Checking for Roof Trouble
Go to the attic and look for dark water stains
in rafters and the insulation. With wooden roofs, you may see light passing through pinholes; when it rains, water normally
swells the wood and closes the holes - but look for signs of water leakage.
Leakage in attic
on interior ceilings and walls
Higher energy costs
Look for missing shingles, cracked tiles,
warped or gapping shakes. Check the roofline, if it sags, you may have a long time leak and structural problem. If you have
an asphalt roof, check for thin, weatherworn shingles. Brittle shingles have lost some of their protective oils. Wood shakes
and shingles will warp, split, thin in the sun and rain, and be torn off by high winds.
Peeling, cracked, curling
- end of useful tile life
Dark, dirty looking areas - fungus, loss of granules
Blistering or paint peeling
- ventilation has been lost
Environmental Roof Enemies
Many factors affect the life-span of your roof. Knowing about
your environment and the following will help you make informed roof system buying decisions:
Sun: Heat and ultraviolet
rays cause roofing materials to deteriorate (faster on the sides facing west or south.)
Rain: When water gets
underneath shingles, shakes or other roofing materials, it can work its way to the roof deck and cause the roof structure
Wind: High winds can lift shingles edges (or other roofing materials) and force water and debris
Condensation: Condensation can result from the buildup of relatively warm, moisture-laden
air. Moisture in a poorly ventilated attic promotes decay of wood sheathing and rafters, possibly destroying a roof structure.
Trees and leaves: Falling branches from overhanging trees can damage, or even puncture, shingles and other
roofing materials. Leaves on a roof systems surface retain moisture, cause rot and block gutter drainage.
Shingle deterioration: When shingles are old and worn out, they curl, split and lose their waterproofing effective- ness.
Weakened shingles can be easily blown off by wind gusts, resulting in structural rot and interior damage. A deteriorated roof
system only gets worse with time and should be replaced as soon as possible.
Moss and algae: Moss can grow on moist wood shingles
and shakes, causing rot. In addition, moss roots also can work their way into a wood deck and structure. Algae grows in damp,
shaded areas on wood and asphalt shingle roof systems, causing rot and deterioration. Algae also grows on clay and concrete
tile roofs near the ocean. Trees and bushes should be trimmed away from homes and buildings to eliminate damp, shaded areas,
and gutters should be kept clean to ensure good drainage.
Missing or torn shingles: The key to a roof systems
effectiveness is complete protection. When shingles are missing or torn off, a roof structure and home or building interior
are vulnerable to water damage and rot. Nearby shingles can be easily ripped or blown away, quickly spreading the problem.
Missing or torn shingles should be replaced as soon as possible.
Flashing deterioration: Many apparent roof
leaks really are flashing leaks. Good, tight flashings around chimneys, vents, skylights and wall/roof junctions can prevent
water from entering a home or building and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation and electrical systems. Flashings should
be checked as part of a biannual roof inspection and gutter cleaning.
Snow and ice: Melting snow often refreezes
at a roofs overhang where the surface is cooler, forming an ice dam. This blocks proper drainage into the gutter. Water
backs up under the shingles (or other roofing materials) and seeps into the interior.