12 Signs your home needs roof repair immediately
- By: Ashley Saunders
- January 2021
Don’t wait for the sky to fall to address your list of roof repairs. As prevention is always better than cure, you should look out for the common signs that your roof requires some attention.
It’s work keeping your roof in good shape for many reasons. Firstly, a good roof will protect you and your possessions from the wind and rain. It’ll also help you to stay warm and reduce your heating bills.
So, whether you can spot a loose tile, staining on interior walls or feel a draught emanating from your attic, here are some roof repair signs to watch for that require you to take action.
It’s always worth trying to sort small problems are they arise. If you don’t, you might end up with the great expense of paying a professional roofer to solve an even larger issue.
Roof material lifespan
As each roofing materials have a different lifespan, it’s worth bearing this in mind when considering what roof repairs to make. You could find your roofing material has exceeded it’s lifespan and needs completely replacing.
Here are the typical life expectancies of the major roofing materials:
- Asphalt shingles: 20 years
- Architectural shingles: 30 years
- Wood shingles: 30 to 40 years
- Wood shakes: 20 to 40 years
- Clay tile: 50 years or longer
- Metal: 70 years
- Slate: 100 years or longer
#1 Shingles that are curled, cracked, or absent
Having curled, cracked or absent shingles are classic signs that they are nearing the end of their lifespan and need replacing. If you start to see an increasing number of these types of shingles, then you should consider getting your roof replaced.
#2 Shingles are dark, dirty, or even wet
Shingles that are dark, dirty or wet are trapping moisture and so aren’t functioning as desired. You should investigate the problem starting higher up as water runs down. You’ll find as part of your roof repair that the wetness isn’t always right under the offending shingle.
#3 Your gutters are full of shingle granules
When cleaning your gutters, if you can spot a lot of black looking sand, then your composite or asphalt shingles are starting to wear out. You’ll need to investigate the roof to find which shingles need replacing or if the whole roof needs completely new tiles.
#4 Wear and tear around roof objects and openings
Looking for signs of wear and tear on around objects and openings on a roof can be tricky. However, it’s worth regularly looking for anything that penetrates your roof including chimneys, vents, and pipes.
If you can spot signs of deterioration early, then you might be able to fix these specific areas and won’t need to re-roof. Leave it too long and it could have a knock-on effects to another part of the roof.
#5 Blistering or peeling exterior paint
In a poorly ventilated attic, moisture or increased humidity can build up near the roofline, which can cause paint to peel or blister. This could also be an issue with your guttering, so it’s worth starting there.
#6 Leaks in the attic after heavy rains
The presence of any rainwater in your attic should concern you, especially after heavy rain. You might be lucky and only need to replace some flashing. However, you could have a problem in your underlay, which means you’ll probably need a roof replacement.
#7 Light pours into the attic
If you’re up in the attic during the day and you can see streams of light coming in, it’s worth realising that water can also breach your roof and pour into your attic through those same openings. So, you’ll need to check each shingle to see if it needs replacing.
#8 Sagging roof rafters
If you notice the rafters in your attic are sagging downward instead of remaining straight, then they may be retaining moisture from the roof. If it’s localised, you may be able to avoid a complete roof replacement.
#9 Stains on interior ceilings or walls
While water stains, mould or discolouration on walls or ceilings are caused by many different things, it can be a sign of an issue with your roof. For example, an issue with your roof’s underlay can allow moisture into, leading stains. The only cure is to replace your roof.
#10 Mould growing on your roof
Under the right conditions, several organisms can grow on your roof and may have serious consequences. Below are the four most common. All occur in damp environments, and poor drainage will help them grow faster.
This black and green organism will eat away at your shingles, eventually causing your roof to rot. Moisture on shingles allows spores to nest and spread into algae. Also, it’s common to find algae in gutters as water can stay there.
You might be able to remove with a deep clean, otherwise you’ll need to full replace.
Easily indefinable, moss is considered by many to be an attractive feature on a roof. However, moss can also be detrimental as when it spreads, it increases the amount of moisture, which can cause wood to rot. You should be able to remove any moss with a deep clean.
Unlike moss or algae, which are quite harmless, mould can cause health issue. Thankfully, it’s easy to identify due to is repugnant odour and slimy appearance. Mould commonly develops on surfaces that can absorb water, such as wood and drywall.
You might be able to remove with a deep clean if caught early, otherwise you’ll need to full replace.
Found on wet surfaces, mildew is a cancerous growth, which has a powdery appearance and can be harmful to your health. Mildew is likely to grow in damp, warm environments, as well as on roofs with poor drainage and spreads faster than other types of harmful growths.
If you catch mildew early, you might be able to remove with a deep clean. Otherwise you’ll need to full replace.
#11 Higher energy bills
If you suddenly feel colder and see your energy bills rise, then you might have a leaking roof. And while most homeowners focus on insulating their doors and windows to reduce heating bills, the roof is often the culprit.
A poorly insulated roof allows air to circulate more easily, leading to exorbitant energy bills, especially during the coldest months. Thankfully, you can apply for a Green Homes Grants. This government-backed scheme will cover some of the cost (up to £5,000) of adding insulation to your roof.
#12 Roof repairs when seriously damaged
You’ll need to complete roof repairs if there’s a heavy storm and tiles slip, a tree falls on your property, or a fire damages your roof. Sadly, in all of these cases, you’ll need to get a professional to inspect.
Also, you might need to hire a professional roofer to carry out a roof repair after a hail storm as this can easily damage your roof. The damage is likely limited to a small area, which can either be repaired or replaced.