Spotting roof damage early is important to prevent leaks down the road. Regular visual inspections on both the outside and inside of your home help spot signs of damage, if you know what to look for and address the problems quickly.
Perform an Outdoor Inspection
Roof inspections should be an annual or semi-annual (spring and fall) part of your home’s maintenance. Inspections are the quickest way to spot signs of roof damage before you develop bigger problems. Plus, finding and fixing small issues not only protects your roof from further damage, it also saves you money in the long run. You should also perform a roof inspection after any major storm or severe weather event like hail, strong winds or prolonged, extreme temperatures.
Signs of roof damage vary depending on the type of roof you have. For example, in roofs made of asphalt shingles, look for cracked, torn, curled, damaged or missing shingles. A loss of granulation, or bald spots, on your shingles can also be a sign of damage. If your roof is a shake or wood shingle variety, look for signs of mold or decay and splitting or curling of the wood.
Not only should you look at the roof itself, but also look at any other components that affect the quality of leak protection your roof provides. This includes ventilation pipes, gutters, flashing and a chimney or stove pipe. Inspect these areas for signs of damage, like tears and buckling around roof penetrations in your flashing; decay or stains in your fascia or soffits or clogged vents. Also, examine the chimney for damaged bricks or cracked joints or loose or missing flashing. Check the gutters to see if they are rusted, leaky or bent, sagging or loosely attached to your home, or missing altogether.
Perform an Indoor Inspection
Indoor inspections are also important to find potential trouble spots. However, if you find signs of roof damage inside your home, you already have external problems you need to find and address. Moisture marks are usually a sure sign of roof damage, so look for yellow, grey or brown staining on your ceilings. Also, look for peeling paint on your ceilings and/or walls, which can indicate a damaged roof. In your attic, check for damp rafters or obvious areas of previous leakage caused by roof damage.
A damaged roof can affect other parts of your home, including the interior and exterior walls and even the foundation. If you discover roof damage that requires an entire roof replacement, a GAF Lifetime Roofing System or Total Roof Protection System by Owens Corning from New Jersey Siding & Windows can provide lifetime protection from future leaks. Its three-part roof protection program that can protect your home and increase energy efficiency.