Your roof protects the rest of your home from water and weather damage year-round. The constant exposure can take a toll on your roofing materials and eventually open up pathways for water to leak into your home and heat to either seep into or out of your attic. In any case, severe roofing wear can cause all sorts of complications, from excessive repair bills to higher monthly utility charges, so you need to know how to identify roofing damage early, before it gets worse.
One of the first and most noticeable signs that your roofing shingles are in dire need of replacement is the presence of a large amount of small black grains in your gutters or spread throughout your yard and garden. These are grains that are rubbed off of your shingles due to age and weather exposure, and while they may seem minor at first, large amounts of them represent a great deal of physical stress to your shingles that can degrade the structural integrity of your roof and cause leaks to develop.
Rusting and Loose Flashing
Flashing refers to the plastic or metal seal that is installed around the base of your roofing vents, chimney, and any other installations that are placed on your roof. Flashing can either be made out of plastic or metal, both of which have differing levels of durability and are affected by water exposure and physical trauma differently. In the case of metal, be sure to watch out for signs of rust and corrosion taking hold, either in the flashing itself or the screws that are holding it in place, to determine when you will need to have it replaced. For plastic flashing, watch for separation from the sides of the installation, or cracks that have developed in the flashing itself, as plastic is much less durable than its metal counterpart.
Sagging or Discoloration
Another clear sign that you may want to get in touch with a roofing repair specialist is if you notice that there are sections of your roof that are visibly colored differently than other parts of your roof, or have sagged or sunken to a lower point than the rest of your roof. Discoloration can point to mold and algae growth on your shingles, or simple sun bleaching, both of which can degrade the strength of the shingles and make a leak much more likely to occur. Sagging, on the other hand, is significantly more serious, and points to leaks that have caused enough water damage within your home to cause the structure of your roof to sag and degrade as a result, which is a much more serious and expensive repair to have fixed.