The roof is definitely an area of the house the gets considerable attention during the planning and building stages of the house but once it’s up, it’s often neglected. The reason for this is mostly because once it’s up, it’s out of sight – and generally things that are out of sight (like the saying) get pushed to the back of our minds.
According to the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) an inspection (that includes an interior and exterior check) of your roof should be done up to 2 times a year – spring and fall.
It’s best not to wait until water starts pouring into the living room (which is often what it takes before people start noticing) – Here are a few indications that you at best, some routine maintenance needs to be done or at worst you need a new roof:
If you’re in need of a new roof, the climate of the area that you live in should be considered – Cedar roofing for example tends to split in drier climates.
Start on the inside of the house:
1.) Grab a ladder and head into the attic. Remember only to stand on the cross beams and not in between, otherwise you might end up in the lounge before any water does!
Be on the lookout for any light shining through (indicating a hole, not good), leaks and dark spots on the wood (indicates water damage)
Now for the exterior signs:
2.) Missing Shingles. Missing shingles are usually a fairly good indication that the roof is reaching the end of its lifespan. Shingles get blown off the roof or dislodged because the sealant that keeps them in place deteriorates overtime.
3.) Curling roof shingles. While most would take curling shingles as a sign of roof deterioration, it’s actually caused ventilation problems. Prolonged exposure to heat causes the shingles to shrink and curl up because they’ve basically been cooked from the inside out. Curled up shingles don’t cover the roof properly and are therefore less effective at protecting it from wind, water and other elements.
4.) Blistering or buckling. Blistering or buckling occurs as a result of deterioration over time. These two issues anywhere on the roof show that the shingles have become brittle and warped, and will be less capable of withstanding harsher weather conditions. On a side note, warping can also occur on wooden exterior wall cladding and should be checked periodically as well.
5.) Shingle granules in gutters. Granules on roof shingles provide protection against sunlight and traction for installers to stand on. Some granule loss is normal in the process of installing a new roof. If granules are collecting in gutters or around downspouts on older roofs however, it’s an indication of deterioration and shows that your roof needs attention.
On a closing note, it’s important to remember that roofs are made to last and depending on the material used can last anywhere from 20 to over a 100 years. With this in mind, routine inspection and maintenance still need to be done to ensure that everything is still up to scratch.
- License: Creative Commons image source
This article was written by Michael James, who is an avid cyclist, food lover, wine drinker and music fan.