Are you a new homeowner? Do you want to know what indicators suggest you may have a roof leak so that you can catch any problems sooner rather than later? While experts recommend that you have a roofing specialist give your house and garage a once over each year, there are some things you can be on the lookout for when you are working in your yard or have a few minutes free.
Inspect the exterior of the roof safely
Instead of using a ladder to get on top of the roof, why not pull out your trusty binoculars? Tom Silva from This Old House suggests going out to the sidewalk to get a clear view of the shingles. He tells readers to look for broken, curled, or missing pieces. He suggests that you look carefully at the caulk around the chimney and any other openings to make sure that the waterproof seal has no dry rot or missing beads of caulk.
You find sandy bits of the shingle in the gutter and missing from the roof
While you are inspecting the exterior of the roof, you want to look for any shingles that are darker than the rest. Check closely to see if this discoloration is from moss buildup. If you find no evidence of problems, then look in the gutters. When you see small granules like fine gravel in the rainwater collection areas, then your shingles are old, weathered, or damaged and losing the ceramic coating that protects the roof from ice and water penetration. Angie’s List says that the valleys are the places where you may notice problems first.
Sagging areas on your roof collect the rain
Take care to note any depressions on your roof. When sitting water stays stagnant after the rest of the roof is dry, it can signal a breakdown of materials. Where this sagging occurs, water will look for the path of least resistance to entering the home. Fixing these issues as soon as possible is vital to protecting the sheeting under the shingles.
Wet spots around chimneys, vents, and skylights
On a bright day, you can go into the attic or crawlspace and look for any spots where sunlight is entering around the vents. Your chimney flashing and any lights or windows will also need a good checking. These areas are often the first to begin to show signs of distress and aging on the inside.
Seeing mold or signs of mildew in the attic or crawlspace
Any visible mold is a clear sign of a leak. If you see or smell a musty odor, then you may want someone to check out your roof closer. Mold will grow and spread if left untreated.
A quick check at least once a year can help you spot roof problems. If you see something amiss, then you may want to book a consultation with your roofing specialist. Fixing problems as soon as you catch them will save you time and money.