearing the end of its useful life.
2. Missing shingles
Gaps in your shingles, usually caused by winds and storms, are a bad sign. The smallest gap can be an entry point for moisture. Missing shingles should be replaced right away. A professional remodeler can let you know if a repair will take care of the problem or if a complete replacement is necessary.
3. Cracked/curling shingles
Curling shingles are one of the most common signs of roof wear. Cracked and curling shingles can be caused by weather damage, old age or improper installation. Whatever the cause, they are an indication your roof needs attention.
4. Exposed nails
Nails should be covered by the shingles and not visible. Caused by improper installation or wear and tear, exposed nails can rust. Water can also seep in around the nail, leading to mold, water intrusion and other moisture issues.
5. Granules in the gutter
If you find a lot of granules in your gutters and downspouts, that could mean the roof is nearing the end of its useful life. The granules on asphalt shingles help protect the shingles from the elements. Once the granules wear off, shingles will deteriorate quickly.
6. Visible daylight
Take a quick trip up to the attic during the day and look up. If you can see daylight coming in anywhere, you need an immediate repair or replacement. Where light can get in, so can rain, snow and wind.
7. Water evidence in attic
Also check for moisture while you’re up there. Look for discoloration on the walls or roof panels and check the insulation for moisture.
8. Rusted/damaged chimney flashing
The metal flashing around your chimney should be watertight. If it is damaged, rusting or missing, that can be another ingress point for moisture. In older homes, the flashing may be made of tar or roof cement. Upgrading to metal is a good decision to lengthen the lifespan of your roofing system.
9. Sagging roof
If your roof is visibly sagging or drooping, that’s a sign of major problems. This can be a sign of damage to the roof deck or other structural issues. Call a professional right away!
10. Moss on the roof
Moss can form on roofs that don’t get a lot of sunlight and may be solely a cosmetic issue. However, moss and fungi growth can also be an indicator of underlying moisture damage. Moss can usually be brushed off the roof fairly easily, but be sure to look for other issues.
Usually, dark streaks on your roof are caused by algae that forms on the roof in areas with high humidity like Maryland. This algae, while unsightly, does not usually cause any damage. It can be cleaned off, but approach with caution. Pressure washing the roof can cause damage to the shingles, doing more harm than good. Algae-resistant shingles are available if you decide to replace the roof.
Have questions about needed work on your home? Contact T.W. Ellis today to talk about all of your remodeling needs in the Forest Hill and Bel Air areas!