Leaking roofs, poor drainage, and clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to significant water damage inside your home. To help determine if you need a new roof, your roofing contractor will conduct an inspection:
Inspecting a roof from outside is very simple. All that is needed is a pair of binoculars and a viewing point that is unobstructed by other buildings or trees. Following is a checklist of problem signs you can look for during an outside roof inspection.
Blistered, curled or split shingles.
Loose or missing shingles or tiles.
Exposed nails (can lead to leaks in the roof).
Dark patches on asphalt shingles and/or large amounts of granules in the rain gutters (the granular coating is wearing away).
Sagging either on the ridges or in the center of the roof.
Broken or loose shingles at the ridge lines and hip lines.
Rusty or corroded metal (flashing) and loose shingles in the valleys, plumbing vents or near chimneys.
It may be necessary to remove excess debris and leaves to inspect thoroughly.
Accumulation of leaf debris can cause damage to these sensitive areas of the roof.
Rusty metal or loose shingles in locations where a vertical side of the house meets the roof.
Overflowing gutters or excess water pooling near the foundation of the house.
For flat roofs, look for blisters (pop the blisters with a knife and coat them with roofing cement to prevent further damage), depressions near vent pipes (can also be filled with roofing cement), separations in flashing, and clogged drains.
Note: Walking on the roof as part of the inspection is not recommended and may cause further damage to the roof
Following is a checklist of problem signs you can look for during an indoor roof inspection.
Sagging decking between the rafters. If the decking is sagging or deteriorating, the decking will also require replacement when a new roof is installed.
Outside light that can be seen through the roof. This may be common (and not a problem) on shake roofs, since the wooden shakes will swell during the wet months, effectively preventing any leaks.
Signs of leaking in the attic (dark spots in the wood, especially around vents, chimneys, and other holes to the roof).
Test dark spots in the wood to decide if they are old or current problems. If the spot is still wet, or if it is soft (test with a screwdriver), the spot is a current problem. If the spot is dry and hard, it is most likely an old problem that has been fixed.
Signs of water damage or leaking (usually in the form of water stains, or sagging ceilings)--this could be due to an active leak in the roof or to condensation caused by poor roof ventilation.
If you observe any of the signs listed above, you need roof repairs or a new roof. Depending on the degree of damage, you can decide what is best for you and your house. Often the cost of fixing or replacing a roof is less than dealing with the damage an old roof can cause to your home.
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