Roofs are one of the most essential components of a home. They protect the structure from wind and rain and also help provide insulation. Most roofing materials are designed to provide decades of protection. Homeowners can rely on a few simple signs that are indicative of serious problems. Sometimes, different parts of a home age faster. This is especially true in the Phoenix, AZ roofing industry. The bright sun may shine directly on one side of a building and eat away at the material. Here are seven signs that a roof needs to be replaced.
1. Dirty or dark looking areas on the roof.
Stains and algae may grow on certain areas of the home, and they can lead to discoloration. Algae causes roofs to look black or darker in certain areas. The algae will eventually eat away at the organic shingle base. Professional roofing companies can inspect homes for algae and remove it before it does damage. Often, local contractors can remove the algae, and the roof may last for several more years. The average asphalt shingle is made for 20 years of service.
2. Missing, curling or cracked shingles.
Asphalt shingles are one of the most common materials in the roofing industry. These are made from a combination of asphalt and fiberglass. The top of the material is covered with granules. The granules add color and texture to the finished product, but they also provide protection from UV rays. When they granules begin to fall of the roof, the sun quickly degrades the roofing material. The bottom edges of some shingles will begin to curl up. Missing tabs or cracked shingles are another sign of problems. Sometimes, the missing shingles may be due to high winds, and professionals can check homes and offer advice about the best course of action.
3. High utility bills.
Today’s home is designed for energy efficiency. Insulation is more efficient, and most structures feature central heating and cooling. Sometimes, warm air can build up in the attic, and this will actually cause the utility bills to rise. Properly installed roofs feature ample ventilation along the ridge and eaves of the home. Insufficient ventilation is a leading cause of premature roof failure. Ice dams occur during the winter, and homeowners may notice icicles extending from their gutters. This is a sure sign of inadequate ventilation. Roofers can check the ventilation and install extra vents. Often, a small repair job can extend a building’s life span by several years.
4. Stains on interior surfaces and mold or mildew growth.
Signs that a roof should be replaced can also be seen on the interior of a building. Discolorations on the drywall, especially in the bathroom can be the symptom of a serious leak or a sign that a roof should be replaced. Homeowners may want to inspect their property on a regular basis to ensure no leaks are present. Crawling in the attic is also recommended. Often, leaks can go undiscovered for years until the damage has compounded. Most professional roofing contractors can inspect homes on a routine basis and fix minor issues as they occur. This reduces the need for expensive repairs later on and ensures the maximum lifespan for a roofing material.
5. Blistering exterior paint.
Exterior paint, especially around the overhangs and gable ends, is a sign that homes have inadequate ventilation. Blistering paint is easy to spot. The sides of the home should be inspected regularly. Bubbles and peeling paint along the gable edge and under the eaves can be indicative of excessive attic heat. It is essential to use ridge vent, attic fans or bathroom exhausts to promote air circulation inside a structure.
6. Attic leaks after driving rains.
During high storms, climbing in the attic can offer insight into the roof conditions. There are several spots to look, and water will often run along rafters towards the bottom of the roof. Exposed attics allow homeowners easy access to the rafters. Shining a flashlight on the rafters and plywood makes it easy to see if there are any dark spots that are due to leaks.
7. Shingle and sheathing decay.
Older homes may experience sheathing decay. This can be easy to spot from the ground. Any areas of the roof that look like they are sagging are a sure sign of major problems. Homeowners can look in the attic, but it can be hard to locate the problem in certain structures.
A phoenix roofing company can help residential and commercial property owners inspect their roofs on a regular basis. This is the proactive approach and ensures that a Phoenix roof lasts for as long as possible. For more information on how to increase the longevity of your roof through regular maintenance, consult this article.