People call your home your castle. With such a focus on one of our basic needs as living things, a roof is a protection and important part of our shelter. Roofs receive warranties for roughly 20-25 years in Jacksonville, Florida. This warranty can vary from state to state. If your roof is beyond the age of warranties in your area, it is a consideration in whether it should be repaired or replaced.
Any roof over ten years could do with an annual review to ensure it is still sound. Beyond the wear of age, your roof takes a lot of wear and tear over the years, more so than the walls, windows, or floor. Your roof protects your loved ones, sentimental keep sakes, and other valuables.
Therefore, it is essential that your roof be in tip top shape to continue to maintain that level of security. It can be troublesome to think of this portion of your home failing, but luckily, there are warning signs as to when your roof needs to be repaired. Below are seven signs to help you identify when your roof needs to be fixed by a professional Jacksonville roofer.
Leaks in the Home
Obviously there is an issue if you see puddles on the floor or in the attic after raining or dripping into your living room during a storm. If you see this dripping water, it is a sign of severe damage to the roof that needs to be repaired immediately. With this type of leaking, you could have damage to your rafters, dry wall, molding, insulation, and even attic flooring materials. With the amount of insulation in one’s attic, this leak may not be noticed until it has done significant damage. It is wise to take a look in the attic and crawl spaces regularly in order to assess moisture levels.
Water Damage to the Interior and Exterior of the Home
Water damage can be just as immediate a sign as actual water leaks. Water damage to look out for is located both inside and outside the property. On the outside of your property, signs to look for that indicate water damage can be found around your gutters in particular. These signs can include mold, dampness, peeling paint or swelling wood around the gutters. If you see this damage, the next step is to see if your gutters are clogged. If the gutters are not clogged, it is a sign of roofing concerns that may need to be addressed promptly. Inside your home, signs of water damage can be found in the form of discoloration on the ceiling and walls. Normally, this change of color is off white, yellow, or gray in coloration. This can be found especially at the corners or edges of walls and around lighting fixtures and fans. Another location that this can also be seen in is along your chimney. To check for water in this area, simply put your hand on the brick or surrounding area of the chimney and see if it feels damp or see if lines of liquid have left a mark along the seams.
Flashings and Exposure to the Elements
Flashing is what keeps the water from getting underneath your roofing shingles by redirecting it to other portions of the roof and lead to moisture run off of the home. It can loosely be equated with a seal for your roof and is one of the first signs of the need to repair a roof. Flashings that appear rusted or that are missing are concerns for roofing repair. Damaged flashings are an indicator of a possible conduit for water into your home, as they no longer direct the water off of the roof of the home. If these pieces are missing or if they happen to come loose, or if they begin to rust, water can run behind them and get underneath the flashings to cause damage to the beams and insulation below. Another consideration is if these flashings are not comprised of a metal flashing system, but instead of roof cement or tar, they will need to be replaced more readily, as they are also more likely to become degraded or damaged. Catching this early can result in a less expensive repair later.
Shingles, the Earliest Signs of Damage
Ideally, shingles should appear as lying flat against the roof. The appearance of damaged, loose or missing shingles is an overt sign of a roof that needs repair or replacement immediately. If these shingles become loose, they are no longer protecting the home and water damage can become an imminent concern. If one of those shingles becomes loose or lost, it can expose the nail holding the shingles below, and thus have an opening into your home. The nails that hold the shingle in place penetrate all layers of the roof. Loose nails can also cause this issue, which can be indicated in raised or loose shingles. Loose nails create an opening past all the layers protecting a roof from exposure. Also look for misshapen shingles. These misshapen shingles are referred to with the terms curling, clawing, and buckling of the shingles. This involves them becoming physically curved. It is also a sign of them nearing the end of their lifespan. These shingles are likely to get caught in the wind (especially in our hurricane prone Florida) or with hail damage and either break or be blown off. This results in exposure to the roof below. Another indicator of your shingles reaching the end of their lifespan is if, while checking your gutters, you see shingle granules in it. Roofs tend to shed these granules towards the end and leave inconsistent or dark in coloration spots on your roof.
Sagging Roof and Rising Concerns
A severe sign that your roof needs immediate repair is if you observe your roof sagging. This can be observed from outside, but also inside. Outside, you will see sagging at points creating a concave effect where otherwise it would be straight along its lines. Inside, you may be able to observe this sagging in the form of bowing or warping in the beams or cracking ceiling. This is a severe sign of damage and should be repaired immediately so as to not have further physical damage done to the property or the interior of the home.
Plant Life Not Growing in your Garden
The growth of foreign materials on the roof is a sign of moisture and further water damage needing repair. This form of plant life can include moss, algae, mildew, fungus, or mold. This plant life can degrade the condition of the homeowners’ roof. Some of these plants can actually devour tar and asphalt as food, which causes damage to the home. The damage and cost for repair for this plant life depends on the overall age of the roof and how long they have lived on the roof. The older the roof and the longer the plant life has existed on the roof, the more damage has occurred and the more expensive the repair required. As a positive, if the roof is new and the plant life newly acquired, a simple bleach wash may be all that’s necessary. An advisory on this point is that power washing should never be attempted to eradicate this issue.
Seeing Light Above Where you Should Not
During your inspections of the roof, if you feel your roof having the consistency of a sponge, there are signs of moisture. The final and most concerning sign is if you look up at your ceiling and see light shining through. This is indicative of there being concern even on dry days. If you can look into your attic on a sunny day and see light shining through, then repairs should occur right away. At this point, there should be other obvious signs of damage.
Final Words to Consider
These problems can be easy to miss in the day to day workings of our lives, especially since where they are most readily identified, we are unlikely to examine everyday. These areas being the attics, roofs, and corners of our ceilings. However, in being proactive and keeping an eye out and inspecting the home even semi annually while taking note of these signs can lead to identification of issues well before the average and unfortunate home owner would experience a roof caving in, or seeing light between the slats, leading to obvious and expensive necessary repairs. By watching for these signs, you may not be able to halt damage to a property, as one would wish, but it is possible to lessen the damage and cost to repair if identified early. By taking the time to walk a property and inspect the attic every now and then while keeping these seven signs, including damaged shingles, plant life, and water damage, of damage in mind, it should be possible to adequately identify if and/or when the need for repair is necessary.