Unfortunately, we typically don’t pay enough attention to the roof over our heads. Rather than schedule a regular inspection, most of us will wait until it’s too late and we’re faced with a roof emergency. Having a roof maintenance plan and making a few fixes as needed can go a long way in preventing costly repairs down the road. However, even with regular maintenance and repair, there are times when your roof may have run its course. Here are a few signs that you need a new roof.
Go through your home records to establish when your roof was replaced, or if it is the original roof. Knowing your roof’s date of installation and the material it’s made of will give you an idea of it’s remaining expected useful life. Roofing experts agree that a typical asphalt shingle roof lasts approximately two decades.
A Leaky Roof
Start by checking your attic. Climb up under the eaves and arm yourself with a flashlight to look for any signs of a leakage such as stains and any streams of light coming through the roof boards. Walk on the roof and look out for a damp, soft, or spongy feeling, which means the underlying decking is weak from moisture. A compromised roof valley can also lead to roof leaks because rain and snow flow through the valleys into the gutter.
Damaged or Missing Shingles
Inspect your rooftop’s shingles, especially after heavy storms. Keep an eye out for buckling, cracked, or damaged shingles, and shingles that have blown off into your yard. Watch out for advanced shingle wear by checking the downspouts and gutters for shingle granules. If your roof is losing a lot of granules, then that’s one of the signs that you need a new roof. Another sign that your roof could be failing is when there are missing shingles.
Loose or Cracked Flashing
The flashing around skylights, vents, and chimneys seals the seams of the roof from harsh weather and rain. Examine the flashing to ensure there are no breaks or cracks, which can cause moisture related issues in your home. Older homes were built with flashing made of tar or cement, so if that’s the case consider replacing it with a waterproof and more durable metal flashing system. Having loose or damaged flashing can allow water to seep into your home and leak into your ceilings and walls, causing extensive moisture damage to your home.
Mold and Mildew Growth
If there are mold and moss growth on your roof, the tiles could be forced apart to create a gap that lets in water. Check your roof for shingles showing signs of moss, rot, and mildew. Failing to deal with the problem may facilitate the growth of fungi and bacteria that can damage the roof beyond repair.
Your rooftop should follow a straight line along the ridge. A sag in the middle or saddleback could be a warning sign of structural damage which might cause your roof to collapse if not detected and repaired early. Roof sagging may be caused by too much weight on the roof from snow or ice, improper roof installation, faulty roof materials or frequent exposure to water and a vast amount of moisture.
The best way to find out if you need a new roof is to hire a professional inspector to perform a roof inspection. It’s a good idea to choose a home inspector who uses an aerial drone for inaccessible roofs so that they can be sure to get clear images of the roof no matter what. American Home Inspections provides home inspection services to Middle Tennesse assisted by an aerial drone when necessary. Contact us at 931-264-1947 to discuss your inspection needs