Signs of roof damage aren’t always obvious.
When your car needs repair, the check engine light illuminates your dashboard.
If the screen on your smartphone breaks, it’s obvious you need a repair. And when your dishwasher sprays some water, well chances are that too might need an appliance repair.
Roof repairs on the other hand, well they’re not so easy to identify. There is no check your roof light or clearly identified cracks. There is the off chance you might see a roof leak, but typically in most cases, you won’t be able to simply spot a roof repair.
That is why today we are going to share with you the simple signs of roof damage, what your roof repair options are and how to perform an annual roof inspection!
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How to Spot Signs of Roof Damage
The following list will encompass most of the early warning signs as it pertains to spotting possible roof damage. Not all roof problems are always visible, which is why we will also explore other options to do our best with regards to preventing roof issues.
1. Look for missing shingles
Perhaps the most obvious sign that you have an issue with your roof is when you see missing shingles. Whether you find shingles in your yard, you see them flapping in the wind on your roof, or your roof’s decking is exposed, missing shingles are an obvious indicator of damage.
Missing shingles are not something to take lightly either. Asphalt shingles in particular are installed in a woven-like pattern to create an interlocking grid for ultimate protection. This is also why, when one shingle is compromised, the roof repair required typically means more than just one shingle will need to be replaced.
Similarly, the reason why you often will see a few missing shingles has to do with the grid-like installation process. Either way, be sure to get missing shingles addressed ASAP. Most roofing companies will come to inspect for free and recommend:
- Temporary tarping of area
- Shingle replacement (roof repair)
- New roof, depending on the number of missing shingles
Depending on the exact cause, missing shingles can also mean you are able to file an insurance claim.
2. Be mindful after a windstorm.
Similar to missing shingles or #3 below – missing flashing – be very mindful of problems for your roof after a heavy windstorm. Newer roofs and even most older roofs can withstand most wind. However, there are those rare cases when a Nor’easter may occur resulting in shingle and overall roof issues.
Heavy gusts of wind can cause extreme damage, so be sure to be mindful if something strong like a hurricane or heavy windstorm hits your area! Luckily in the Boise, ID area, we don’t have to worry about hurricanes 🙂
3. Check for missing or faulty flashing.
Flashing is the black, thin material that is applied to areas that stick out of a roof where they meet your roof’s shingles. Think of a chimney sticking out or where one townhouse roof meets another. In those areas, flashing would be installed to prevent leaks.
In any case, if the flashing gets loosened or is cracking, this is technically a form of roofing damage that will need to be addressed. In fact, almost all roofing leaks typically involve one of the following:
- Missing shingles
- Flashing issues
- Cracked pipe collars
4. Gutters hanging from your home or that are clogged.
Gutter issues can lead to problems with the functioning of your roof. Your home’s roof collects rainwater and disperses it to your home’s gutters to be channeled away from your home. That said, gutter damage can lead to roof leaks and roof damage.
A roof is designed to protect your home from water by working synchronously with your home’s gutters. When either (gutters or your home’s roof) is compromised, the other is also impacted negatively.
So keeping your gutters clean, clear, and in a proper working state is vital to prevent water damage on your roof!
5. Low spots & soft spots.
While this is not always the case with damaged roof decking, sometimes you can spot low or soft spots from the ground.
Soft spots are a clear sign that there could be some possible damage you need to address. If you stand on the ground and you see a small dip in your roof you have a few options:
- Take a look inside of your addict with a flashlight and see what you find. If you see a leak, sag, or dark colors on your roof’s decking (plywood), then you may have a serious roof leak to address.
- Have a roofing company come inspect your roof for you. Don’t pay for this, simply call a reputable roofing company and let them know you might have a possible leak! We do not recommend ever getting on your roof by yourself, or at all for that matter.
6. Leaks inside your home.
If missing shingles is the most obvious sign of roof damage, next up has to be stains on the drywall of your ceiling!
There is no worse feeling than waking up to find discoloration on your ceiling as the result of a roof leak/rainstorm. While most leaks don’t happen overnight, they do repair themselves either.
Luckily, in most cases, a roof leak is a quick fix and if handled urgently, you can prevent the need for an entire roof replacement. Most roof leaks are the result of missing shingles, cracked/missing flashing, and cracked pipe collars.
Sometimes people will refer to this as, “Interior roof damage signs,” it is the same as a roof leak. Any discoloration, sagging drywall, or holes can be the result of a problem with your roof.
7. Anything that seems out of place.
A piece of plastic in your hard, shingle on the ground or other roofing materials that you mysteriously see laying around could be a sign of roofing damage.
While something in your yard could certainly be the result of it blowing from your neighbor’s roof, it’s not a bad idea to always keep a vigilant eye on your home’s roof.
Most problems involving your roof are slow-growing, so catching them early is key! That is we recommend performing an annual roof inspection!
8. Hail roof damage from bad weather!
Sometimes hail can cause severe damage. Though rare, when a thunderstorm brings hail large in size, the result can be damage to your roof. Large hail can chip your shingles resulting in dents and possibly worse, leaks.
Compromising the structural integrity of a shingle can lead to shingle damage down the road, which is why it is essential to keep an eye out for large hail storms. When they do occur, be sure to keep an eye out on your roof.
Fix Roof Leaks with a Roof Repair
Whether you have a leak from your roof vents or water stains that let you know something isn’t right – you will most likely need a roof repair.
The moisture buildup can cause leaks to travel in your attic and in most cases you will need a roofing contractor to come complete an inspection. Possible repairs can consist of the following:
- Replacing an area of the roof deck and reshingling
- Replacing damaged shingles from hail or wind
- Inspecting for any destroyed insulation or issues in your attic
- Consider a new roof when the damage reaches are a certain amount of money
How to Complete an Annual Roof Inspection
Just like going to the dentist every six months, it isn’t a bad idea to do a visual inspection of your roof every year while also having a roof inspection by a roofing company completed every few years.
To do a roof inspection on your own simply follow these steps:
- Get a pair of binoculars if you have them
- Find vantage points outside where you can view your roof
- Take some photos of your roof from all angles (annually)
- Using these photos, compare them to the past to keep an eye on everything.
- Note missing shingles and get those fixed quickly!
As we stated about roof inspections, find a roofing company you can trust and have them come check your roof every few years once your roof is over the age of 10! If you have any questions don’t forget to check out our Frequently Asked Roofing Questions article here or reach out to us below!
Frequently Asked Roofing Damage Questions
How do I know when I have roof damage?
The obvious signs such as missing or damaged shingles, moisture in your home, leaks, water stains, and clogged gutters are usually strong indicators you will need to call a roofing company to help you with your home’s roof.
Sometimes you might also see a spike in your energy bills or mold on your roof that can be signs of issues that need your attention. Mold growth is no good for your roof! Be sure to check your roof after high winds or if you see water flowing off your roof!
How do I know when I need a new roof?
When repairs exceed your roof’s insurance deductible, this is usually a good time to consider a new roof. Also, when the damage is severe and repair costs stack up, a new roof can sometimes be cheaper!