When your roof is showing signs of distress, do you need a full roof replacement? Maybe. Maybe not. While a thorough inspection by a professional estimator is really the only way to know for sure, it is possible to gauge what your roof might actually be telling you based on certain signs.
Before considering the specific warning signs that can be a cause for concern, it’s important to understand that each roof is different. What is the age of your roof? What type of roof system does your home have (i.e. shingle, tile, metal)? Did your roof experience storm damage recently? Have you repaired the roof previously? Is it leaking on a large scale? For example, if your shingle roof is more than 15 years old and leaking, chances are, replacement may be your best option.
However, if the leak is small or incidental, it may be tempting to ignore it or wait until it gets worse. It’s important to remember that small leaks can cause rotten wood, mold, or mildew just like a large leak can and damage your roof. It’s important to always remain diligent and proactive when it comes to any signs of distress your roof may be displaying.
Algae and Mold
Algae and mold typically occur in warm, humid climates such as Florida and other parts of the Southeast U.S. This is caused by the growth of airborne fungi or algae that is deposited on the roof and is left there to grow through a lack of roof cleaning. While it may not have a short term direct impact on the overall life of the shingle, long term growth can contribute to the deterioration of the roof. Algae and mold is an indicator that your roof could use some TLC, and that it’s time to schedule a professional roof cleaning.
Curling shingles can be the sign of a couple of different issues- lack of attic ventilation, defective product, or improper installation. While the causes may differ, it’s important to remember that shingles need to lay as flat as possible in order to function properly. If your shingles are showing signs of curling, they are not effectively protecting your home from potential leaks. If there is widespread curling, it may be time to schedule a roof replacement.
Flashing is intended to protect the most vulnerable parts of your roof. Therefore, if it is damaged, it is cause for concern. If your flashing is cracked or bent upward, moisture can reach the roof seams. Rain can run inside the flashing and, thanks to gravity, can cause damage away from the location of the actual leak. Repair versus replacement is a case by case situation.
As we discussed in our recent post on shingles, shingles are topped with ceramic granule that are responsible for protecting your roof. While a certain number of granules are expected to be lost over time, aging shingles typically have very few granules left. Shingles with very few granules should be replaced to avoid damage to your roofing system.
Lack of Attic Ventilation
Attic ventilation, or lack of, can cause several roofing issues – particularly in warmer climates. A lack of attic ventilation will cause hot air to get trapped in the attic. Not only does this force your air conditioner to work harder, but it bakes your roof’s shingles. Multiple roofing issues can often be linked to a lack of attic ventilation.
Missing shingles is one of the most frequent causes for concerns as it often more visible than other issues. Shingles commonly go missing after storms and high wind speeds. On newer roofs, it could be related to the improper fastening of shingles. On older roofing, repeated weather events have broken the seal.
Ceiling or Roof Spots
When water gets through, you may see water stains in your ceiling. Leaks may appear around chimney or vents. Leaks may even “travel” down rafters and show up away from the original source. A professional contractor can inspect your roof and determine how widespread the leak actually is.
Hire a Professional Contractor
When anything starts going wrong with your roof, it’s important to understand what may be causing those symptoms- and whether a full replacement is necessary. It’s important to have a trained inspector evaluate your roof to ensure the full picture is being taken into account and you understand your options. Schedule your free in-home estimate with a highly trained Roof Commander inspector to ensure you have all the information you need to make the right decision for your roof.