Roofs are critical to the functional and aesthetic integrity of your home. A poorly installed, damaged or older roof can lead to leaks and holes that can cause widespread structural damage throughout much of your home. While a massive leak or hole through the ceiling may be obvious warning signs that you may need a new roof, there are subtler issues that can signal a bigger problem.
Alure Home Improvements’ roofing and exterior design expert Mike Serra explained in an interview that there are three warning signs every homeowner should keep an eye out for when it comes to the roof.
1. Missing shingles or tabs
If you look up at your roof and see a few blank spaces where your shingle tabs should be, it might be a sign of a larger problem. While many people think that wind might just whip tabs off of roofs, Serra explained that roofs are built to resist this. When tabs peel up or rip off, it’s a possible sign of failure for the tar sealant that sits underneath the shingles.
When shingles are installed, they’re nailed down in one long strip, then the next row is nailed on top, overlapping it. Serra explained that shingles are put on top of a tar sealing strip to help them stick to the roof and resist damage. Over time the sealing strip can wear away, giving your shingle tabs more mobility. When wind or rain comes, this can cause the shingles to lift up. Lifting or blowing off may lead to water getting in as well. Serra warned that if you find water leaking into your home without a visible problem, it may be a warning sign of worn tar sealing strips. The shingles will lift in storms, the water gets underneath and trickles down the nails and into the house.
2. Black streaks on the roof
Black streaks, stripes or lines on the roof can be a serious sign that you have something growing on your roof. Serra said that streaky black discoloration on your shingles typically either means mold building up on the shingles or airborne algae.
Roofs are made to repel water and protect your home from rain, but as roofs start to deteriorate they can let water underneath the shingles. This creates the moist situation perfect for mold or algae growth. Sometimes you’ll see moss as well. Typically, roofs should dry out on their own between 24 and 48 hours following a storm – longer may lead to a mold problem.
3. Curled shingles
When you spot curling shingles on your roof, it may be time to call your roofing company. Serra said that curling is a sign of aging. Shingles are made of petroleum, and as they get older and dry out, they begin to curl. Serra pointed to improved ventilation in the attic for slowing the drying process. As the attic is ventilated, it keeps cooler and doesn’t heat or dry out the shingles above as quickly.
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