It’s not often that we look at our roof. We run in and out of the house and take the kids back and forth while only glancing up at the roofline occasionally as we back out of the driveway. It is important to inspect your roof regularly, take care of the little fixes as needed to prevent costly repairs down the road, and to keep the rain out of your home.
Here is a check list that will help you to determine if it’s time for a new roof. If your roof is showing any of these signs, contact a professional to evaluate your roof and decide if the problem with your roof is shingle, flashing, or weather related.
Missing Roof Shingles
If there are dislodged shingles or shingles that have been blown off the roof surface, this is an indication that your roof’s asphalt shingle is losing its tar seal. Once the tar strip loses its seal not much can be done with the old shingle. Temporary tar sealing will work short term but is not guaranteed to fix the problem permanently. You can replace the missing tab shingles, but you need to be careful because mixing new asphalt shingles with much older and worn out asphalt shingles may cause other problems.
Missing Granular on Roofing Shingles
Asphalt based shingles have a granular covering to protect the tar surface and give the shingle its attractive appearance. Over time, the granular surface of the asphalt shingle loosens and wears off. Once the granular surface has worn from the asphalt shingle base, the shingles must be replaced.
Curling Roof Shingles
Curling is caused by poor ventilation or a dried out asphalt shingle base. Once the curling process starts, nothing can stop it. The curled pieces will eventually break off causing the roof to leak. Once the roof reaches this stage, it is important not to walk on it to avoid dislodging the other curled pieces.
Blistered Roofing Shingles
At this point the shingles are cracked, bubbled looking, and in most cases, dislodged from their seal and original roof placement. This is another instance where everyone should remain off the roofing surface in order avoid further damage to the existing shingles.
Multiple Layers of Shingles
It was common practice to install an asphalt shingle roof over an existing asphalt shingle roof, but now roofing contractors will not even consider installing shingle on shingle roofing. Doing so will void your shingle warranty and cause the first layer of shingles to cook the layer or layers of shingles installed over top of them costing the consumer thousands in the end.
Growth on Shingles
The growth of brown or black algae on your asphalt shingles will not hurt your shingle’s performance. You can remove the algae by using a bleach solution; however, bleach does remove granular so it is not highly recommended.
Flashing and Caulking Damage
Most flashing products are made of aluminum, copper, or tin, the latter being the most susceptible to water damage. Most flashing problems are repairable; however, caulking will not fix all of your roof flashing problems. Most flashing problems are caused by incorrect installation, or are from the flashing being dislodged due to ice, water, or wind. Caulking is used primarily as a mast to cover the flashing problem.
One of the main causes of roof buckling is poor roof ventilation. When heat and moisture are trapped in an attic space, it causes severe damage to the roof truss system as well as the roof sheathing deck.
Water Damage and Rotting Roof Wood
Finding the signs of water damaged areas is key in evaluating a roof. Low spots in the roof surfaces or funnel areas, sagging, or out of place lines of site are just some of the determining factors in spotting damaged areas.
Water Marks / Interior and Exterior
A water mark on the ceiling of your home or in the soffit area off your roofing overhang indicates a water infiltration problem, but it does not necessarily mean you need an entirely new roof. Contact a professional to assess the route of the problem.
The technology of asphalt shingle roofing has changed considerably over the past 10 to 20 years. If there are any issues with your roof make sure to contact a professional roofing contractor who strictly abides by the current manufacturers specifications to ensure that your new roof will last and be maintenance free for a very long time.