Your roof is an essential part of your home, but one that isn’t often spared much thought. It reliably provides protection day-in-and-day-out. And in most cases, year-in-and-year out. Roofs are built to last years, and they typically do.
When those years start adding up, or an unexpected event (we’re looking at you, mother nature) occurs, your roof may be in need of repair. Which, if you’re looking for a bright side, is a better scenario for the pocketbook than a total replacement. And, if you keep up with repairs, you will be able to extend the life of your roof and put off a total replacement for an additional few years. Here are nine signs your roof needs a repair, listed in order of visibility…
Visible Exterior Signs Your Roof Needs Repair
1. Shingles Missing / Cracking / Curling
Shingle damage is fairly apparent if you take the time to look. If you have gaps in your shingles, or you notice the integrity starting to fail (which will appear as cracks or curling edges), it may be time to take a closer look. If it is localized, a quick patch may suffice. If your roof is covered with damaged shingles, then your repair may be a larger project.
Another related sign is the presence of an abundance of granules in your gutters or yard, which causes bald spots on your roof. (Note: gradual and minimal granule loss is considered normal wear-and-tear for roof shingles.) Technically, your shingles are still on your roof, but they’ve lost the crushed stone and minerals that offer protection and become susceptible to more damage.
One of the most common causes of discoloration on a roof, especially in Minnesota’s humid summer climate, is the presence of algae. While not an immediate issue, leaving it unaddressed can degrade the integrity of your shingles – which will eventually create the need for replacement.
Additionally, and similarly, moss can grow on shingles, especially if your roof is prone to staying damp (due to limited sun and air movement, most common in shaded areas). Moss creates a cyclical issue with dampness because it retains moisture – and so as it sets on your roof it keeps your roof wet, which damages shingles and makes it easier for them to come loose from your roof.
A clear dip in what should be a flat, sturdy surface indicates some element of the foundational structure isn’t supporting the weight of your roof. You may have a damaged rafter, which is a smaller roof repair than if the whole attic frame is stressed under the weight of the roof.
4. Obvious Interference or Other Damage
Minnesota is not a stranger to her own set of natural disasters. Tornados, blizzards, torrential rainstorms, and more can wreak havoc on homes unexpectedly. Heavy snow can crumble an otherwise sturdy roof, and tornados can take them right off. Not to mention if something crashes into it – most often trees or telephone poles. Damage caused by natural disasters can create a sudden and urgent need for roof repair.
Visible Interior Signs Your Roof Needs a Repair
5. Sitting Water
If you have sitting water in unwelcome places inside your home, there is a chance it entered from a damaged area in your roof. Damage on your roof, even if not visible from the outside, can cause damage inside your home as well – and a water entrance is never a good sign.
6. Wall / Ceiling Discoloration
Water damage can rear its ugly head in many ways – an ongoing, likely slower water leak can show up as discoloration on your walls or ceiling. If there is any positive note in this situation, it is that the path of discoloration can likely lead you to the source of the damage.
7. Sagging Ceiling
Hopefully, this home disaster never becomes an issue for you; but we do see them happen – mostly on the DIY home care or renovations shows – but sometimes in our daily work, too. A sagging ceiling can be dangerous and needs to be addressed; water could be the culprit, but we can’t rule out the damage termites, natural disasters, and age can cause, too.
Invisible Damage, But Important Signs Your Roof Needs a Repair
8. Energy Bills Increasing
There are MANY reasons energy bills can increase – so this alone should not have you calling to schedule a roof repair. However, it is worth noting that, just like roofs can leak water, they can also leak air. If your heat and A/C are escaping, your systems have to work harder, and therefore your energy bills will reflect a consistent increase month after month. So, if this is the sign you notice first, it definitely warrants follow-up but doesn’t need to sound the alarm.
9. Age of Roof
While not definitive, the age of the roof can be an indicator for roof repair. Age alone won’t require roof repair. But, as they are only built to last so long (depending on your shingle type), age can decrease vitality and durability making your roof susceptible to damage. If you live in a neighborhood and see many of your neighbors repairing or replacing their roofs, this could be a sign your time is coming within the next few years.
The sign you notice above will dictate your immediate next actions. Urgent and dangerous situations require a call to a roofing expert. But in most cases, there’s time to do more inspection and research to determine the root cause of your issue.