Perhaps no part of your home is more important than your roof. After all, without a roof over your head, you and your family would be vulnerable to the blistering heat of summer and the snowy winters. But, when was the last time you thought about your roof?
More importantly, when was the last time you had a roofing inspection? Sometimes, the signs that your roof needs some work are obvious and demand attention immediately. Other times, they’re more subtle and maybe more insidious, allowing air leaks and driving your energy bill way up. Either way, you should learn to recognize these six signs that your roof needs to be replaced.
Your Roof Is Getting Old
The first sign is also the most obvious one: age. While an older roof doesn’t automatically translate to a weak or damaged one, if your home is 20 years old or older, you’ll need to contact a roofing specialist for a consultation.
It helps to know the full history of your roof. When you moved into the home, had the roof been replaced recently? What about repairs? Did the previous owners deal with any major issues, and were they correctly handled? Try to find out as much information as you can.
If you are not able to trace the history of your roof, at least talk to your neighbours. Ask other people in the same neighbourhood, whose homes were built at the same time as yours, how their roof is holding up and if they’ve had any major issues.
There is Light Creeping Into Your Attic
Your roof might look healthy from the outside, but there could be problems that are a little harder to detect. One of the ways you can check for signs of roofing wear and tear is to head into the attic. You might see some rays of sunshine creeping in between the shingles. This is a major sign that your roof is nearing the end of its life.
If light can get through, so can water, and so can hot or cold air, driving up your energy bills. Contact a Portland roofing professional, such as the ones at Interstate Roofing, if you think you’re dealing with a leaky roof.
Your Shingles Appear Damaged
Other signs of an ageing or worn-out roof can be spotted more easily. Damaged shingles are usually fairly obvious. Shingles should always lie flat against the roof, but age, moisture, and the growth of moss can cause them to shrink, crack, buckle, and even start to fall off. If the edges of the shingles are cupping – that is, turning up at the edges – that’s a sign they need to be replaced.
If you notice cracks, either in individual shingles or across the whole roof, that’s another clear sign. Bald patches on the shingles, as the granules come off, also indicate wear. The discolouration is another red flag; dark streaks across the roof can be a sign of algae. Sometimes, algae can be easily removed. Other times, however, it’s a symptom of a larger problem and the roof will need to be replaced.
You See Moss Growing on Your Roof
Moss is a type of plant that favours cool, moist areas to grow in. It can damage your roof and shorten its life, and it’s often also a symptom of a larger problem.
As moss grows best in damp or humid climates, it can serve as a sign that your roof is being subjected to unfavourable conditions. Once the moss takes hold, it will use the asphalt that makes up your shingles as its food source.
Moss also retains water, which can weaken your roofing. Portland, in particular, is vulnerable to this as the cold winters can freeze the water, seriously harming your shingles and severely shortening the life of your roof.
Roofing professional can give your roof a thorough cleaning, helping to stave off the need for replacement.
You See Standing Water or Snow
Most roofs are designed so that water or snow simply slide right off; after all, the primary purpose of a roof is to protect you from the elements. However, an ageing or damaged roof may not be up to this task.
If the roof valleys have taken too much of a beating over the years, they will eventually cease to be effective when it comes to redirecting water off of your roof. Over the years, water and snow will work their way through your shingles and you will be faced with leaks.
In Portland, your roof is vulnerable to both hot summers and cold winters. When it’s cold, your roof valley underlayment shrinks; then when it heats up, the underlayment expands again. As this happens over and over throughout the years, the material will warp and fail to redirect snow and water the way it should. When this happens, it’s often a sign it’s time for a roof replacement.
Your Roof is Sagging
All roofs need to be replaced eventually; diligence from homeowners and regular visits from a roofing professional will forestall this need and make it as painless as possible when the time does come.
However, sometimes problems can become catastrophic and you’ll need to have your roofer make an emergency visit. One such issue is a sagging roof; the second you notice this, contact a professional. Immediate attention is necessary because unchecked sagging can lead to a collapse. It could be a sign of a very serious structural issue.
However, if you’re observant and inform a professional of any issues that arise, the odds of a major problem are very low. It’s also a good idea to have a roofer come and inspect your roof periodically, especially if you are unsure of its maintenance history.