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12 Signs You Need a Roof Repair, Warnings, Checks and What to Do

We all mostly take our roof for granted. We tend not to think about it, in fact, we barely look up at it. But it’s a major structure in your house, and it’s the main structure that protects you from the elements. So in this article, we’re going to arm you with all the warning signs that you need a roof repair. What you need to look out for and why.

So here are the top 12 signs that you need a roof repair, plus one great …but so simple tip at the end!

1. Shingles Curling or Cracking

Shingles are made of tough materials designed to last many years, typically up to 25 years for most clay shingles used, but many could last well beyond that. But there are limits to the amount of hammer they can take. If you notice more than a couple of shingles are cracking, curling up and chipped, or even missing and/or lying broken on your yard. Then this could be a big hint to investigate further.

What to Do:

You need an assessment of the damage, some areas of the roof open to the elements wear more than others, you need an assessment to figure out which parts are affected or whether it all needs replacing – especially if you see lots of them. You can contact us and we will come out and help you.

2. Shingle Dust

Granules of dust filling your guttering, or dust particles around the edges of your house are an early warning sign. Take a close look at the shingles and see if you can spot any splintering or rough edges or surfaces. Moisture can eventually work its way into the fabric of the shingle, and when it freezes it can splinter off small particles of clay. Over time this will degrade them to a point where they’ll simply break and fall off.

What to Do:

Don’t ignore signs of debris lying in your yard. Or any dark patches under your gutters that look like dark dust particles, that’s usually an early sign your shingles are failing. It might be your entire roof, or it could be an isolated area. Call a professional to make an assessment.

3. Termites and Other Pests

Pest control hits some types of properties more than others, depending on your location and the type of house you’re in. But it’s always something to be on the lookout for. In particular, termites can be a major problem. They can destroy and consume a house within 15 years if left unchecked. 

What to Do:

Termites infestations can be large or small. And they can be largely silent and hidden from view, but listen out at night for signs of scratching behind walls and/or musty smells. Get a pest control service to make a check for pests in your wall cavities and other parts of the structure.

4. Failing or Blocked Gutter

Sometimes Gutter connectors can become dislodged, or start leaking, so if you notice dripping on walls or along with your downpipes then you should act quickly. This problem can only cause more problems. If any paint on your facias appears to be bubbling or flaking then this is also a sign to get it checked. Another sign to watch out for is blocked gutters, debris can create all kinds of blockages allowing water to spill over.

What to Do:

A simple gutter repair could solve it and allows time for the roof to dry out. Gutter repair is also a lot less expensive than leaving it till the problem of damp appears. So get it fixed and leave it to dry out. Once it’s dry then get the roof checked. For blocked gutters, we find the best option is to get some covers for the gutters.

5. Bowing or Sagging Ceiling

Some older properties often have “character” and it’s not unusual for wood to bend and contort over time. But most of the time, particularly in new or recently build houses, this is another sign that something could be wrong. The ceiling could be damp – or worse! So take a look and see if plasterboard etc is soft and chipping off easily.

What to Do:

It might be just slightly damp, or it might be saturated, if caught early, then replacing plasterboards, sealing the source of the problem and allowing it to dry might be enough, but if it’s affected the integrity of the rafters then you need to give us a call as soon as you can and let a professional inspect it.

6. Fire or Heat Damage

Having even a small fire in the house is scary enough, but once the fire is out that might not be the only problem. If flames or just plain heat are allowed to touch your ceiling, then it can cause damage, not even just from fire, but heat too. Heat can warp your rafters and beams, it might compromise the structure and enable leak points to appear. Or even affect piping or gutters!

What to Do:

Any fires that occur near the roof area should be checked for structural integrity. Call in a professional to get an assessment. It could be that your insurance company might cover the cost.

7. Leaking Pipes

Interior pipes don’t last forever, and they can also succumb to extreme weather conditions, especially in the loft where they’re unlikely to be heated. Your roof is vented to prevent condensation, and leaking pipes may be damaging your roof for some time before it’s spotted. Especially if you’ve refitted out your attic space. The longer it goes unnoticed, the most costly it can become.

What to Do:

Make occasional checks of pipes in your attic, especially after bad weather. It can sometimes be easy enough to swap out and repair affected parts of the roof to minimize cost and ensure the structure’s integrity is maintained. Prepare for this possibility by lagging your pipes against the cold. You can find pick up some pipe lagging materials to help protect against frost damage.

8. Light Coming in

One good rainstorm could rush into areas in your loft where there are gaps, if you can see light through your shingles and corners, then those areas are prone to water getting in. It doesn’t take much breeze to dislodge a shingle and start eating away.

What to Do:

During strong daylight hours take a walk around your loft (Safely) and from different angles, just makes sure you’re not seeing any areas where light is coming through more than a slither of cracks. Check also particularly around roof fittings. Where light is that’s your problem, you should get a professional in to assess it further. Why not give us a call.

9. Interior Wall Stains

Sometimes easier with plain or even white walls, but lookout for any discoloration in the upper areas of your walls or across your ceiling.  It might simply be that some moisture is getting in or leaking somewhere, but it could be a larger problem across your entire underlayment and a big hidden damp source

What to Do:

You need to get a professional to check if it’s a problem with your underlayment, so it will need a thorough assessment of your attic space.

10. Roof Fittings and Seals

Sealants around roof vents, chimneys and fittings aren’t always designed to last as long as the roof. They’re often where a problem can start and then it can spread. Water streaming down your chimney in the rain has a direct route down into your house which can cause a problem to escalate quickly! 

What to Do:

Spotting this early on can prevent the one downpour that floods your entire roof. So look for signs that your flashing is not fitted properly, or where sealants appear to be missing, or holes between flashing and walls or shingles. Have it checked if you’re at all unsure

11. Higher Energy Bills

If your heating and air conditioning bills seem to be at an all-time high this month, this should be a trigger for you to go check that you’re not trying to just heat the cold air streaming through the big hole in your attic roof! 

What to Do:

Regular annual attic and roof checks will usually discover these kinds of issues. Often a simple repair is enough. If your underlay is not being affective any more then it might mean you need a new roof!

12. Freak or Extreme Weather

If you live in tornado alley you have more to worry about than most, but it doesn’t take a tornado to damage your roof. Heavy storms or high winds can wreak havoc too.  Or even hailstones and unusual temperatures can affect your roof structure if they’re severe enough. 

What to Do:

After a particularly bad storm, or after a large hailstone deluge, make a check on your roof, you might find what could be the start of a problem occurring. Spotting it at this time could save you thousands in roof repairs further down the line. A quick check is all it takes. It’s a good opportunity to potentially spot something that could become an issue, even if it wasn’t the storm that caused it.

Our Best Easy Tip

You’ll be surprised how few people do this, but arrange a pact with your neighbors, if you each spot something – however minor – that might be wrong with each other’s property, point it out, let them know, anything at all. And they’ll do the same for you. The more eyes on roofs and other parts of your property for signs of wear and tear the better. And there’s no better than being told about it five times by different people to make sure you get it looked at!

To Finish…

Arming yourself with a few regular checks and knowledge of the signs can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars later on. We hope this has been helpful. It’s hard to take the time to make these checks, but it doesn’t have to be every day, once a month, or once a quarter could be enough to spot early signs. 

Contact us for a 12 Point Roof Inspection now and make the task even quicker. Don’t pretend it’s nothing, ask us to come around and check things out. Get in touch today and we’ll be happy to help.