Do I really need a new roof? True signs of shingle deterioration
Whether we like it or not, spring is right around the corner and with it comes a whole lot of chores we have been putting off all winter. A good place to start is a general home inspection to make sure that the cold weather hasn't damaged your property over the winter. As far as the general inspection goes, there are lots of great resources to consult such as the one found here. When inspecting your roof for signs of damage and deterioration we are going to give you several easy tips that should keep you safe and dry.
If you have noticed any wet or discolored spots on your ceilings or walls, this may be a good sign there is a problem up there. Now, this is not always caused by the roof leaking so be careful before paying "Billy" to come out and tar it all up. Many times these leaks are caused by improperly sealed windows, siding, or it can even by seeping through the chimneys brick. How do you determine where the water is coming from? First thing to do is stick your head up in the attic and attempt to locate the source of the leak. If you notice big wets spots on the roof sheathing, we would recommend calling a professional roofing contractor to go up on the roof and take a look. If it is a new roof, we have often seen improper installations causing small leaks because the shingles are laid wrong, there are exposed nails that rusted over time, or the flashing was either not replaced or done so improperly. If you can not find the source of the leak, again it is recommended to call out a roofing contractor. Make sure that you thoughtfully vet the roofing company before calling them as you don't want to get taken advantage of here. One of our recent customers equated it to taking your car into a mechanic, in that you never know if they are giving you an honest opinion or not. After lots of though, we have concluded that it is simply human nature at work as these roofing contractors are obviously doing something wrong but justifying it because they need to put food on the table. Therefore, it only makes sense to do business with a larger company that does not need to rely on deceptive practices because they are successful doing the right thing!
We have now established that you don't have water pouring into your house, because if you did you would have already been hard at working finding someone to fix it instead of reading this. What else should you be looking for to see if your roof is getting to the end of its life cycle? Check the gutters, and the area surrounding the downspouts, to see if there is an excessive amount of granulation coming off. As the shingles age they will start shedding off the granulation which then finds its ways through your gutter system as it rains. We will often go out to a customers house to clean their gutters only to find they are completely clogged by the run off. This is something you can check as well by securely climbing a ladder and looking into the gutters yourself. While you are up there just go ahead and grab one of those shingles and bend it around a bit. Does it feel thin? Brittle, Use your common sense here as the product is made out of asphalt so it is not hard to figure out when it is starting to wear excessively. Lastly, it goes without saying, look for missing shingles! There is no clearer sign that the shingle has either deteriorated to the point that they are breaking free or that they were installed improperly in the first place. Either way, the problem should be rectified immediately.