A quality roof should last for years, but sometimes, it can show you signs that something is amiss. In order to prevent the need for major repairs or a roof replacement, there are signs to look out for when your roof is trying to tell you something is wrong.
Depending on the scenario, your roof may be showing signals that it’s in need of attention, and fast.
Read on to discover signs that your roof is telling you it needs a repair or replacement ASAP.
You may think your roof only shows signs of distress on the outside, but there are also some serious warning signs that can start to show themselves indoors, too. These indicators are something every homeowner should be on the lookout for and make efforts to correct it as soon as possible.
Any signs of water stains on the inside of your home is a serious red flag. If you notice water on your walls or visible stains from where water has previously dried, it could be related to some roof issues.
Keep in mind that not all water means your roof has a leak. In fact, it may be caused by a leaking window, issues with plumbing, or simply from condensation buildup.
If your ceiling shows signs of water damage, it can be a bit tricky to pinpoint the source. Water does not travel straight down; it can make its way across the lumber in your attic or the roof panels, then drip onto the insulation and end up in pools that eventually show through to your ceiling.
Regardless of where you see water inside your home, it’s a good idea to contact a professional roof repair company to take a look. Any water inside your home on the walls or ceilings can be caused by a multitude of possibilities, but it’s often a sign that your roof is in need of attention.
Look carefully to see if water spots grow in size after it rains or if they start to get darker. If this is the case, it’s likely due to a roof-related issue.
If you don’t correct the problem with interior leaks, it can result in all kinds of damage. Mold and mildew will start to spread, and you may end up with structural damage or need to remove the ceiling drywall and replace it. Water can cause all kinds of issues when it gets in your home including damaging the insulation, rotting the framing, and just looking unattractive overall.
Signs Your Roof is in Trouble: Exterior
The exterior of your roof will typically show the most obvious signs of distress. Inspect your roof carefully and on a regular basis so you can be sure it’s still in good condition and structurally sound.
Water spots don’t just appear on the inside of your home. These spots may also start to show on the exterior walls, too. If you notice water damage, mold, or stains on exterior walls, it could mean the flashing is loose, damaged, or starting to rust.
Check your gutters to make sure that they’re clean and free of debris. If they look misshapen, rusted, or filled with granules, there are several possibilities at play. Gutters can come loose over time, which may lead to leaks and other problems that can occur rather quickly.
Shingles and Signs of Trouble
If you see a lot of granules from shingles in your gutter, or if they wash out of the downspouts, it’s definitely a sign that your roof needs to be inspected as soon as possible. A small amount of granules is normal, but when you see a lot of them, the shingles are likely aging and need to be replaced.
Granules may also come loose because you have animals scampering across the surface. Trim tree branches to make sure that animals can’t easily hop onto your roof. Without the right amount of granules, the shingles have no protection against UV light from the sun, which can cause them to deteriorate faster.
Shingles can tell you a lot about your roof, so look at them often to make sure they’re in good condition. If you see shingles that are cracking, cupping, or curling, it’s time to get a roof inspection so you can replace them as needed. As your attic heats up, that heat transfers to your roof which can heat the underside of shingles and cause them to curl.
Without “healthy” shingles, rain can start to get underneath and then into your home. Use a pair of binoculars to look for damaged or missing shingles. Excessive heat, high winds, and other environmental factors can cause shingles to be removed or undergo damage over time.
Leaks When the Temperature Fluctuates Between Warm and Freezing
If your roof starts to leak when outside temperatures fluctuate wildly, you may have ice dams. This is caused when temperatures cycle between freezing and thawing, allowing ice to buildup on your roof, blocking any snow from melting off the surface. Over time, the water will get under your shingles and cause leaks inside your home.
The key to avoiding this issue is to try and address the problem before the ice dams form. New roofs should include a special barrier that protects the eaves from ice and water buildup. However, if your roof is older, you’ll need to be diligent during the winter months.
Make sure your attic has ample insulation, which can help to prevent ice dams from forming. Check ventilation to ensure that the attic temperature is at a good level, and so air can escape as needed.
Stains Around Chimney Flashing or Bathroom Fans
If you have a brick chimney, check the flashing to look for signs of rust. You should also make sure that the flashing looks tight and secure. If your chimney flashing is old, damaged, or worn, water can easily seep through gaps or cracks, causing water to get inside.
Check your bathroom ceiling, and look for visible signs of water stains. This could mean you have a leak that’s coming inside from the vent cap on your roof. For bath fans, some drips are normal, since it’s typically related to condensation that builds up from the room.
Look carefully around places on your roof where objects like chimneys, vents, or skylights penetrate your roof. In most cases, the issues related to these areas can easily be pinpointed and corrected before the damage gets out of hand. Rust or curled flashing are the two most common signs there is an issue.
Other Signs Your Roof is in Trouble
Besides the obvious leaky roof or visibly damaged shingles, there are a few other things to be on the lookout for when your roof is trying to tell you something is wrong. Here are some other items to be aware of whenever you check out your roof or have it professionally inspected:
- Blistering or peeling paint around roofline: If you see paint damage around the roofline of your home, there may be an issue with improper attic ventilation.
- Roof leaks after heavy rain: Sometimes your shingles may look fine, but your roof still leaks when it rains. This could be due to a problem with the underlayment, which should be addressed as soon as possible.
- Light from outside coming into the attic: If you go in the attic and see light coming in, it’s a major sign that your roof is in dire need of attention.
- Unusually high energy bills: Check your monthly energy bill and if it suddenly fluctuates wildly, there might be a hole or other problem somewhere in your roof that’s allowing air to escape or get inside your home.
Give Your Roof the Attention it Needs
You don’t need to check your roof every single day, but knowing the signs that your roof is in trouble could save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Whether it’s leaky ceilings or tons of granules in your gutters, these signs can help you spot trouble before it gets out of control.
When in doubt, always contact a roofing professional who can help you pinpoint the issue and get it fixed the right way. Don’t take chances if you think your roof is compromised. Ignoring the problem can lead to bigger issues later down the line.