Now that fall’s arrived, before you take on that gutter cleaning chore, spend some quality time with your roof. It’s your homes first line of defense against the elements. Here are some signs that your roof might be trying to tell you something.
Water Marks on Ceilings
While water marks might indicate a leaking roof, spots on the ceiling could be caused by other things such as condensation, windows and plumbing issues. If the water spots darken and/or spread only after it rains, then the damage is most likely the result of a leaky roof. Since water travels and doesn’t necessarily drip straight down, pinpointing exactly where the leak is coming from can be a difficult task. A roofing contractor will be able to track the leak down and recommend a course of action.
Water Marks on Exterior Walls
Water damage on the exterior walls of your home could be a sign that the leaks are coming from the flashing. Flashing or step flashing is the weatherproofing material that is found where the edge of the roof meets a wall. When the flashing is damaged, rusted or loose, gaps can allow water in. As with staining on interior ceilings, after a significant rainfall, check the exterior walls for water marks that have become darker or larger. Because flashings are integrated with part of the roof and an adjacent wall, it would be a job for a roofing professional to repair the damaged pieces.
Granules in the Gutters
If you’ve noticed a lot of roofing tile granules in the gutters or on the ground underneath the downspout, you’re roof could be telling you that it’s getting old. As shingles deteriorate, they “shed” the surface granules, losing the capacity to protect roof tiles from the effects of UV rays. Inspect the roof to see how many shingles are worn and need replacing. If it’s a small area, it could be a weekend DIY project.
Damage to roofing tiles includes:
- cracking – typically occurs because the roofing granules have been washed away, allowing the shingles to become brittle
- curling – when shingles become worn, they can become loose and the corners start to curl
- missing – it’s not just the wind that can make shingles disappear; animals using your roof as a highway can loosen or damage roofing tiles
If shingles become damaged in any way, they comprise your roof’s ability to protect your home, letting water seep in behind the tile. When the moisture doesn’t completely dry, mildew, mold and algae can appear and leaks can form over time.