6 Ways To Check On The Health Of Your Roof

As a homeowner, you need to constantly check on the overall well-being of your house. It is one of the largest investments that a person can make, and its condition is important. Both general maintenance as well as observation of any changes are key. When it comes to your roof, there is nothing you can do to prevent damage or prolong its life. The weather is the deciding factor on how long it will last. Everything from rain, salt water spray, heavy snow loads, intense summer sun, and strong winds can wreak havoc on your home's roof. Luckily, the signs of damage are fairly obvious, if you know what to look for. Here are six ways to check on the health of your roof:

From The Ground:

1. As you look up at your roof from the ground, the first row of shingles should be flat. As asphalt shingles age, the edges curl up and eventually break off. This is probably the easiest and most telltale sign of an aging roof. When you notice the edges of your shingles curling up, realize that it means your roof is nearing the end of its effective life and will need to be eventually replaced. 

2. Walk around the perimeter of your home. If you notice broken pieces of shingles in the bushes around your foundation, it is generally another sign of an aging roof. While strong storms and hurricane force winds can dislodge shingles, it is not normal. Asphalt shingles are designed to stay put. In fact, the International Building Code requires that shingles in high wind areas stay attached in up to 150 mile per hour winds. 

3. Look in the splash guards below your home's downspouts and gutters. These are generally used to direct water away from your home's foundation during a heavy rain storm, but can also assist you in determining the health of your roof. All asphalt shingles are installed with a gravel-like coating that helps them protect your house from the elements. Over time, this coating naturally wears off. There is nothing you can do to prevent it, but once it is gone, your roof has reached the end of its effectiveness. If you notice gravel in those splash guards, it is your warning that your roof is aging, and that you should probably call a professional team of roofers out for a closer inspection and roofing repairs

From The Roof:

4. As you walk on your roof, you are looking for the warning signs discussed above -- curling shingles, missing shingles, and loose gravel -- but you are also determining if your roof feels solid underfoot. As a roof passes its prime, the shingles can let moisture in causing damage to the plywood sheathing below. If your roof feels 'bouncy' or 'squishy', it is a telltale sign that the wood below your feet is suffering from water damage due to a failing roof. 

From The Inside:

5. Your attic is essentially the underside of your roof, and can share some of its secrets. As you enter your attic, wait to turn on the lights. Take a look around. If you notice sunlight filtering in through minuscule holes in your roof, call in the pros. If the sun can get in, so can water. Translation: your roof is no longer doing its job and needs to be repaired or replaced, sooner rather than later.

6. Feel the walls and insulation for any signs of dampness. Wet, dripping, and damp insulation or plywood is a sign of water damage. Again, if water is present inside your home, your roof is well beyond its prime. Nothing should be wet. In fact, the Environmental Protection Agency states that mold can grow in as little as 48 hours in this situation. 

Keeping an eye on the health of your roof is an easy task for homeowners, if you follow the above tips.