A roof over your head is only beneficial if it protects you from the elements above. Collecting rainwater may work great on primitive living sites, but it’s less than ideal when it’s pooling in your pots and pans inside your house. Skylights can really boost your home’s value, but daylight streaming through your attic isn’t quite the same thing. The sagging ceiling can be a literal wet blanket. If you’re concerned about the soundness of the structure that’s covering your head at night, then an inspection should immediately top your to-do list.
Investigating the structural strength of your roof requires evaluating both its exterior and interior components. The interior signs that you may need a new roof are more noticeable and obvious. Leaking, sagging, dark strains, and daylight coming through your attic ceiling boards. These are hard-to-miss problems. When it comes to evaluating the exterior of your roof, the signs of roof failure are a little more subtle. Wood rot and mold growth can develop in areas that you may hardly notice, let alone think to check. Decaying roofing tiles and shingles can hide signs of problematic roofing concerns that can go undetected from your vantage point on the ground.
Here’s what you need to know to accurately evaluate the interior and exterior of your roof, and the problematic signs to look for that signal you may need a new roof.
Daylight shining through your attic ceiling, water damage from above, stains and dark spots in your interior ceilings, sagging areas above your head, are some of the easy-to-spot interior signs that you may need a new roof.
Start your interior roof evaluation by inspecting the ceiling in your attic. You’ll want to bring a high-powered flashlight if your attic is not electrically wired with lighting. After you have climbed or crawled into the scene of the investigation, flick off your artificial torch and look for daylight. If you can see sunlight seeping in through your attic ceiling, then you can officially add a call to a professional and reputable roofer to your to-do list. This is a clear sign that your roof has holes and will need to be replaced. If sunlight can infiltrate your ceiling, so can rainwater.
The next step is to inspect the ceilings, upper corners, and upper walls of your entire living area. Search for damp-looking dark stains and streaks. They’ll be easy to spot. You’ll be able to practically see (and smell) the mildew growing on them. Your living area may need a fresh coat of paint, but it won’t be so bad that it looks problematically unappealing. Dark staining or streaks running down the walls of your living areas is a sign that water is likely leaking down from your roof. This is a water damage offense in the first degree and a sure sign that you’ll need a new roof.
Your ceiling is likely made of sheetrock and plaster. When these materials absorb moisture, they become soggy, and begin to sag. As you inspect your living area, look for spots in your roof that sag or bow, hanging a little lower than the rest of your ceiling. Prod any sagging spots you find with a broom or mop handle. If they are waterlogged then they will be soft and easily moved. Sagging ceilings due to water damage can cause serious problems in your home. You will want to hire a reputable roofing professional immediately to fully evaluate your roofing needs.
Signs of roof decay on the inside of your home can be easy to spot. When it comes to evaluating the exterior of your roof, signs of decay can be tougher to notice, especially from the ground. The best thing to do is shimmy up a ladder and assess your roof from up top. Exercise extreme caution as your roof may have weak spots.
Here are the exterior signs to look for that indicate you may need a new roof.
Wood and asphalt roofs begin to rot over time, and shingled roofs bring to decay and crack as they get older. This natural aging process wears down the aesthetics of the roof, as well as its structural strength. Inspect the condition of your wood or asphalt roofing tiles, or your roofing shingles. Signs to look for include rotten wood or asphalt, mold growth across a group of tiles, and roofing shingles that are missing, cracking, bowing, or broken.
When your roof coverings begin to deteriorate, they lose their effectiveness in protecting your home from water damage. This is a sign that your roof coverings will need to be replaced.
While you are up on your roof, inspect the insides of your gutter. Looking for pieces of roofing tiles or shingles that may have chipped off your roof and found their way into your gutter. This is another sign that your roof coverings are decaying and will need to be replaced.
Your roof is made up of pitches, peaks, and valleys. The latter of which is the spot where two different sections of your roof conjoin. The valleys of your roof are more susceptible to damage as they tend to be channels for snow and rain to flow from your roof into your gutters. Inspect the tiles or shingles on the valleys of your roof for signs of rot and decay.
Do you know the age of your roof? Is it close to over 20 years old? Your roof should be replaced every 20 years, or close to the two-decade mark. If you aren’t sure as to the exact age of your roof, ask your neighbors who have lived on your street longer than you, or watch out for your neighbors replacing their roofs. This can be a good signal that you need to replace your roof.
When it comes to the safety and comfort of you and your family, the structural integrity of your roof matters. Hiring a reputable roofing professional to assess your roof is the best way to identify and address any of your roofing problems, including a full replacement. Schedule a consultation today!
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