Many things can cause roof damage – years of sun exposure, wind, rain, hail, overgrown trees, and even moss or lichen. Sometimes roof damage is obvious; sometimes it’s not. Whatever the case, it’s important for homeowners to have roofs inspected regularly. If some problems are caught early, they can be repaired. If certain kinds of damage become too advanced and widespread, it may be time for a roof replacement.
Perhaps the most obvious signs of roof damage are missing or flawed shingles. You might see shingles that have curled up, or ones that have dents or cracks. Age, sun exposure and wind are common culprits of curling. Usually the sealant underneath a curled or lifted shingle has separated from the shingle or the surface underneath. Some shingles can be repaired, but often they simply need to be replaced. If nothing is done, the chance of a leak is high; it’s also possible that a leak has already formed and is getting worse.
If left alone, water leaks can develop and cause irreparable damage, sometimes so badly that a roof replacement is the only fix. Water leaks can come from shingles, but they often come from places where flashing has separated from roofing materials. Flashing is typically composed of pieces of sheet metal that have been attached and sealed to an object projecting from the roof, such as a vent pipe, dormer window or chimney. It is meant to keep water from entering the roof at seams and joints. Flashing, if not properly installed or if damaged by age or weather, can be the source of leaks and lead to considerable water damage.
Fascia, the surface (sometimes decorative) on the edging of the roof, is meant to protect the roof. It can crack or rot, depending on the type of material from which it’s made. If fascia is showing signs of damage, then your roof could be suffering.
Homeowners should consult a professional for a roof inspection, even if damage is not immediately evident. A professional roofing company can help you determine if either roof repair or roof replacement is the best option for your home.