Look in the Attic
Inspect your roofing from below. In the attic, look for light showing through. This is a sure sign of a problem. If there is minor damage, you may be able to make repairs. It’s best to get a professional opinion first as a roofing expert will offer accurate advice on how to proceed.
Inspect the Shingles to See if You Need a New Roof
It’s not as easy as going into the attic, but assessing the shingles for signs of damage is an easy and effective way to check the health of your roof. Shingles should lay flat against the roof with no curling. If the shingles are missing, buckling, or damaged, this is a sign that repairs or a roof replacement are needed.
Another sign your roof is failing is if there are shingle granules in the gutters. The granules offer UV protection, and when they begin coming off the shingles, the roof is nearing the end of its life.
Check the Flashing
Flashing is the metal seal around chimneys, skylights, and vents. It keeps water out and protects against water damage. Make sure the flashing is still intact. The pieces should not be rusting, bent, or missing. If you notice problems with the flashing, make sure to check the roof for further damage. At a minimum, you will need to replace the flashing to prevent leaks.
Notice the Shape to Determine if You Need a New Roof
If your roof is sagging, you have a problem. The wooden supports can become damaged by water or insect infestation. If the structure weakens, you may notice an irregular roofline. Call a professional to assess a roof in this condition.
Look for Algae and Moss
If your roof has patches of algae or moss growth, this means the roofing materials aren’t shedding water as they should. You can clean moss and algae from the roof, but it’s best to have a roofing professional take a look to make sure there are no underlying issues.
Refer to Your Homeowners Documents
Even if you can’t see visible signs of damage, check the home maintenance records of the property. When you purchased the house, your inspector may have noted the approximate age of the roof. Because the average roof only lasts about 25 years, you will need to plan for a replacement if yours is older.
Get a Professional Opinion
A sign of a roofing problem doesn’t automatically mean the entire structure needs to be replaced. It’s always best to get a professional opinion. An expert roofer will advise you on the best course of action based on the current condition of your roofing materials. While a roof replacement is costly, a new roof will protect your home, family, and your belongings.