In many cases, identifying that your roof has a problem, or has sustained damage, is easy and straightforward enough. It might be that a persistent leak has brought the roof situation to your attention, or you might have noticed a denuded patch on your roof after that last storm. In such a case, your next step – getting the roof fixed – is an obvious, easy step.
Not all problems are as easily spotted, however, and while it’s important to keep your roof in good condition, it’s not always practical or desirable to call the professionals over to check it out, just on a suspicion of a problem. There are things that you can check for yourself, though, that indicate that you most likely have a problem. With just a little effort, you can find out whether or not you should be calling in the roofing experts to pinpoint exactly what’s wrong with your roof.
Checking from inside your house
Your attic is the place where you’re most likely to find corroborating evidence of possible problems with your roof. With a flashlight in hand, go up and take a good long look around. Pay attention to dark spots and trails on the roof or walls that might indicate where water has penetrated. Places where the roof deck is sagging, or where you can see actual water damage or leaking, are clear indicators that you have a problem, as are any spots in the ceiling where you can see sunlight coming in.
Checking from the outside
From the outside, signs of roof trouble tend to be more visibly obvious, if you know what to look for. Visible damage to the shingles – any cracking, tearing, and other such signs – as well as missing shingles or bald areas on the roof are proof positive you have a problem. Loose material or debris on the roof is also a good indicator of possible damage. Anything that’s been detached, from the chimney to the flashing to the drainspouts and gutters, are all signs that your roof probably needs to be repaired.
Is there any way to try and prevent roof problems from coming up in the first place? More on this in part III.