When was the last time you had your roof inspected?
If you’re a Maryland homeowner, chances are you haven’t checked your roof in a little while. It’s the middle of winter and conditions aren’t exactly ideal for climbing up onto your roof right now.
But with spring right around the corner, you’ll want to make checking your roof a top priority. The average lifespan of a roof varies but many factors can cause premature roof damage.
The earlier you can spot damage on your roof, the better. Because should you need to replace it in the next few years, you can avoid and spot early damage in the meantime.
Here are 8 common warning signs of roof damage you won’t want to ignore.
1. Shingle Damage
Have you noticed that your roof is missing a number of shingles? Or, does it appear that your shingles are curling or have cracks in them?
Missing or damaged shingles are one of the tell-tale signs of roofing damage. Over time, they wear down and lose their resistance to external conditions.
High winds are often the leading cause of shingle damage. If your shingles weren’t properly installed, your roof is more susceptible to damage. Fix loose, missing, or damage shingles as soon as you spot them.
2. Water Stains & Leaks
Have you recently spotted water stains or leaks on your ceilings? Are any of your ceilings or walls currently forming water bubbles or mold?
If you’re experiencing one or both of these problems, there is likely a roof leak. Leaks are especially common in the wintertime when lots of snow can accumulate on your roof.
The weather itself is not exactly the cause of the problem. Leaks suggest that there is a problem with your roof that is allowing water and air to seep through.
You don’t have to wait for the signs of a roof leak to show up, either. You can check for frosted nails in your attic, holes, and cracked caulking on your windows.
There are lots of other ways to check for a leaking roof. You may be able to fix them yourself, but it’s better to have a professional do the job.
3. Poor Ventilation
When something is amiss with your roof, your home’s ventilation will take an immediate hit. What are some signs that indicate you may have poor roof ventilation?
Do your energy bills seem much higher than usual? If air is getting trapped in your attic, your HVAC system has to work harder to heat or cool down your home.
Trapped air in your attic can lead to moisture buildup. You should check for mold growth, condensation, and damaged insulation.
Mold and fungi growth can cause excessive dirty spots to accumulate on your roof, as well. Your roof may also exhibit signs of rust, or the paint and wallpaper in your home may even be peeling.
4. Tree Branches
Anytime there are periods of high winds, you may notice a lot of tree branches finding their way onto your roof. A roof that’s properly installed should be able to handle small tree branches. But you’ll want to pay attention to the trees in your yard nonetheless.
If tree branches are close enough to your home that they can rustle and rub against your roof, this is a problem. This can cause cracked and chipped tiling and damage to the fascia boards.
5. Moss Spores
Areas of your roof that aren’t always exposed to the sun can develop pockets of moss spores. While moss may seem harmless, it can disrupt the matting under and between your shingles. When this occurs, your home is more susceptible to leaks, damaged shingles, and wood rot.
You may be wondering how to remove moss from your roof. If moss spores have only recently developed, you can easily remove them with a scrub brush and water.
If there is an excessive amount of moss, you may need to use a chemical treatment. You may need to use a pump sprayer and scrub each shingle and tile individually.
6. Curled/Corroded Flashing
When assessing your home for roof damage, you should pay attention to the roof flashing.
The flashing is the thin layer of metal that’s often connected from your roof to your chimney. Your roof may have flashing near any vents, skylight windows, valleys, or against the walls.
The purpose of flashing is to redirect water away from being able to pool and collect. This helps to prevent moisture growth and roofing damage.
But sometimes the roof flashing is susceptible to curling, cracking, or corrosion. If any areas of the flashing aren’t intact, you’ll need to replace them. When checking the flashing, you should check any nearby tiling, as well.
7. Gutter Problems
Checking your gutters is an important project to do come springtime. But on the next clear day, you can easily check your gutters for the following:
- Foreign objects
It’s natural for objects to accumulate in your gutters. The problem is when clogged gutters block water and prevent it from flowing away. Be sure to check your gutter’s downspout cage and any hangers, elbows, and seams.
Should there be a light rainy day in Maryland soon, you can observe how the water flows out of your gutters. If water seems to be pooling and overflowing on the roof, there may be a clog.
8. Animal Infestation
If it seems like a critter has joined your household, there could be a hole somewhere in the roof.
Before inspecting the roof, check your attic for rodent feces or other signs of wildlife. You may be able to spot their point of entry and exit.
Lay out a couple traps and check back the following day. If nothing turns up but you still suspect an infestation, check your roof. You’ll need to seal off any points of entry.
Depending on the extent of the infestation, you may need to call a professional to remove them.
Is Your Home Showing Signs of Roof Damage?
If you suspect that your home has roofing damage, checking for these 8 signs is a good place to start. They’re certainly indicative that you’ll need to invest in the necessary repair work. But they could also mean that you need a new roof altogether.
To know for certain, it’s important to have a professional assess the extent of your roof damage. That way, you can determine exactly what your roof needs to function at its finest.