Signs of Roof Damage

by Shawn Kyles
Julian Construction

Keeping your roof in good repair is an important home maintenance task. A damaged roof can result in leaks that cause interior damage to your walls and cause the need for foundation repair. Signs of roof damage can include a sagging roof, cracking paint, wet spots, wet insulation and light shining through the roof. A damaged roof needs to be repaired quickly to prevent further damage and increased repair costs.

Causes of Roof Damage

The weather can damage your roof in many different ways. Wind, for example, can tear shingles off your roof and warp gutters. The wind can also lift and displace tiles. Snow, ice, storms, lightening, rainfall and extreme temperatures can also damage roofs.

Even heat can damage a roof. Too much sun can cause certain types of roof tiles to crack and blister. If an attic isn’t ventilated properly, rising hot air from inside the home will push its way to and through the roof. Has there been a fire in your neighborhood? Heat from a fire near your home can melt tiles and other roofing materials.

Roofs can also be damaged by falling objects such as tree branches. If you see broken tree limbs on the ground near your home, check the roof closest to where the limb was found. Look for any signs of damage, including scrapes and gouges. Minor damage may be a sign of more serious issues. When a tree limb breaks and falls on a roof, it can also cause structural damage to the house.

Earthquakes, even small ones, can damage roofs as well. Many times, the damage is caused by the collapse of masonry chimneys. Improperly built roofs or roofs with too much weight can also lead to buckling during a quake.

Most homes are built with asphalt shingles. The asphalt tiles are coated with tiny granules that provide UV protection. Damage to an asphalt roof can include missing granules (bald tiles), holes in the tile, as well as cracked, torn or missing tiles. Asphalt tiles can also become “bruised” or dented. Large amounts of tile granules in rain gutters means your roof is deteriorating.

Tile roofs can be damaged very easily, particularly from falling objects. Indicators of tile roof damage include chipped, broken or missing tiles. If you find pieces of tile on the ground, it’s time for a roof inspection.

Cedar roof tiles can split, particularly in dry climates. In areas where there is consistent or excessive rainfall, moss can start growing on the tiles. In general, natural roofing tiles and materials will deteriorate faster than synthetic roofing.

Your roof should be inspected on a regular basis – at least twice a year. Make sure it is inspected closely both inside as well as outside. On the inside, look for water stains, which can be an indicator of a leak, or insulation that has been stripped away. This can be done at the same time as a foundation inspection

If your roof is severely damaged it may need to be re-roofed. Contact a licensed and qualified roofing contractor or trusted general contractor who can help you with roof shingle installation.