One of the roof’s most common and strongest adversaries is water, as it can damage your roof quite heavily while still being discreet about it. Left unattended, and your whole roof could weaken to the point of needing costlier and more time-consuming repairs that you could’ve prevented had you known which signs to look out for early on.
But while water damage can be almost invisible to the average homeowner at first, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do some preemptive roof inspection and see if there are some signs that, while not directly signaling water damage, may very well be strong indicators for it.
Here are five signs that you should look out for if you’re concerned about potential water damage on your roof:
- Leaks and water spots
The most common symptom of water damage on your roof is the presence of leaks and water stains. They can usually appear as brown spots or rust-colored rings on your ceiling, walls, chimneys, vents, and other affected areas. These signs tell you that your roof has already given way and that you’re already dealing with internal damages as well.
The kind of sign you’re dealing with is an indicator of how damaged your roof is. Leaks are signs of substantial damages that are letting in significant amounts of water in your roof’s structure, while water stains are indicative of slower or smaller leaks that can potentially worsen if left unaddressed. Slow leaks, however, are harder to pinpoint due to their insidious nature, so it’s best to consult with a roofing contractor to find the source of the slow leak.
- Damaged or missing shingles
Because your shingles function as your roof’s “skin” or primary armor, damages on them or outright missing shingles are visible signs that you’re dealing with water damage underneath the structure. The longer they stay damaged or missing, the more you expose your roof to more water damage that can further weaken it.
Cracked, bent, curling, cupping, or buckling shingles are strong signals of the need for repairs soon. If you’re lucky, you may only need to have the affected ones missing, but sometimes the problem has unknowingly exacerbated to the point that you need a total roof replacement to address the concern.
- Granule-filled gutters
Granules help keep the sun off the asphalt. They are designed against UV radiation, and once they fall off and the shingles start to bake, the quality of your roof and its ability to protect your home will deteriorate quickly. Lack of granules on your roof will inevitably leave bald spots, which are vulnerable areas that will become damaged soon if they are not addressed.
If you’ve just gotten a new asphalt shingle roof, losing granules is normal as they are the loose, extra ones. It’s also normal to lose a few granules through the years, but if you find that your gutters are clogged with them, especially after a storm, you’re most likely dealing with a problem that needs solving — and soon!
- Sagging ceiling
If you notice that your ceiling has bubble-like buildup or is already curving downward, then you have a severe problem at hand. Sagging ceilings are strong indicators that there’s an excessive buildup of water and moisture in your attic or the structure between your roof and ceiling (if you don’t have an attic) that is already heavily compromising its overall integrity.
In cases like this, better phone a roofing contractor immediately and don’t do anything to disturb the sagging area, as you might unintentionally cause more damage. It’s also best to clear the space near the sagging ceiling to prevent additional problems should the worst scenario happen before you can have it repaired.
- Spongy or softwood decking
It’s always wise to check your roof for damages after major weather events, especially if it means that your roof had prolonged exposure to rains or snow. Apart from damaged shingles, you might also immediately find that your roof feels spongy or soft. This is indicative of longstanding water damage that has, unfortunately, compromised the sturdiness of your roof.
Water damage, over time, causes the materials used in your roof’s structure to rot and become profoundly vulnerable to the pressure that it gets from its constant exposure to nature’s elements. This weakening makes your roof susceptible to even more water damage, akin to a cycle of continuous cause and effect. When your roof feels spongy or soft, it’s time to schedule a roof replacement so your house can be protected by a newer and sturdier roof.
If your roof did sustain concerning water damage, Fahey Roofing Contractors can help you with necessary roof repairs and roof replacement. Check out our residential roof replacement services, residential roof repair services, or contact us at (304) 735-7663 to learn more.