As a roof ages and comes closer to replacement time, it is more likely to suffer some form of damage. Actually replacing a roof is an expensive proposition, so homeowners must keep on top of maintenance and any roof repair that becomes necessary. Along with regular observation of the roof and its different parts, homeowners can look for specific danger signs that there might be problems. Avoiding costly roof repairs depends on getting a roofing contractor out to remedy the minor problems before they become major ones.

Missing or Damaged Shingles

Missing shingles are an obvious sign that a repair is needed, whether missing only one or a few. A single missing shingle may be an isolated thing. Yet multiple shingles missing in one place, or scattered across the roof is a warning sign. Similarly, shingles curling upward, buckling under, splitting, or breaking off are all signs of problems.

Missing or Damaged Flashing

Flashing is essential to prevent leaks in places where vents, pipes, skylights, and other protrusions pass through the roof. When the flashing is either damaged or missing, this is a definite sign that repairs are necessary, as leaks will start in these areas if they are not properly sealed.

Bare Spots and Missing Granules

Asphalt shingles are coated with asphalt gravel, which protects them from the elements. Shingles that start smoothing because gravel is falling off is a prime indicator that repairs, or possibly even a new roof, are necessary. Gravel accumulating in the gutters suggests this is happening.

Staining, Organic Growth, or Rot

Dark staining, or any evidence of organic matter growing on asphalt or wood shingles is a bad sign, possibly indicating water problems, lack of ventilation around the roof, and other concerns. Roofs should be periodically cleaned off to prevent organic growth progressing to actual decay of roofing material. Roofs made of other materials should also be inspected for corrosion or other forms of decay. In all cases, the cause of the problem must be eliminated or roofing material replaced by a contractor.

Active Leaks or Water Staining

If either water in the house or dried water stains become apparent, they are obvious danger signs that there is an active roof leak that needs repairing. Yet finding the source of the leak may not be as easy as it seems. Unless the source is also obvious, an experienced roofing contractor should be called in to examine the roof and find the source of water, then repair it before the damage can progress. As it is, once a leak is noticed inside a house, it has likely been there for a while, so a prompt repair is recommended.

Ice Damming

Ice build-up on the roof’s edge, near the vents, or elsewhere is another danger sign to be investigated, as this build-up can be very damaging. Ice damming is what happens when water gets underneath the shingles and then freezes, pushing shingles up and causing other damage. If this problem is apparent, homeowners are dealing with two separate concerns:  1) the cause of the ice damming; and, 2) the damage caused by the ice. There are various causes for ice damming, such as poor ventilation, clogged gutters, etc. Determining the root of the problem and remedying it is necessary to prevent any further damage to the roof.

Proper roof maintenance and being observant are the best suggestions for homeowners who want to extend the life of their roof as much as possible. Avoiding costly, major roof repair or even the need for an entire new roof requires making the minor repairs necessary when problems initially occur. Therefore, homeowners who notice any of the above danger signs should consult with a professional roofing contractor to resolve their roofing problems as efficiently and quickly as possible!

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