Seven Signs Your Roof Needs Work

Your home or business may be the largest asset that you own so make sure that you take care of it with a sound roof over your head. By hiring roofing contractors to eliminate danger signs when you first spot them you will be safeguarding your biggest investment, protecting your business and/or family and increasing the value of your property.

The next time you find yourself outside, take a look at the roof of your property and see if you can spot any of these warning signs:

1. Loose Flashing

Flashing is the material that protects the underlining waterproof membrane from sun exposure. If it’s properly installed water should repel off of it and down your roof. If there’s even a small break between the flashing and your roof, water will get in. Before too long you will have a big problem.

Do a spot check by walking around your home and looking closely at the flashing surrounding the outcroppings. Do they look flush against the sides of your chimney, pipes, skylights and fans? If you see any metal that are slightly curled or seem to have a warp, or if it’s come off and is on the ground, you should call a roofer to come inspect the area immediately. Loose or missing flashing can cause leaks and damage your wood structure before you spot any trouble on the inside.

2. Overhanging tree branches

The Lower Mainland gets strong wind gusts and sometimes windstorms, and with our lush green environment many trees get damaged. If you have trees that are close to your home, or have branches that can reach down and touch your roof, you need to be vigilant.

In strong winds these branches can move around quite a bit. They can rub against your roof, lifting up shingles or even tearing them off. You may not even be able to see the damage if the area can’t be seen from the ground.

A periodic check should be done at least once a year (and perhaps twice if you’re situated in an area with many trees.)

3. Worn or warped shingles

Over time your roof’s shingles will wear out. The sun, rain, freezing and hot temperatures will erode the material and break it down.

If your home has wood shingles that are warped, curled or cracked, it means that the natural oils in the wood are being leached away. If you have asphalt shingles, look for thinner or loose ones, or ones that are cracking, or shingles that have lost much of their granules.

4. Having the wrong kind of green roof

No, we don’t mean the kind of green roof that’s environmentally friendly. Instead, this kind of green consists of patches of moss or algae that are growing in certain spots. This is a telltale sign that your roof is holding moisture.

You should get rid of these patches as soon as you can. Left unchecked these spots will grow deeper and eat away all of the protective covering of your roof, leaving it exposed to the rain and snow.

5. Granules in the gutter

When cleaning out your gutters, look down the channel and see if there’s an accumulation of the gritty granules that are on the surface of your shingles. Over time there will be wear and your shingles will lose this protective covering, but a large amount in your gutters likely means that it’s getting close to replacing your roof.

If you’re using a roofing company to do the maintenance and cleaning of your gutters, ask them to take a photo of the granules. Digital cameras and smartphones have made it easy for your roofer to take a quick snapshot of the problem and show it to you later.

6. Dark spots

If you’re able to look inside your attic and see darker spots on the walls, you may have a leak, moisture or condensation problem. This may be a result of a ventilation problem and the breathing space between your ceiling and the roof of your house isn’t getting sufficient air flow.

7. Paint peeling

Over time paint will flake and peel but you may notice an excessive amount, especially on the outside top portion of your home. This may be caused by your attic not getting the proper sort of ventilation it needs.

There needs to be airflow between your roof and your living space. If there isn’t adequate ventilation (at least 8 inches of space is recommended) then the temperature won’t be regulated in the warmer months. If there is moisture in this region, the humidity will remain high. Either one of these issues will cause the paint to crack and peel around the top of the home.

You should discuss possible solutions to this problem with a qualified roofer. They may be able to solve the problems by using the right materials that allow your rooftop to “breathe” better.

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