If you want to cut down on the expensive cost of replacing a roof entirely, it’s critical to stop problems before they start.
But first – consider the fact that it’s perfectly normal for a home or building to settle and leave large dips in the roofing structure. As the foundation of an older home shifts over time, larger areas of sagging in a roof may not indicate an underlying problem – as long as water doesn’t accumulate on roofing materials.
In other circumstances, you may find that you have a persistent leak in a certain area of your roof. Once again, this doesn’t necessarily merit a complete roof replacement. If the problem is neglected over time, it will lead to rotting underneath the roof decking. However, if the leak is attended to promptly and regularly by a roofing company, it should not pose an issue.
While most roofs will be subject to regular wear and tear over the years, it’s important to stick with the guidelines listed above to inspect your roof in the spring and fall. Watch out for red flags that could indicate more serious signs of roof damage, like:
- Curling Shingles: Curling shingles are a legitimate problem because they could indicate the improper storage of shingles before installation or an incorrect installation technique.
As shingles curl, they will no longer be able to prevent water from seeping underneath a roof, leading to rot and structural damage.
- Poor Workmanship: As mentioned above, a number of roof problems are likely to occur because of shoddy craftsmanship. If a builder cut corners or used unscrupulous practices, it could cost you in the future as a home or business owner.
Obvious signs of poor workmanship include catching on the roof, multiple shingle layers, and the installation of new shingles over old shingles. While a builder may choose to place new shingles over old shingles to save time and money, this practice will actually cause damage to the new shingles and cut down on their lifespan. (We’ll cover this in detail in the next chapter.)
- Missing Shingles: If shingles are missing from your roof, there are areas that are vulnerable to outside damage. Missing shingles also provide the perfect opportunity for water to leak into your home or business.
Shingles may be pulled off a roof from falling tree branches or strong winds; shingles can also break and fall off a roof after a season of freezing and thawing. Missing shingles should be replaced as quickly as possible; loose shingles must be sealed with flashing cement before they fall off completely.
- Shingle Decay: While roofing materials are subject to deterioration, decaying shingles throughout a roof structure are easy to notice with obvious signs of chipping, peeling, cracking, splitting, and blistering.
If moisture has built up inside of a shingle, it can easily cause the surface to blister. Blistering may be triggered by debris buildup, a poorly ventilated attic, or external aging on the roof. Make it a priority to check your roof structure regularly for signs of blistering; once a blister bursts, it can affect the lifespan of roofing materials.
- Flashing Damage: The metal sheeting that surrounds your roof can easily become damaged by the elements, like ice, snow, wind, and hail. Flashing may also show visible signs of damage due to improper installation.
Instead of slapping a Band-Aid on the issue and caulking flashing to maneuver it back into place, noticeably damaged flashing should be replaced or repaired immediately.
- Rotting: A rotting roof is a fairly obvious problem to spot that will require immediate attention. Rotting is more common in wood shingle roofing materials, although it’s also possible in asphalt shingles.
As shingles absorb moisture over time, they can begin to rot. Rotten shingles are an increasing risk in areas of high rainfall and humidity, such as warmer southern climates.
Watching for these signs of wear and tear can make a world of difference in stopping serious roof issues before they affect your property. Homeowners and business owners are urged to monitor their roofs regularly for normal and serious signs of deterioration. Once any of the issues above are detected, it’s time to contact a roofer for professional help.