Is your roof damaged? You may not think so, but how can you be sure?
Have you checked your roof for signs of damage? Do you even know how to check or what signs you’re looking for?
Roof damage is serious and we don’t want anyone to get hurt because of it. Besides, if you don’t know how to check your roof, you’ve probably not previously known what you need to look for.
We know all about roofs, roof damage, and roof repair and we’re going to pass this knowledge to you to keep you safe.
So without further ado, follow this guide to check for signs of roof damage.
1. Sunlight Coming Through
Holes in your roof that are big enough to let the sunshine in are a dead giveaway that the roof is damaged. This sign is typically the most obvious. But it’s sometimes overlooked, especially in attics and other rooms that don’t get used often.
Check for holes that let in sunlight room by room. Turn off all the lights, close the blinds and the door. Basically, make the room as dark inside as you can.
Then, look to the sky. If you can see the sky or even small sparkles of light, you’ve got holes in your roof.
2. Leaks When It Rains
Another obvious sign is that your roof leaks when it rains. Only, it’s not always that obvious.
If you are aware of leaks in your roof, don’t hesitate to get it repaired. Even a small leak lets moisture in between the cracks, which spreads as far as it can into your roofing material. Then, this moisture expands and contracts with temperature changes, widening the opening in your roof.
This deterioration spreads quickly, weakening the integrity of your roof. The longer you wait, the more dangerous it becomes and the more expensive it is to fix.
If you aren’t aware of any leaks, check for dripping next time it rains. Don’t overlook the attic, as many homeowners do.
3. Moisture Where It Shouldn’t Be
As we said before, leaks aren’t always obvious. Sometimes they’re just a teeny, tiny dribble that gets trapped in your insulation or absorbs into the boxes stored in your attic. This doesn’t make them any less of a problem.
Such leaks will obviously be devastating to the stored items you have soaking in them. And wherever this moisture ends up, it becomes ideal breeding grounds for mold and mildew. This can rot the very wood your house is made of.
So, during and after a rainstorm, check for puddles or other wet spots where moisture has collected. And regularly check your house for mold or mildew.
Also, paint that is blistering/peeling is another sign of excess moisture. If you see any of these signs, call a professional roofer to come to check them out.
4. Stains and Discoloring
When leaks have been going on for a really long time, you can see it on the ceiling and walls. As moisture drips further and further down into your house, it brings dirt and dust with it. When this dirty water soaks all the way through to the surface or your ceiling and walls, it discolors the paint.
These discolorations are grey, brown, or yellowish in color. On the ceiling, it appears as a circular ring. On the walls, it may look like streaks dripping down.
As we said, these stains indicate that the leaks have reached all the way into your home. They’re signs of very advanced water damage and need to be fixed right away.
Another sign of long-time water damage is a sagging ceiling. This means that water has pooled in that same spot above your head so many times that the ceiling is warping under the weight of it.
It’s exceedingly important that you have a professional roofer look at it right away. Again, when you’re checking for sagging, don’t forget the attic.
6. Energy Bills Increasing
Water and light aren’t the only things that leak through the holes in your roof. Air and heat can leak through as well. When there’s a temperature leak, your heating and cooling system has to run more frequently to make up for the breach.
If you notice your energy bill keeps costing you more each month, air leaking through your roof may be to blame. Of course, there are many other factors that can cause this. But it’s best to check your roof just in case.
Check for sunlight streaming through, as instructed above. And check the exterior, as we describe in the next point.
7. Visible Roof Damage
First thing’s first. Don’t get overzealous about checking your roof’s exterior. Falls from a roof can be deadly.
In fact, they’re the second leading cause of death in the private construction sector. And those are professionals we’re talking about.
Do not attempt to walk around on your roof unless you are properly trained and geared-up. But feel free to carefully take a look at it from a safe, reliable ladder.
Here’s what you’re looking for on the outside of your roof.
Damaged or Missing Shingles
If shingles or tiles are missing, cracked, broken, peeling, or damaged in any way, call it in.
Rot and Decay
Likewise, check for signs of rot and decay. Mold, mildew, and fungus will deteriorate the protective outer layer of your roof. This leaves it open to assault by the elements.
Damaged Chimney or Flashing
Chimney damage is no joke. A chimney with cracked or broken bricks may collapse inward or onto your roof, causing serious damage. Not to mention, it’s dangerous for anyone in your home when this happens.
When the flashing (the material connecting the chimney to the house) is cracked or damaged, it invites moisture in. This moisture expands and contracts with changes in temperature, worsening the problem. Such temperature changes include both the weather and the use of your fireplace.
Are there pieces of roofing material and/or chimney flashing in your lawn or gutter? Call it in.
8. Your Roof Is 20 Years Old or More
A new roof only lasts about 20 years. If yours is older than this, get it replaced.
If you’re unsure of your roof’s age, check your neighbors’ roofs. The homes surrounding yours were most likely built at the same time as yours.
If theirs are all new and yours isn’t it usually indicates your roof is overdue for replacement
Is Your Roof Damaged?
So, now that you have the checklist, how does your roof rate? Does it pass the test? Or is your roof damaged?
If you noticed any of these signs, you know what to do. Call a professional roofer to have it checked ASAP.
Now, read our article on choosing the best roof for your home in Madison, WI.