12 Key Points To Check If You Think You Need A New Roof

Being a homeowner is a lot of hard work. You need to ensure the mechanical systems are in proper working order, the foundation doesn't have any cracks, and that the roof is protecting all of it from the elements. It can be quite a bit of information to remember. If only there was a checklist that you could run through monthly to cover all the points on your roof that you need to check. Oh, wait ... this is that list. You're welcome. 

Start In Your Attic ...

1. Light: Try entering the space with the lights off. If you notice sunlight seeping into the space through tiny holes in the ceiling, you have a problem. Rain can get in via those same holes. 

2. Damp Insulation: Turn on the light and examine the insulation. If it feels damp or wet, chances are pretty high that water is getting into the space. 

3. Dark Stains: Examine any wood support beams and plywood for dark stains. Previous water damage leaves a telltale dark stain on wood and indicates that this problem has been ongoing. Call in a professional roofer to take a closer look. 

4. Standing Water: Obviously, standing water in your attic is a huge issue. You shouldn't have puddles in your attic, but it can happen when your roof is failing. 

5. Mold: The EPA states that any water that enters your attic can cause mold to grow within 48 hours. You need to clean up the water and, more importantly, find out where it is coming from. 

Head Outside ...

6. Splash Guards: If your home has gutters, water travel through them to the downspouts and down into the cement splash guards. Look in the splash guards for any signs of loose gravel. When shingles are first manufactured they have a gravel costing to protect them from the weather, this coating wears off over time and is generally washed down to the splash guards, indicating that your roof is aging. 

7. Curling Edges: When first installed, shingles are expected to lay flat on your roof, however, over time, they can curl up at the edges. This again is an indication of age and the beginnings of a failing roof. 

8. Broken Pieces: As the curling continues, the shingles grow more and more brittle until the edge break off. Look in the bushes around your house for broken pieces. If you start seeing them, you know that your roof is rapidly approaching the end of its useful life. 

Climb Up on Top of Your Roof ...

9. Gutters: As you climb the ladder, stop and take a look in the gutters. You are looking for more of the shingle's gravel-like coating, but you are also looking for general cleanliness. Gutters that are clogged with debris can freeze in the winter and lead to ice dams, which can ruin both your roof and enter your attic space.

10. Missing Shingles: Look for missing shingles on your roof. They are not meant to fly off during any slight breeze. In fact, the International Building Code expects shingles to stay put, even in a hurricane. When you notice a few missing shingles, it means that your roof is no longer doing its job. 

11. Damaged Flashing: Check the flashing around your chimney as well as in the valleys. It should be flat and securely fastened to your roof. If it is loose or missing, you should call in the professionals to take a closer look. 

12. Soft Decking: Walk around. If your roof feels soft underneath your feet, chances are high that water has penetrated the shingles and damaged the plywood underlayment beneath. 

Use this checklist to observe the health of your roof on a monthly basis. The more you know about your roof, the better you can make decisions on its replacement timing. If you have concerns, call a professional for roof maintenance in your area, today.