As a homeowner, unforeseen roof problems are the last thing you want on your plate. You’ve probably searched for free roof estimates if you’re the type of mortgagee who likes to take home improvement needs into your own hands, but often such a task can be daunting to a person who is unfamiliar with proper roof maintenance. Our simple guide to inspecting your roof yourself is the first step in determining if there are larger problems that require professional help.
When conducting a roof inspection, here are a few basic things to keep in mind.
1. Missing or broken shingles
An obvious sign of a damaged roof is missing or broken shingles. Asphalt shingles are the most common shingles used in the Los Angeles roofing sector due to their cost effectiveness and durability. However, most roofs will need shingle repair work after long periods of weather damage and improper roof maintenance. Asphalt shingles are more susceptible to breaking, cracking, or falling off of your roof, than tile roofing materials.
Be aware that if shingles are falling off in large quantities, your roof may have been installed poorly. When improperly installed, asphalt shingles deteriorate faster and can even void your warranty. Additionally, loose shingles are both unsightly and a safety hazard.
2. Moss, mildew, or mold
Moss, mildew, or mold growth is a sign of an old roof as well as excessive moisture. This growth affects more than the appearance of your roof; it also compromises the shingles and underlayment (water-resistant/waterproof barrier installed directly onto your roof deck).
The growth of moss, mildew, and mold also creates raised masses on the surface of your roof, which can collect more moisture and thus continue the cycle of damage unless properly removed.
3. Multiple layers of shingles
Multiple layers of shingles on a roof is usually an indicator of roof damage, unseen or not. These excessive layers hinder proper ventilation, trapping heat and moisture.
Another big issue is “telegraphing.” When a new roof is installed over an old one, the new shingles can conform to the older ones beneath them, possibly creating unevenness. This becomes an issue as water runoff travels down the roof, where increased friction can lead to premature failure of the roof over the affected areas.
According to your location, building codes limit the number of shingle layers your roof may have. You may also want to check your warranty on asphalt shingles to see their limitations, since many manufacturers require a clean roof deck to respect the warranty. Adding new layers on top of old may save money in the present, but could lead to greater problems in the long run.
4. Ventilation problems
Inadequate attic ventilation is often overlooked by homeowners but is highly important to the function of your roof. As the elements age shingles from above, trapped air due to poor ventilation heats the roof deck from below, which speeds their deterioration. In cold regions, poor ventilation combined with snow and ice can create ice dams, causing moisture damage.
A professional inspection of ridge vents, eave vents, exhaust vents, and mechanical ventilation systems will determine if there is adequate air flow through attic spaces.
5. No drip edge
"Flashing" refers to sheets made of metal, plastic, or composite materials beneath the shingles that direct the flow of water away from openings and areas where water may collect. A drip edge, also called D-metal, is a type of flashing at the edge of your roof that directs water away from the wood fascia and into the gutter. A roof lacking a properly installed drip edge is a serious liability, and will likely cause moisture damage to your roof. Typical warning signs of this development include curling shingles at the edges or leaking.
6. Interior leaks
Interior leaks are a major sign of roof deterioration. By the time a leak is visible inside your home, water has penetrated all layers of roofing material, damaging the shingles or even the decking. Many leaks are simple fixes that only require small-scale repairs.
You definitely don’t want to wait to investigate any leaks as they may be signs of larger, unseen issues that could damage the structure of your home and can lead to mold and mildew growth. Southland Roofing Inc. can provide service in both situations, whether it is a small leak or major structural damage.
7. Ripples, blisters, or buckles
Physical changes in your roof could indicate many issues. Some causes include old shingles, inadequate ventilation, improper installation, damaged sheathing, multiple layers of shingles, or wet underlayment. Shingles naturally undergo an aging process, which results in some physical changes. However, once these physical changes become noticeable from the ground, you may need to call in an inspection. Ideally, most shingle roofs should last around 15 years, but your roof is not meant to last forever. The good news is that with the proper care, its lifespan can be extended for even longer.
Once you have made the simple assessment of your roof, call us for a professional inspection and free roofing estimate on any work or replacements that may be required. If your roof indicates any of these issues, don't hesitate to call us for a comprehensive assessment. Aged roofs tend to show one or more of these issues, and the lifespan of your roof may decrease significantly the longer you wait to get any damage under control. Call us today at (310) 903-0536 to schedule an inspection and mitigate further issues.
Southland Roofing Inc. is committed to providing premier service at the right price. Serving Los Angeles and Orange County, we pride ourselves on safety, efficiency, and competitive pricing as we revolutionize the roofing industry. Contact us today to find out how we can serve all your roofing needs.