Roofing 101: Understanding Your Roof Needs

Your roof is constantly expanding, contracting, drying, cracking and deteriorating depending on the elements. Winter weather and high summer temperatures can both take a toll on your roof. It is recommended you inspect your roof twice a year – in the spring and in the fall.

Take a walk around your home’s exterior and inspect the roof for signs of damage, sagging and aging. If possible, use a ladder to get a closer look but avoid climbing on the roof for both safety reasons and to keep from damaging the roof further. Be sure to take notes of all suspicious findings. Key things to look for include:

Moss, algae or heavy leaves.
An extreme accumulation of leaves or moss on your roof can lead to leaks.

Buckled spots or curling shingles.
Buckled and curled shingles occur when hot air from an attic forces the shingles to buckle away from the home. Buckled or curled shingles cannot adequately protect a home from the weather, and they also are signs of inadequate roof ventilation.

Missing, damaged and aging shingles.
Missing shingles expose your roof and home directly to inclement weather. In addition to being unsightly and unpleasant to look at, missing shingles are one of the leading causes of water damage in homes.

Damaged gutters.
Take a look at the gutters and roof overhangs. Look for open joints and signs of rot. This is a great time to clean them.

Granule loss.
Granules add texture to your shingles, so look closely. Are your shingles still textured? Did you notice excessive accumulation of loose granules when inspecting your gutters? Granule loss often occurs to shingles as they age or when they’ve been exposed to extreme weather. When shingles begin to lose their granules, the roof becomes weaker and less capable of protecting a home from future storms.

If you have attic access, the easiest way to inspect for potential problem areas or to track down a leak is to go up there with a flashlight and look for the evidence. Check for signs of mold, discoloration of the wood and dry rot. Finding a problem here and having it fixed will save you a lot of costly repairs later on.

If you do find any of the above issues, we recommend you hire a professional. The risk of serious injury is too high for you to climb on the roof yourself, and the cost of fixing a small issue will be a lot less than an undetected problem or full roof replacement.

American Home Shield is providing the information for general guidance only. Due to the general nature of the property maintenance and improvement advice in this material, neither American Home Shield Corporation, nor its licensed subsidiaries assumes any responsibility for any loss or damage which may be suffered by the use of this information.