Walk around the outside of your house to check for early signs of roof problems.
Spring and summer rains, combined with winter’s brutal weather, may have done a number on your roof. But don’t wait until water drips on you while you’re watching Monday Night Football to figure out that your roofing system might need attention.
“Fall’s a good time for a pre-winter walk around,” says Dave Lincon, a home improvement expert for Sears Home Services. There are a few things you can safely check from below to assess the situation up above.
Check the ground near the house for signs of excessive granulation — those tiny roofing pebbles that are stuck to the shingles. “That’s a sign of age when those things are coming off practically in buckets,” Lincon says.
2. Spotty Shingle Coverage
Look up around the roof’s edges for shingles that are pulling up, cracked or missing altogether. And don’t forget to make sure your gutters are cleaned out, Lincon says. “If water doesn’t have anywhere to go, it will build up in the gutters and seep back up under the shingles and cause premature rotting of the roof decking or leak into the house,” he says.
If you see rust spots, it might mean that the drip edges—the aluminum capping around the roof’s edge that guides the water during runoff—are beginning to fail.
A “green roof” might be all the rage — but not if that green is moss. “Moss is a good indication your roof has a problem,” Lincon says.
You can sweep off the moss with a long-handled broom, but there might be more going on. “A continued buildup of moss shortens the life of the shingles and can promote rot on the sheathing under the shingles.”
5. Cracked Caulk
Look at the valleys where rooflines meet and the flashing where the chimney and vent pipes meet the roof. Any cracked caulk allows water to creep into your house.
“Remember, the whole purpose of a roof is to shed water in an intentional and predictable manner,” Lincon says. Often, you won’t know anything is wrong until you see discoloration on your ceiling or water is leaking into your home. “And if there’s that much water leaking through your shingles, there’s a good chance there’s mold in the ceiling or walls,” he adds.
Don’t ignore trouble for fear of the cost of a roof replacement. “You may only need a portion of the roof repaired,” Lincon says.
If you’ve got an asphalt roof that’s over 15 years old, it’s likely time for a full replacement, which Sears Home Services can help with. But whether you need just a repair or a full replacement, Lincon stresses the importance of hiring a reputable, licensed roofing contractor.
Schedule your free roofing consultation today, and our local experts will provide with an estimate for your roof replacement so you can plan for costs without any surprises.