Here at JDT Construction, we’ve spent a lot of time extolling the virtues of good roof upkeep, and in driving home just how critical a roof really is. This is your home’s first and last line of defense against nature’s endless onslaught. Your roof works very hard to deflect UV radiation, to keep your climate control contained, to abate the invasion of pests, and to keep water damage away.
Water damage, by the way, is truly insidious. It can cause your plaster to rot, your ceilings to collapse, and worst of all, for nasty molds (black mold is one that can even kill) to begin to spread throughout your home.
It directly impacts your home’s resale value, your curb appeal, and of course, your insurance costs because of all this. On top of that, if it’s bad enough, your home can be condemned by code enforcement, being classified as unfit for human habitation.
So, yes, we talk a lot about how important your roof is, and for very good reason. However, a problem we’ve noticed is that people are often unsure exactly when it’s time to call a roofing contractor to inspect a roof and address any problems. After all, nobody likes to set off a “false alarm”, as social creatures, we try to not “bother” anyone. This makes people hesitant to go “this looks questionable, I had better call those excellent professionals at JDT”.
We don’t believe it’s ever wrong to call us about your roof, even if it turns out to be fine, but in the spirit of empowering people to confidently do so, we’d like to take a few minutes to educate everyone on very clear-cut things to look for. These things definitely mean it’s time to call us because they are very real problems. The more minor they are when you call, the better because it will save you time and money to resolve them before they get out of hand.
#1 – Water Damage
This one is very severe, as we mentioned a moment ago. Water damage is a sign of greater problems, and as time goes by, it will only get worse as the damage further compromises your roof. Water damage often appears as the dripping leaks portrayed in movies, but that’s not always what happens.
You may notice blotches or spots appearing in your ceiling, on your exterior walls, or on your interior walls. “Wet” smells may begin to make themselves known. These are the dank sorts of mildew and mold smells that we associate with abandoned buildings or areas recently ravaged by natural disasters.
You may also notice frost or condensation in your attic. This is less moisture than other examples, but if moisture like this is getting in, something is wrong that must be immediately addressed!
#2 – Your Roof Sags
Not only is this one a bad sign, but it’s also quite dangerous. If your roof is sagging, it means that the internal support structure itself has been compromised, probably by too much weight from snow and ice in the winter. Tree branches could also cause this (and the sag does not appear until well after the branch is removed). If your roof is sagging like this, it could collapse, and that could absolutely cost lives.
If you see sagging, you can’t wait around, you can’t debate. This must be addressed right away because you could learn a painful lesson at the expense of your family if you don’t. This is a rarer problem with well-built structures, granted. That just means it’s all the more severe and causes for alarm if you actually notice it happening.
#3 – Cooling or Heating Bill Changes
Has your cooling and/or heating bill been going up significantly of late? It’s easy to write this off as things grow more expensive every year, and yes, that does have a hand in it as well. However, if you notice a marked increase in your climate control being worked, it means that you’re losing your heat or air conditioning through some kind of leak or degradation of insulation.
While this can be caused by windows and doors having issues, it’s more often going to be a roof issue. It could be punctured, missing shingles, or gaps forming in seams and joints on your roof. If the financial impact of this isn’t bad enough, this problem will just spread and become water damage and pest intrusions as the roof continues to come apart.
If caught quickly, we can fix these problems pretty quickly and at a minimal cost. If left unaddressed, it can result in your roof needing to be entirely replaced well before its time.
#4 – Loose Nails
This is a sign that your shingles are getting old, more often than not. Other causes for this can be the underlying material expanding, or the nails themselves degrading, though nowadays that’s definitely rare.
Loose nails can contribute to the HVAC issues we touched on a moment ago, as well as water damage, and shingle loss. If you’ve got loose nails, this needs to be fixed before the problem gets worse. Once more, it’s an easy fix for professionals if caught quickly, but becomes costlier and more of a project the longer it’s left unchecked.
#5 – Granule Accumulation
This one is a sign of shingles growing old, plain and simple. If your gutters, downspouts or just nooks and crannies of your roof are showing a buildup of asphalt granules, your shingles are beginning to deteriorate.
It’s a misconception that shingles rated for “nearly a century” actually last that long outside of lab tests. Constant rainy seasons, harsh winters and brutal UV bombardment by the sun in the summer all culminate in your shingles wearing out. They will shed granules, they will crack or warp, they will fade and turn pale over time.
Fortunately, shingles are designed to be easily replaced, and if you catch these as they degrade, you can avoid a massive remediation project.
Don’t wait for these problems to get out of hand, if you even have an inkling that something’s wrong with your roof, fill out our contact form and let us save you a world of grief today!