01 of 07
Six Warning Signs You Need Roof Repair
Your roof takes a beating. I mean, that is in fact its job. Sun, hail, snow, rain, wind. Your roof needs to stand up to all those things and more (like that tree limb that just fell on it).
Like most things that silently do there job day in and day out, we can tend to take them for granted and your roof is no exception. That's why I wanted to share with you some things to check for to see if your roof needs attention before it gets expensive. I thought I'd focus on the most common... residential roof type, the asphalt shingle, and what to look for to see if the roof needs repair. However, many of these issues we will cover are applicable to wood shingle and tile roofs as well.
For this article I thought I would enlist some ideas from our friends at HomeAdvisor.com, a home repair contractor resource that is free to use (yep, no monthly fees like some other lists).
Here are six warning signs that your roof system may need repair and that you really can't afford to ignore. I'll explain each one on the following pages.
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- Ice dams
- Granule erosion
- Environmental damage
- Shingle damage
02 of 07
Roof leaks may often be hard to spot when they start because they begin with a small drip. As a result, they can remain unseen for a long time and eventually saturate rafters, insulation, ceiling, even the siding of your home.
A good way to proactively check for a roof leak is to look for signs of rotted wood such as where your gutters attach to your house on the fascia board when cleaning the gutters, looking for mildew buildup, signs of puddles or water or wet insulation in the attic after a... rainstorm. Or you can contact a roofer to help you check for leaks.
Without occasionally checking for a roof leak, by the time the leak is noticeable permanent damage may have occurred and you're into siding repair or other exterior or interior home repairs.Continue to 3 of 7 below.
03 of 07
Failure of the roof shingle as a cause of roof leaks is actually far less common than a flashing failure. Roofs often leak at the flashing, such as the step flashing shown here, because of a poor installation or depending too heavily on caulk / sealants to provide the water shedding function.
Check the flashing around the chimney, skylights, sloping roof / wall intersections, vent pipe penetrations and the valleys during your regular roofing maintenance. Flashing can become loose and sealant can... break down over time. If you find any gaps around the chimney or other penetrations, the need to be sealed immediately with asphalt roof cement as a stop gap measure, and then the flashing should be replaced / repaired to avoid additional problems down the road.
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04 of 07
Ice dams form when melting snow on a roof runs off and refreezes at the edge of a roof. This condition occurs when the snow is melted by a warm roof, creating water running between the snow and the warm roof surface, then freezing and turning to ice when it gets past the exterior wall and hits a cold unheated roof edge or gutter. As the bottom of the snow pack continues to melt, water continues to flow down the roof surface until it hits the ice, thereby creating a larger and larger ice dam.
If... this situation continues, the ice can work its way back up the roof edge, get under shingles, melt and leak into the exterior wall, home or attic. Damage from ice dams may not be readily apparent. As the ice melts and possibly drips into the wall or attic, insulation can be become wet and lose its ability to perform. In some cases if the right temperature and humidity exist, mold may begin to grow in the attic. Often paint will peel or blister weeks or months after the ice dam has melted as moisture from the leak in the wall or ceiling cavities tries to leave and pushes outward.
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05 of 07
Roof Shingle Granule ErosionAsphalt shingles are made up of granules which help to defend against sunlight and moisture. When these granules are worn away by climate conditions, the shingles deteriorate faster. You can check for missing granules by looking in your gutters and downspouts. Another way to check is to look for dark spots on your shingles where they’d usually be. This is a sign you will need to repair your roof by adding on another layer of shingles.
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06 of 07
Environmental DamageMold, algae and fungus can all grow on roofs over time if they’re exposed to the elements and not maintained properly. If that happens, your roof may deteriorate and require extensive repairs. Homeowners should check their roofs for these kinds of environmental buildups and remove them as soon as possible.
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07 of 07
Physical Shingle Damage
Asphalt shingles, although one of the most inexpensive roofing options, can also be damaged by a wide variety of threats. Homeowners need to check their roofs after major hail or wind storms and may have to replace or repair shingles as a result. Here are some threats that can damage asphalt shingles:
- Tree branches that hang too closely to a shingled roof can scar and damage them if they’re brushed repeatedly over time.
- Hail can damage a shingle roof by deteriorating the granules on shingles. Over... time this could lead to water leaks and more extensive damage to the roof.
- When shingles split, this means they’re decaying and will lead to more major roof repair. Decaying shingles allows water to get to the wood foundation underneath and start to rot it, which will lead to more expensive repairs.
- Curling is where shingles are worn thin over time and start curling, which decreases their defense against wind, snow and rain.
- Blistering occurs when shingles get too much moisture in them and start to break down. A home inspector will have to determine whether or not the shingles will need to be replaced, depending on how deeply they’ve been penetrated by moisture.