As a new homeowner, learning how to recognize shingle damage on your roof is important. If you overlook the early signs of damage, you'll risk roof leaks and water damage in the house. Since many new homeowners are unfamiliar with those warning signs, it's in your best interest to educate yourself about it. Here's a look at some of the things you should know as you evaluate the condition of your home's shingle roof for the first time.
Roofing shingles should always lay flat on the roof. You shouldn't be able to see any edges lifting or curling when you look at them. When the edges of your shingles start to curl up, that's an indication that the shingles themselves are aging. As shingles get older, they start to dry out. Exposure to heat and sunlight can also lead to curling. This leaves the shingles vulnerable to uplift from heavy winds, which can cost you lost shingles during storms. In addition, that curling can make them rigid, which can cause them to break or chip.
Asphalt shingles are covered in a layer of protective granules that help to keep the shingle from suffering damage from ultraviolet rays and the elements. Over time, heavy rains and poor downspout placement can flush those granules away, leaving the base of the shingles exposed to the elements. This can accelerate the aging process, causing the shingles to break down sooner.
Over time, shingles that are old, poorly installed or heavily damaged by weather can end up buckling. You can spot buckled shingles because you'll see visible waves and distortions in the shingles when you look up the slope of your roof. If they buckle, that leaves them susceptible to high winds, which can pull them off your roof.
The areas around your skylights, chimney and eaves are covered with flashings. The flashings help to seal the area, but they can lift and separate as a result of the expansion and contraction of the roofing material. When the flashing lifts, it allows water to seep underneath. If you see the edges starting to come up, that's an indication that you need to have it repaired or replaced.
With these tips, you can evaluate the condition of your home's roof with confidence. If you're not sure about anything that you see, the best thing to do is call a roofer or a home renovation specialist to help you.