A good roof can last you a few decades, but some upkeep and maintenance may be necessary from time to time. If your roof is exhibiting certain signs of damage, these can indicate serious issues that need roof repair immediately. Here's what to look out for.
Damaged or Missing Roof Material
Your roofing material is the first and most important line of defense against the elements, which means that if any of your shingles or tiles are damaged or missing, your roof is at risk of weather damage.
More obvious signs of trouble are shingles or tiles that are cracked, split, or have torn apart or torn off your roof completely. Inspect your roof by using a ladder to get a closer look; if you want to walk on your roof itself, be sure to take precautions.
Subtler signs of damage are a sudden increase in shingle granules in your gutters, if shingles are folded or lifted upward, or if they are curling.
Any of these signs can indicate that your roof is no longer weatherproof, which means the next time it rains or hails, the wood and flashing underneath is exposed and susceptible to damage. Even problems that look minor need immediate attention, as weather damage can quickly spread.
Warping or Rotting Wood
If your roof suffers any water damage, the first signs may become obvious in the wood, and there are a few places you should look.
First, look at the eaves around your house. If they are warped or appear waterlogged or flaky, this could be a sign of water damage. Likewise, if you see any signs of wood damage, especially on exposed areas of your roof if any shingles or tiles are missing, this could mean the same thing.
Next, look up in your attic or your garage for any signs that the wood underneath the flashing has been damaged. In an enclosed space like your attic, you may be able to pick up on the scent of mold or mildew, which can come about when moisture has been let in. Take a flashlight and look for damp spots and other signs of rot.
Damp, warping, and rotting wood can make your roof structurally weaker, and need to be fixed right away to prevent the problem from getting any worse.
A sagging roof is often visible from the outside, where parts of the roof look like they're caving in. This often happens when the structure supporting the roof has weakened in some areas.
There are several reasons this can start to happen. The roof structure can weaken from water damage, or it can start to sag if too much weight is on the roof itself, such as if there has been heavy snow or if a second layer of shingles was installed on top of the first.
Regardless of the reason, a sagging roof presents an immediate and serious issue that needs to be repaired immediately. The cause will need to be addressed after, whether it's improving attic ventilation or taking steps to avoid water buildup where it should be flowing instead.