You may not think that your roof can talk, but there’s a lot it can tell you. Since even small leaks can eventually lead to huge and expensive problems, it pays to listen. It’s important to identify roof problems early so that you can have minor damage repaired before it evolves into a major expense. That’s why it pays to learn to recognize some of the more obvious signs that your roof is in trouble.
Shingle Cupping or Curling
While missing shingles lost to storms and high winds can let water leak into your house, so can intact shingles that turn up on the edges. This is called cupping and often is a sign that your roof shingles are aging.
A hot attic is another factor that can cause shingles to turn up. When an attic isn’t well ventilated, moisture and heat get trapped inside. The added heat from the sun heats up the roof even more.
As the bottom side of the roofing shingles bake, the shingles can start to curl and age before their time. The damage may be slow, but shingles that curl or cup can’t do a proper job of protecting your home from leaks.
Cracks in Shingles
Cracks in asphalt shingles generally are a sign that the shingles are wearing out. Direct sunlight and heat are no friend to asphalt shingles. Neither are extreme variations in temperature or a buckling and warped roof deck.
The expansion and contraction of asphalt-shingle products that occur with temperature changes can cause tears and cracks in the shingles. Crazed cracking-what looks like roadways on a map-occurs as the asphalt coating on the shingles stretches and deteriorates over time. However, this type of roof damage isn’t always visible from the ground.
Seasonal temperature changes that cause asphalt shingles and metal roof flashing to expand and contract can also cause the roofing nails to pop up, lifting up the shingles. Shingles that lift can curl if the wind doesn’t tear them first.
Shingles that show signs of rapid deterioration may have holes-a warning that your roof is failing. Although you can use caulk or roof cement to plug small holes as a short-term fix, once water gets into the cellulose mats that make up the base of asphalt shingles, rot begins to invade. Even tiny holes in shingles can cause rot before you notice a leak.
Use a pair of binoculars to periodically inspect your roof from the ground, particularly following severe storms or a lot of rain. You may have rotting shingles if you notice pieces of roof shingles chipping away or falling off.
Damaged or Deteriorating Flashing
Loose or rusted flashing is another sign of a potential roof problem. Water spots on ceilings or outside walls can also mean that there is damage to roof flashing, especially if water stains get bigger after it rains. Besides coming out on ceilings and walls, stains may appear around chimneys and vents.
Age often is the cause of damaged flashing, but your roof may not be leaking where you see water stains. Water can run down roof rafters away from the actual leak. But no matter where the problem starts, deteriorating or damaged flashing is a leading cause of roof leaks.
You don’t have to climb up on your roof to spot damage. Problems that occur inside your home can be valuable clues that you have a roof problem. Regular inspections of your attic area can alert you to problems early on, since this is where water damage usually shows up first.
If you suspect that your roof might have even a small leak, contact Advantage Roofing to take a look. A qualified roofing contractor will examine your roof, assess the extent of the problem, and then offer expert advice on how to fix it.