One of the most consistent questions that I get from homeowners is, “How do I know when I need to repair my shingle roof?” The answer is simple, but it is a long one. It is important to catch problems early, because they are only going to get worse as time goes by. Every roof will need to be replaced at some point, but replacing shingles when needed, can add years to the life of your roof.
Assessing the condition of your roof is a lot like regular dental visits. When you see a dentist every six months for regular checkups, the chances are that your dentist can see little areas that are not really a problem yet, but they could be, so he or she cleans the spot, and it never becomes a serious problem. You, not being a dentist, can miss a problem until you feel pain; then it is past that time when you had the opportunity to prevent trouble.
In the same way your professional contractor will look at your roof through trained eyes. He will be able to spot problems while they are small, and make the roofing repairs as necessary. It is important that you be sure to look for damage after every episode of inclement weather. When you make your inspection, be sure to look for the following warning signs as a good indicator that you may need roof repair.
Broken and missing shingles
Chances are you have lost shingles in some severe weather. With regard to broken shingles, try to determine if they are partially blown off by severe winds or broken off from extreme curling. This can be a sign of extreme aging
Buckling and Curling shingles
It is important to catch buckling and curling at the first signs. Curling is a sign of an aging roof or excessive heat, while buckling can indicate defective shingles or a problem with the underlayment. Curling shingles curl up on the ends. Buckling shingles will no longer lie flat, but will be wavy or slightly humped. Both curled and buckled shingles will lift off easily in the wind and can break after a heavy snow or ice.
Erosion of granules
Erosion of the granules on your shingles is normal to some extent. However, if you can see bare spots or darker areas, this means that something is consistently eroding the granules. If you observe erosion, call a professional to determine and fix the cause. Once the granules are no longer present, the shingle is not protected from the heat and sun.
Damage to flashing
Look around skylights, the chimney, the edges of dormers, valleys, and vent pipes. You will see thin strips of metal, this is the flashing. The flashing is your first line of defense against leaks in these areas. If you suspect a problem make sure that you have a professional roofing contractor look at it before the next rain.