Are you starting to give the side-eye to your roof as you back the car out of the garage? Wondering if you can continue to trust it?
There will inevitably come a time when a roof will need some repair work—or need to be replaced.
But how do you know when the time has come?
Here are a few things to do—and to be on the lookout for—when assessing the roof over your head.
Do Your Research
One of the simplest things you can do is ascertain when the current roof was installed. New asphalt shingle roofs usually last up to a quarter of a century, give or take, and a few years less if applied over a previous layer of shingles.
Up to the Attic We Go
Yes, in scary movies bad things happen up in the attic. And if your roof is failing, then bad things are starting to happen up in your attic. That’s why inspecting under your roof is the first part of an action plan.
If you’re doing this yourself, you’ll need a flashlight and should take care of where you step—if there’s no attic floor, then always keep your feet on the joists—which might be covered with insulation—or you might have other repairs to make.
What you will be looking for is light from above—as in beams of light that are passing through the holes in your roof. Also, stains or streaks are a record of water having been on the move in the attic, which is obviously not a good sign.
From the Outside
There are plenty of clues you can garner just by taking a good hard look at your roof. Getting up on a ladder and taking a closer look will give you an even better chance of seeing if issues have developed.
Cracking or buckling shingles is a sign that wear and tear are taking their toll. The shingles should be lying flat and not “wave” across the roof. And if you’re finding chunks of the roof—known as shingle granules—in gutters or the yard after storms, then the simple fact is that your roof is starting to fall apart.
Things growing on your roof—moss, mold, fungi—is a sign that there is enough moisture trapped under the surface to, well, support biological life. Which is not what a roof is supposed to do. Persistent moisture on the wrong side of a roof will lead to rot and, eventually, the need for even more drastic repairs.
Likewise, a roof that is sagging—like a giant sat in the center of it and left an imprint—is a sign that there are issues under the surface. These problems probably started due to water infiltration, so replacing the roof—and carrying out structural repairs—will be on the agenda.
Keeping an eye on the flashing—the areas around anything that protrudes from the roof like chimneys, vents, or skylights—is always a good idea. These “transition points” are often where the first signs of trouble will happen, such as cracks for fractures, and where water makes its first foray into your attic space.
Don’t Freak Out
Roofs are really tough. Even if some shingles have started failing and there’s been some initial moisture intrusion, your house is not on the verge of being uninhabitable. And quite often some judicious repairs will fix things enough to extend for years the life of your current roof.
But if there are signs of problems, it is time to get a professional roofing service on the scene to do a thorough inspection and advise you on the best course of action.
Iconic Roofing & Exteriors—based in New Castle, Delaware, and serving the Tri-State area—can offer you that expertise and the follow-up services necessary to make worrying about your roof a thing of the past.