Wondering if your roof REALLY needs to be replaced? Don’t get caught with sudden, costly repairs. Keep an eye on your roof and learn how to spot problems before they severely impact your wallet with these 7 danger signs.
1. A leak in the attic.
Springtime isn’t just for the bird and bees, it’s also storm season! After a strong storm or wind-driven rain, take a look in the attic for signs of leaking. In winter months, ice damming can also cause water to enter the house if you don’t have an adequate shingle underlayment. This can also be caused if the flashing (the aluminum or steel used over roof joints, like chimneys and pipes) has deteriorated.
2. Blistering or peeling interior or exterior paint.
When paint starts to peel or blister trapped moisture is often to blame. Poor attic ventilation causes excessive temperature or high humidity. The air in the attic needs to flow freely from the soffit to the ridge to reduce humidity. To combat humidity and help air be the free spirit it was born to be, make sure there is a vent in areas such as the kitchen or bathroom. Dryers should vent outside.
3. Stains on interior ceilings and walls; mold or mildew growth.
If you see stains or (gasp), mold growth inside your home, it may be caused by inadequate or faulty shingle underlayment. This shotty workmanship is allowing water to seep into the house. Inadequate ventilation could also be the culprit, which causes excessive moisture— conditions in which mold and mildew thrive. Gross.
4. Exterior decay, sheathing, and/or siding.
Crumbling siding, sheathing or other exterior coverings can be caused by poor attic ventilation (see the recurring theme?), but any condition that results in excess moisture can contribute to decay. One way to combat the problem is to put a vapor barrier between the insulation and the inside of the house. This barrier can reduce the amount of moisture that goes into a wall and helps the moisture escape from the wall.
5. Missing, cracked, or curled shingles.
If you notice missing shingles or shingles starting to curl, crack or warp grab your ladder; it’s time to climb on the roof and take a closer look. Do the shingles seem dry or very brittle when touched? Uh oh. That means they have reached the end of their useful life and it’s time to invest in a new roof.
6. Dark “dirty-looking” areas.
Water is the molecule of life. Unfortunately for your roof, vegetation, fungus, mold, and algae love water and consider your roof the perfect spot to raise a colony. On a less frightening note, these dark spots could also just mean the shingles’ protective granules have been lost. Neither of these scenarios means you need to replace your roof, but these stains can reduce curb appeal. Cleaning the shingles is an option, but that could shorten their life.
7. Excessive energy costs.
A possible cause of higher cooling costs could be insufficient… what? Attic ventilation! Requiring the cooling system to run excessively. In warm weather, inadequate ventilation will trap hot air in the attic, causing air-conditioning systems to work harder, or leaving your home’s interior hotter and less comfortable. In both hot and cold weather, moisture in the attic can become trapped and condense on the rafters if it’s not insulated properly. This moisture can drip down onto the insulation and reduce its effectiveness, potentially increasing energy costs.
So, what do you think? Do you need a new roof or do you just need proper attic ventilation? Let us know in the comments.