You know that there’s something a bit wrong with your roof, mostly because you have to put a bowl under that spot in your ceiling that leaks when it rains. But when you go outside you don’t see anything wrong. The shingles look fine to you, and they’re all there. So why is the roof leaking? You figure you could find out if you go up on the roof and take a good look, but there’s no way you’re going up there. How can you tell just where the roof damage is? (Remember you can always call a local roofer to help you out with figuring this all out!)
Look in Your Gutters
If you have a sturdy ladder, climb it and take a look at your gutters and downspouts. If there are dark granules in the gutters, that means that your asphalt shingles are starting to degrade. You can’t tell by looking at a distance, but this is a telltale sign. If you don’t have gutters, see if there are granules around your foundation plantings. Even if the shingles look healthy, the fact that they’re shedding granules means that their watertightness has been compromised.
After a while, so many granules will have fallen off the shingles that you will be able to see bald spots even from the ground. After that, you’ll see the edges of the shingles curl and dry up.
Stains on the Ceiling or Walls
Even if you don’t have an obvious leak, stains ad peeling paint suggest a roof that is leaking.
If you see dents and dings on your gutters, this may be a sign that they’ve been hit by hail. You can just about be sure of this if there’s been a recent hailstorm in your area. You can also be sure that if your gutters were beaten up like that, so was your roof.
Go up to the Attic
This, maybe even more than clambering all over your steep-sloped roof, is where you can really see the roof damage. You may see pinpoint holes in the attic’s ceiling. The timbers may show sign of rot where the roof leaks.
Lichen and Moss on the Roof
Moss is a green, cushiony, non-flowering plant. Lichen is a type of plant that is a cross between an algae and a fungus. Moss on the roof holds in moisture and can lead to rot if it’s not removed. Lichens are even worse, for they not only hold in moisture but produce a shingle-eating acid. Lichen’s other parent, algae is harmless but it uglifies your roof by leaving those long, black streaks that you see on certain days.
Don’t Forget the Chimney
You should be able to see from the ground that the flashing around the chimney is loose or missing, and the bricks and their pointing are be damaged. The damage can be so severe that the chimney leans, and if you try to use your fireplace, smoke escapes from the cracks.
A Jump in Your Energy Bill
If you have had to run your heater or cooler more than usual to be comfortable, that’s a sign that the roof ventilation has been damaged. Call in a pro.