Do I Need a New Roof?
How do you know if your roof needs repairing or replacement? Don't wait until you feel drips on your forehead or smell mildew in the attic before inspecting your roof. Simple indoor and outdoor inspections can help you detect problems before they reach a critical stage.
INDOOR ROOF INSPECTION
- Look for sagging decking between the rafters.
- Look for dark spots in the ceiling and around vents and chimneys. Test to determine whether any of the spots you find are wet and soft, which means they're new and need repairing, or dry and hard, which means they're old and have probably already been taken care of.
- Look for sagging ceilings to distinguish between active leaks or possibly collected condensation due to poor ventilation.
- Ceiling stains, flaking paint and plaster, peeling wallpaper, and discoloration where the wall and ceiling join are all warning signs of future roofing problems.
OUTDOOR ROOF INSPECTION
- Look for loose or exposed nails, as these indicate open holes that can lead to leaks.
- Look for damaged, loose, or missing shingles or tiles, especially at the ridge and hip lines.
- If you have asphalt shingles, check your rain gutters for large amounts of granules, as this could mean the granular coating of your roof needs replacing.
- Look for dark patches on your slate roof to rule out mould growth. If dark patches are found, check the interior of your home for discolored drywall or similar evidence of a leak. Then call an inspector or contractor.
- Check the rain gutters for excess water pools near the foundation of your house.
- If blisters in the coating of a flat roof are detected, pop the blisters with a knife and patch them with roofing cement to prevent further damage.
- Look for rusty metal (flashing) and/or loose shingles in the valleys, near any chimneys, and where a vertical side of the house meets the roof.
- Make sure there isn't a lot of leaf debris in the valleys, plumbing vents, or near the chimneys, as this can cause eventual problems with your roof.
- Make sure there are no depressions near the vent pipe of a flat roof. If any are found, fill them with roofing cement.
- On a flat roof, look for separations in the flashing and look for clogged drains.