Do you know how your roof is looking at the moment? Have you ever really taken a look at it and would you even know what to look for and whether there were signs it was time to bring in a professional? Or like many homeowners have you put off dealing with any issues, or ignored indications your roof needs some repair. The fact is a lot of homeowners do not know signs the roof needs attention until things like leaks start happening. Or sometimes we ignore something when we cannot afford to deal with it or feel we do not have the time. Most of us do not have a never-ending source of money and sometimes when we are saving for something more pleasant like a family holiday, a different renovation or a new car we do not want to have to dip into that money for something as boring as the roof. However you really need to realize that taking care of your roof is not something to put off and it is important to recognize when roof repair is needed, otherwise those costs you are trying to ignore could multiply as the damage worsens.
What To Look For When Examining Your Roof
To answer the query about recognizing when roof repair is needed here are some things you can look for. Most of them can actually be seen from the ground and do not require you going up a ladder! Should you opt to go up to see the roof yourself do take care and be safe, sometimes shingles can come loose under foot and this can lead to some slipping and falling. Alternatively you could hire a roofing contractor to come and do an inspection. Many companies will actually offer free inspections and can even advice you on getting your home insurance to cover at least some if not all of the repair costs should they be caused by a storm or hail.
- When looking at your roof can you see dirty areas on the roof or sections that look dark or stained? This could be a sign of damp leading to algae or mild growing. This is a common problem to homeowners who live in warmer humid climates like you find in the southeast. Mold or algae are a problem because they can eat at the base of the shingles leading to decay and causing them to loosen. If you do see dark areas and do not want to go up for a closer look call in a roofing contractor to inspect those areas for you. They can tell you if it is mold, how bad the problem is and what can be done about it before further damage and more expense occurs.
- Look for deterioration in the shingle and sheathing. There are a number of things that can cause this to happen, mold and algae as mentioned, bad weather, age and so on. If the deterioration in the shingles is not noticed and dealt with quickly it can lead to the sheathing panels also being affected and at that point this becomes a serious problem as they connect the roof’s rafters to the shingles. That connection needs to be strong or your roof becomes more vulnerable especially during bad stormy weather and the actual integrity of the roof itself becomes compromised. If you can actually see sagging this is a sign of a possible much bigger problem of rot which could end with your roof collapsing. Have someone come take a look as soon as possible if you are seeing this. A roof collapsing would lead to not just having to replace the whole roof but also damage inside that will need to be dealt with and paid for.
- Are there any curled, cracked, missing or buckles shingles? This may be an indication that they are coming to the end of their lifespan. This can happen to the shingles when they get old and with exposure to different elements over a prolonged time. Shingles do not last forever, while it can vary depending on the material you have opted for the usual or more common asphalt/fiberglass type have a life span of twenty to twenty five years. Where you are in the country, the manufacturer and a few other factors can change whether it falls closer to 20 or closer to 25. What happens is that the granules that were added to protect from the sun and add color start to come off which leaves the material beneath exposed. This leads to curling and cracking and can sometimes lead to them completely creaking when strong winds or a bad storm next hits.
- You may see the paint is peeling and or blistering. This is one the more easier signs to see but is also one of the ones most often ignored as people assume it is just a superficial thing. However this could be caused by humidity or too much moisture, or a sign that the ventilation in the attic is too poor. When there is poor ventilation the hot air that gets trapped can build up in the attic and then cause the shingles to bake and the peeling of the paint to blister and bubble and peel. It is important once things are all repaired to check your attic has the proper ventilation needed, adding attic fans and exhaust in your bathrooms is very important for your roof’s repair.
- Signs of mildew or watermarks on the ceiling inside upstairs. While this is not always a sign your roof needs repairing it could be an indication your roof is leaking. Leaking roofs are actually not always easy to detect and when you do notice it, it is then not always easy to determine where it comes from. Leaking roofs can be from not enough underlayment, flashing that is deteriorating, or something more serious and widespread that may end up costing a lot of money to deal with. Where the water is going can build up and the collection can lead to cracks in the ceiling, mold problems, deterioration in the sheet rock and so on. Should you suspect a leak get it dealt with by a professional straight away as you are facing not just roof repair or replacement costs but also it could lead to interior structure problems that need to be paid for too. A good idea is to have not just a roof inspection regularly but also have a home inspection as they are professionals who know how to spot problems and catch them early before the costs escalate.
- Your energy bill has gone up a lot. More often today we are building or designing our homes with energy efficiency in mind for the sake of the environment and for the sake of your bills. Even if you live in an older home there are repairs and projects that can be taken on to turn a drafty home into something more efficient. One of the most important areas to look to for energy efficiency is your roof. If your heating bill has gone up or it takes more to cool your home in the summer this may mean your roof needs repairs. When there is not the correct ventilation, warm air can keep building up in the attic which heats your house and makes it harder to cool down in the summer. In the winter if heat is escaping because of lack of insulation this can lead to high heating bills. When you have a roofing contractor come over as well as checking the roof, also have them check the attic.
By knowing what to look for you can see those important warning signs sooner and take action. Ignoring these things will not make them go away and in fact, if the cost is what worries you, ignoring them can actually lead to higher costs. Keep in mind that many roofing contractors will do those inspections for free, take advantage of that to keep an eye on your roof. Just be sure to do some research and should work need doing get several quotes and make sure they can offer warranties, and they are licensed and insured.