February 15

Signs of Roof Damage: What Homeowners Need to Know

Spotting signs of roof damage early can help prevent costly repairs and replacement services. Your roof is one of the most crucial components of your home, as it protects it from the elements and keeps your home's interior safe and dry. Without a properly functioning roof, your home is at risk of water damage, mold growth, and other serious issues that can be incredibly costly to repair. Not only can a damaged roof cause structural damage to the home, but it can also lead to health issues for the occupants. 

Use Binoculars to Spot Damage

When looking for signs of damage on your roof, it's critical to do so in the safest way possible. Getting up onto your roof may not be practical, but you can always inspect your roof from the ground. All you need is a good pair of binoculars and the knowledge of what types of signs to look for. This will allow you to get some idea of the condition of your roof without the risk of injury.

Look for the Following Problems

Some signs of roof damage, such as leaks and wet spots, are usually pretty obvious. But there are less obvious signs that homeowners need to be aware of because the sooner a problem is located, the easier it will be to repair. Roofing problems can range from minor leaks to significant structural damage, so it is essential to regularly inspect your roof to catch any issues before they become significant problems. 

Missing or Damaged Shingles

Broken, curling, cracked, or missing shingles can easily be seen from the ground. Repairs are usually quick and easy if only a few shingles are cracked or missing. You may need a complete roof replacement if the damage is more extensive.

Damaged Flashing 

Flashings seal off holes in the roof for vents, chimneys, and skylights. They are frequently a weak area when it comes to potential roof damage. Flashing can be susceptible to wear and tear. This is often caused by constant exposure to changing weather conditions. This type of damage is difficult to spot from the ground. Hard-to-detect problems such as these are why it's crucial to have your roof regularly inspected. 

Damaged Venting

Your roof has several different types of venting. In addition to outlets for bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans, your roof may include an attic vent or a ridge vent. These vents allow hot air to escape your attic and prevent moisture buildup. If these vents are plastic, they will eventually crack, allowing water to enter your attic. Even metal vents are not immune to damage. This type of problem is not easy to identify from the ground. Having a professional roof inspection each year is the best way to stay ahead of this problem.

A Sagging Roof Line

Roof damage doesn't happen instantaneously. Sometimes parts of the roofing system start to show strain. Snow, ice, and even too many layers of shingles can stress your roof and cause sagging. Sagging is often a sign of serious water damage. If your roof or ceilings show signs of sagging, you should immediately schedule a professional roofing inspection.

Asphalt Granules in Gutters and Run-Off Drains

The presence of asphalt granules could indicate that your shingles have suffered undue wear and tear. A large number of granules is likely a signal that some shingles need to be replaced. If your roof is over 20 years old, it may be time for a complete replacement if many granules accumulate in your gutters or on the ground near your downspouts.

Interior Water Stains

Look out for watermarks on walls and ceilings, as this indicates moisture is seeping through the roof and may be symptomatic of broken or missing flashing or other roofing issues. Chronic leaks can lead to interior mold and mildew growth, posing a health risk for certain individuals. At the first sign of a leak, have a professional roofing inspection. Minor repairs may be all that is needed to stop a leak and prevent costly water damage. 

Prevent Roof Damage with Proactive Maintenance

As with any part of your home, preventative roof maintenance will save you money in the long run. You'll increase your roof's lifespan by following these tips:

Clean Your Gutters and Downspouts

If your gutters are clogged, damaged, or sagging, it could be a sign that your roof is not properly draining. When a roof isn't shedding water properly, it can lead to water buildup and potential water damage inside your home. Ensure your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris and properly attached to your home. Gutters should only carry water or, at most, a few leaves. If you discover shingle pieces or asphalt granules in your gutters, call a professional roofing contractor for an inspection.

Trim Back Trees and Shrubs

Trees that grow to the point of touching or hanging over your roof can cause severe damage. They can inhibit water drainage, and fallen branches can damage shingles. As leaves and debris fall, they eventually enter your gutters, blocking the water flow off your roof. That excess water can build up, allowing moisture to seep into the framework of your roof, causing rot and other serious problems.

Regularly Check Your Attic 

At least once a year, check the attic for signs of problems. Look for water stains, mold growth, pests, or sagging areas. Use a flashlight or spotlight when inspecting your attic, and pay close attention to the walls and ceiling of the attic, as these are the most likely places to find signs of roof damage. Also, check the insulation for any wet spots or discoloration. If you find any problems, take immediate action to prevent costly damage from occurring.

Improve Your Attic Ventilation

A well-sealed attic with minimum airflow may be considered ideal, but this is not the case. Without proper ventilation and airflow, attics can become much warmer and more humid than the rest of the house. High levels of condensation can be detrimental to your attic. Attics should be well-ventilated, which prevents moisture and heat from warping and rotting the rafters.

Call a Trusted Local Roofing Company

Since 1999, Brian Dawson Roofing has installed residential and commercial roofing systems throughout the greater St. Louis region. Because all of our work is done under warranty and fully insured, you'll have peace of mind knowing your new roof is dependable and long-lasting.

Contact us online or at (636) 733-6435 to schedule a free inspection and consultation. Our experienced professionals will arrive on time, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to detect leaks and other problems your roof may have. Our mission is to provide quality roofing services and top-notch customer service, all at a competitive price.


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