It doesn’t matter if a property is situated in sunny Arizona or wintry Alaska. Unless its roof is in good condition, that building is going to face serious problems.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” We’re grateful to Benjamin Franklin for coining the best advice any property owner or manager can know. If you’re vigilant, you can notice several signs that you need help from a roofing repair company before your roof problem becomes much more expensive to address. Here are the things any homeowner or property manager should stay on the lookout for!

Cracked, Curling, and Missing Shingles

Asphalt shingles can become damaged for a number of reasons. A shingle will crack after prolonged exposure to the elements has evaporated the volatiles that keep it supple and waterproof. A projectile such as a hailstone can also strike a shingle with sufficient force to crack it.

Shingles often curl after their underlying decking has become sufficiently saturated with moisture. Inadequate attic ventilation and incorrect installation can also cause shingles to become deformed. So too can old age. Asphalt shingles typically last for 15 to 30 years before they exhibit signs that they’re in need of replacement.

Strong winds are the most common culprit when shingles are missing altogether. But regardless of the kind of damage you observe in your shingles, your options stay the same: arrange repairs now, or pay for more expensive repairs later.

Detached Shingle Granules

The exterior of an asphalt shingle is coated with a layer of coarse granules. Although they do shield the roof’s sensitive asphalt and fiberglass mat layers against hail, rain and ultraviolet light, granules aren’t immune to those sources of damage themselves. Given enough time and exposure to the elements, a shingle’s granules will inevitably slough off.

Granules are commonly made of minerals and ceramic, which means they are relatively heavy for their size. As such they typically accumulate in gutters and the areas immediately surrounding downspouts. If you notice a significant number of granules in either of those locations, you are seeing solid proof that your shingles are no longer capable of protecting your property against the elements.

Sagging Roof

If your roof is sagging, then it isn’t necessarily at immediate risk of collapsing. But because a sagging roof’s decking is badly distorted, it is no longer able to prevent moisture from seeping into the underlying property. Likewise, a roof also has compromised decking when it feels bouncy or spongy to the touch.

Damaged Flashing

A roof’s flashing is designed to divert rainwater and meltwater away from its valleys, skylights, chimney, and other sensitive areas that butt up against the shingles. Flashing is made of metal, which quite naturally makes it vulnerable to corrosion. When it becomes rusted or deformed, flashing is no longer effective at preventing moisture from accessing the interior of the property. Black mold colonization and insulation damage are both common outcomes of worn out flashing!

Moisture Damaged Interior Walls

When a roof is no longer effectively repelling moisture, the interior walls often tell the story. When walls become stained, mold growth is the likely culprit. Mold cannot grow without moisture. When it does grow, it is receiving its necessary supply of moisture from excessive humidity, a failing foundation, leaky plumbing, or permeable siding or roofing.

Peeling paint and wallpaper also indicate that excessive moisture is accessing the interior of the property. Paint and wallpaper aren’t able to continue adhering to damp wood or plaster, which is why either will peel off when the roof above them is failing.

Musty Odors

Sometimes mold isn’t immediately obvious to the naked eye, but it can still make its presence apparent by emitting a strong, musty odor. In addition to the spores it needs for reproduction, mold also produces microbial volatile organic compounds (MVOCs). These include mycotoxins, which can smell like rot, acetone, camphor, urine, exhaust, smoke, and a number of other unpleasant things. 

When you detect a musty and otherwise inexplicable odor inside your property, it could indicate that your roof is feeding moisture to mold. In addition to several health problems, mold can gradually eat away at the walls and ceilings until they’re no longer capable of supporting their own weight!

Roof Colonizers

Moss. Mold. Mushrooms. The three M’s are all hardy enough to grow on asphalt shingles. This wouldn’t be as great a problem if not for those organisms’ roots (or hyphae, which are similar branching filaments grown by fungi). If you notice anything living on your roof, it indicates that the shingles are already absorptive and sustaining additional damage with each passing day.

NIJAC Roofing & Insulation has served the greater Sioux Falls, SD area, the entire Midwest and the continental United States for all their home roofing, silo roofing, flat roofing and metal roof coating needs for several decades. We’re standing by to make certain your residential, commercial, industrial or agricultural building is fully protected against the worst weather. Please contact us today to learn more about our wide range of services!