It’s hard to know when you might need a roof replacement because a roof isn’t something that you check every day. With so many other things to think about, it’s easy to forget about maintaining your roof – but not doing so can cause problems.
It’s important to check your roof at least twice a year to look for any signs of damage. That way, you’ll be able to make the necessary repairs or replace your roof if needs be. Finding damages early can save you a lot of trouble and a lot of money in the long-run – and you could avoid potential dangers, too.
Below, we’ve rounded up 13 early warning signs that your roof could be in need of repair.
Signs of water damage can be easily mistaken for something else. If you find some damp patches in the upper floors of your room, for example, then you’d be forgiven for thinking that you were suffering from damp. Watermarks and mildew can also easily be chalked up to water coming in from the window when it last rained – but don’t be so sure.
Although your assumptions may be true, these signs can also mean that you need a roof replacement, or at least make roofing repairs. Even the smallest watermarks and mould could mean that water has seeped in from your roof, or that your roof has a hole or a crack.
When you find signs of water damage, check your roof. Don’t wait for the further damage; doing so could be costly and require you to have your roof replaced entirely.
Mould and moss growth
Something else to check out for is moss and mould. If mould and moss has grown outside your roof, then tiles could force themselves apart, creating a gap that lets in water.
Check your roof and look for tiles that show signs of rotting, moss or mildew. Deal with this as soon as you can; if you don’t, bacteria and fungi could grow and cause water damage to your roof. If you find lots of problematic mouldy areas, a roof replacement may be required.
Light coming through your roof
Make it a habit of turning out the lights in the upper rooms of your home and looking up at the roof every once in a while. The best time to do this is at sunset, as it will be dark enough inside with the lights out yet bright enough outside for you to see the light coming through.
Light coming in from your roof could mean that you have cracks and holes in your roof – which should be attended to as soon as possible. Check your roof to see if repairs could fix the damage, or whether an entire roof replacement is needed.
Loose roof tiles
During your annual roof check, check to see whether any of your roof tiles are loose. By simply stepping on them and checking their state, you’ll be able to access whether repairs are needed.
If you spot more than a couple of loose or missing tiles, then you should consider replacing your roof. A weak roof with missing or damaged tiles could cave in on you – so act quickly.
The top of your roof should follow a straight line along the ridge. If there is a saddleback or sag in the middle, it may be a warning sign of structural damage and might cause your roof to collapse if not detected and treated early.
Roofing sagging can be caused by frequent exposure to moisture and a vast amount of water, faulty roofing materials, improper installations despite high-quality roofing materials and, for countries who experience winter or too much weight on the roof, snow and ice.
To prevent the chances of sagging, it’s important to clear your roof from rainwater, ensure that your roofing materials are of good quality and were installed properly. You should also assess how much weight your roof can tolerate. If you feel like something is wrong with your roof upon inspection, then most likely, there is. Get in touch if you need assistance.
Flashing is the material placed around objects that protrude from roofs, such as your chimney and roof vents. Flashing is designed to prevent the movement of water into your roof by averting the water away from seams where water runoff is greater. It is made up of thin pieces of impenetrable materials; aluminium and galvanized steel are most popular.
Your flashing may be damaged as a result of the caulking material under the flashing drying out or deterioration of the material caused by weather and oxidation. Loose flashing is another common problem; having loose flashing can cause water to seep, leak inside your walls and ceilings and cause extensive damage such as mould and mildew growth and rotted wood, which can cause irreparable damage to your roofing structure.
Debris in gutters
Check your gutters for pieces of asphalt shingles or sand-like granules that are used as a top coat; this material protects your tiles, and if granules are falling from your tiles and into your gutters, then it could be a sign that your shingles are deteriorating. Of course, a few loose granules are normal, but if you notice an increase in residue, this may be a warning sign.
The protective coating of a roof tends to slough off due to atmospheric changes, constant exposure to weather, long-term usage and moisture, which causes the asphalt to weaken. Therefore, you should aim to repair tiles and replace their protective coating on a regular basis.
You should also check for debris falling from trees nesting on your roof, as this can cause the coating of your roof to weaken. Therefore, regular garden maintenance is important.
