A damaged roof can be difficult to notice, let alone diagnose. With your roof being high above our head, it is difficult to inspect the condition of your roof without getting out a ladder. You may be able to see certain portions of your roof and make a guess on its overall condition from the ground, but ultimately that’s all it will be, a guess. You really will need to get above your roof for a good inspection.
To help you diagnose the condition of your roof, we asked our experts to share a few tips on what to look for. Below is what they suggested:
Assuming your roof is comprised of asphalt shingles and not metal roofing, their overall appearance will be a major indicator of your roof’s health. If your shingles are cracked, curled, lifting or missing, is a pretty good indicator that your roof is coming close to the end of its lifespan, and perhaps not holding back all moisture. If you notice some of the shingles darker or waterlogged, this means that these shingles are absorbing moisture. This too is an indicator that water may be entering your home and causing potential damage.
Damaged Vent Boots and Chimney Flashing
If you have already made the effort to get on top of your roof to inspect your shingles, take some additional time to inspect your plumbing vents, roof vents and chimney flashing. All of these items stick out from your roof, leaving a potential entry point for water. Make sure the flashing is secure, any sealant is in good condition, and that any plastic components are not damaged or cracked and that all of the nails or screws are still present. If you notice any of these issues, action needs to be taken to correct the issue before it gets any worse.
Mold or Rot in Areas Where Your Roof Meets an Exterior Wall
The water that naturally runs down your roof can run down walls that intersect with a portion of the roof. This scenario will only occur if you have different roofing levels. Without properly installed flashing, this water can work its way down the wall and in behind window or door trim. Over time this water will cause rot and can possibly lead to structural issues. Look for mold or rot where your roof meets the exterior wall and even around the top of window or door frames that are close to this area of your home.
Stains on Interior Walls and Ceilings
There can be varied reasons for stains or discolouration of your ceiling and walls, but the number one reason is water damage. Noticing the stains is simple, the tricky part is finding where the leak is coming from. It is possible that your roofing material and the underlayment may not be able to block moisture fully anymore. This would lead to water working its way inside your home gradually and causing the discolouration of your ceiling and walls. Inspecting your attic for any wet areas is a good starting point.
Presence of Light in You Attic
Unless you have a window in your attic, this space should be extremely dark at all times. You can climb into your attic to inspect if there is any natural light coming in from holes or cracks in your roof. If light is able to find its way in, you are assured that water can also find its way into your home. If it recently rained you can also look for any wet spots in your attic. Pay attention to any nails that may be protruding into the attic. These nails may provide an entry point for moisture to enter your home.
Diagnosing and repairing any roof damage is imperative to preventing excessive damage to your home. Adding a bi-annual roof inspection to your seasonal home maintenance routine is a good way to stay ahead of any potential damage. If your old shingles have come to the end of their life span, consider replacing them with a new metal roofing system. Metal roofing has a lifespan of 50+ years, meaning that this quite possibly may be the last roof replacement you will ever need!