Don't let that leaky roof wait
Depending on your type of roof, it can last anywhere from 20 to 50 years. But that long lifespan doesn’t come without its fair share of maintenance. To make the most of your roof, you can’t be hands-off—and there are certain instances when you need to call a local roofing professional.
1. There Are Granule Loss and Missing Shingles On Your Roof
Shingles are not just cosmetic; they help create a watertight and wind-resistant seal that protects the rest of the roof from damage.
If you can see small piles of black or gray granules in your gutters or collected in your downspouts, it's a sign your roof's shingles have failed. The same goes if you spot some missing shingles or even a shingle’s broken loose and tumbled onto your lawn.
2. Your Roof Has Shingle Pops
Shingles that appear to rise above the flat surface of the rest of the roof can indicate impact damage from hail, but they may also indicate inadequate attic ventilation.
If attic temperatures rise above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, shingles can blister or pop. A qualified contractor will also check out your attic for airflow and tell you what caused your shingle damage.
3. Your Roof Has Water Stains and Leaks
If you can spot obvious water stains and leaks, both on the roof itself and anywhere the roof would spill onto (like in your attic), call a pro. Signs of water stains indicate a leaky roof, which can lead to some serious damage. You should also pay attention to any water that pools up in unusual locations during or after a storm.
4. You See Loose or Worn Flashing
If you notice cracked, loose, or worn flashing or gaskets around your vent stacks and chimneys, it’s likely indicative of a larger issue. Any point where roof shingles meet a protrusion has a higher likelihood of failure. Improperly applied or failed caulking or flashing can cause roof leaks and suggests that the roof may have been improperly installed in the first place.
5.Your Roof Has Unusual Post-Storm Debris
Severe thunderstorms, snowstorms, and other weather events can have a severe impact on your roof. It’s common for storms to dislodge shingles, knock tree limbs onto the roof, and create all manner of debris.
If you just experienced a major storm, do a thorough roof inspection and be on the lookout for damage and debris. If you see anything strange, call a professional. A small problem is always easier to address before it transforms into a larger issue down the road.
6. Algae, Mold, and Moss Is Growing on Your Roof
If your roof is growing algae, mold, or moss, you may need professional remediation or, in severe outbreaks, a full roof replacement. Algae and mold thrive in cracks and corners after the wind brings errant spores to your roof. If left unchecked, algae and mold create stains and cause leaks.
Moss can deteriorate the structural integrity of your roof, as the roots break down the materials used during construction. A pro can usually solve a mild outbreak with certain chemicals, but if your entire roof is moss-covered it may need a full replacement.
7. You Can Spot Ice Dams
Ice dams form during the winter when your attic is warm enough to melt snow, causing the water to seep underneath shingles. If left untreated, these ice dams can tear off your gutters, loosen shingles, and, of course, cause massive leaks.
How can you spot an ice dam? Look closely at the icicles around your home’s exterior. Does it look like there is water trapped behind these icicles? If so, that is an ice dam. A contractor can remove all of these icicles, allowing the stuck water to flow out normally.
8. Your Roof Is Sagging
If any part of your roof is sagging, it is likely indicative of moderate-to-severe structural damage. Look for dips in the roof’s plane or bowing in the roofline. If you notice sagging, call your preferred technician immediately; this likely means roof damage extends all the way down to the decking.
9. You Have an Old Roof
You may not notice any obvious issues, but an older roof should receive more maintenance checks and inspections than a newer roof.
Along with the conditions listed above, knowing your roof's age is critical for determining whether or not you should invest in repairs or a roof replacement. Most roofs last about 25 years, depending on the material. So if your roof is approaching its 20th birthday, keep a close eye on its condition.