Make sure that you inspect your roof regularly in broad daylight, and if you notice deformed, distorted, curled areas, or tiles bald from their protective coating, then you may need to make some roof repairs.
If you find water inside of your property, then you should inspect your roof. Dark streaks or other leaks in the attic can show penetration; you may find circular stains on your walls or ceiling, hear a sound of dripping water within walls, or notice flat surfaces bubbling or blistering. All of these are signs that water is getting into your attic through the roof.
Attic leaks are commonly caused by missing tiles or broken seals under the flashing of your chimney. Another cause of leaks is a complicated roofline or poorly-installed roofing.
There are hundreds of materials that can be used in building roofs, and in the United Kingdom, the most common type of roofs are installed with tiles and shingles. These types of roofs are designed to stand the test of time and withstand the Great British weather.
The age of your roof will determine which materials were used, how the roof was built and how you maintain it. It also depends on whether or not a house has a single layer or multiple layers of shingles. If your roof is made up of multiple layers of shingles and it’s around 20 years or more, you might want to have it replaced.
Furthermore, as roofs are exposed to many extremes of weather which will eventually take its toll, professional roofers and roof experts agree that, if your roof is 15 years or older, it might be time to have it looked by a professional.
Mortars are mainly used for bedding roof junctions such as ridges (the outer horizontal area where two roof slopes meet) and verges (the outer edges of roofs). You should check your mortars frequently, as these materials have a limited lifespan, and you should also look out for early signs of degeneration caused by extreme changes in the weather. These ridges and verges are highly susceptible to cracking (due to building movement and frost) and eventually may be dislodged and fall off in occurrences of strong winds.
Falling mortars may be a problem for older roofs where mortar was used as bedding for the tiles. If this starts to break down (and fall off), then it may be an indication that the roof is reaching the end of its life. Keep in mind that mortar is best replaced rather than repaired.
Roofs rely on the underlay and tiles working together to keep water out. If there is a single tear in the underlay, then you may be able to patch it, but since there is already an existing tear somewhere from the roof, it can be an area where water may seep through.
If you look at the outside of your roof, you might not be able to notice a roofing problem. A tiny leak in the roof can go undetected, and that’s what makes it riskier. These leaks tend to grow in size, and you’ll only notice when water has already seeped through the underlay.
If the underlay is already worn out and rotting, then it will need a replacement. Rotted underlay can weaken the foundation of your roof and cause it to collapse. In this case, a new roof will be required, as it’s impossible to replace only the underlay of a roof.
Ridges are defined as the “highest point of the roof, represented by a horizontal line where two roof areas intersect, running the length of the area.” The ridge area should have a top-cover or a cap that will ensure that no water can enter the roof. Ridges are also used for aesthetic purposes of your roof, accentuating the architectural design of the house. They’re also used for ventilation.
Ridges usually require attention more often than the rest of the roof, as they’re at the highest point of your property. Damage to the mortar or the bedding of the ridge can also damage the ridge, which can, in turn, damage the rest of your roof. If the ridge is in a poor state, the whole roof should be thoroughly checked, and other damages should be repaired.
Gutters on the ground
Roof shingles rely on an overlapping system to be fully functional, and these tiles are kept in place by sealants that act as glue. If you notice parts of tiles or excessive amounts of granular material on the floor or in the gutters, your roof might be telling you something.
Tiles are made to last for years, but these tiles tend to get exposed to constant and extreme changes in the atmosphere, which most likely be the cause of sealants losing strength that eventually will cause tiles to weaken, crack and chip off parts. It is important to check your roof if the weather permits. If not, you might evidently notice parts or granules of your tiles on the floor or in the gutter, and it might be time to call your roof repairman, or for you to change or repair your roof before those chipped off parts hurt someone.
By highlighting 13 signs that you might need a roof replacement, we’ve made it clear that regular maintenance and checking makes sense. The weather and natural wear and tear of roofs can cause a lot of damage if left unchecked, so don’t delay. For roofing repair in Preston and surrounding areas get in touch with Total Roofing Solutions to arrange a free, no obligation roof survey today.