Monday, September 17, 2012

Signs That Your Roof May Need Repair

Roofs are one of the most essential components of a home and provide protection from the weather. Because maintaining a roof is the proactive way to reduce expenses, homeowners can save money when they inspect theirs on a regular basis. Asphalt shingles are one of the most common roofing materials, and there are a few signs of trouble that are easy to spot. Clay tiles, metal panels and rubber are also common residential roofing materials that will need repairs or replacement at some time or another.

Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles are one of the most popular and affordable residential roofing materials. A range of different qualities are on the market, and warranties range from 20 to 40 years. Most homeowners will need to replace their asphalt shingles at one time or another, and there are a few signs to look for. Over time, the granules that are on the surface have a tendency to wear away. Excessive granules are easy to spot in gutters or downspouts and are a sign that a roof replacement is required. In addition, homeowners can look for curled, cracked or stained shingles. These are all signs of repairs, and a professional inspection should determine the particular problems.

Broken Terra Cotta Tiles
Clay, cement and terra cotta tiles are another great choice for residential roofing and are one of the most durable products on the market. Clay requires little in the way of routine maintenance, but single tiles may break. Usually, crack, chipped or broken tiles are easy to see from the ground or a ladder. Because replacing the tiles is a job that requires experience, homeowners should consult a local roofing contractor for assistance.

Interior Stains
Water damage and darkened areas on the home's interior are other signs that a roof needs repairs. Usually, leaks are most common around obstructions such as skylights, chimneys and plumbing pipes. Skylights are usually sealed with silicone and aluminum or metal. Replacing the metal is an extensive job that requires professional equipment and knowledge.

Locating Leaks in an Attic
One way for homeowners to spot leaks and other damages is to look in the attic. Most homes have an open area in the attic, and playing a flashlight along the plywood is an easy way to spot potential leaks. Water has a tendency to run down rafters and trusses, and looking for water stains and darkened spots in these areas is essential. When a roof has a leak, the water usually stains plywood a darker color, and most leaks are easy to trace from the attic.

Homeowners can ensure their roof stays in optimal shape by paying close attention to signs of damage. Asphalt shingles are one of the most common residential roofing materials and are usually backed for at least 20 years. When shingles need to be replaced, they usually crack, curl and lose their granules. Broken clay tiles are another common repair and are usually easy to spot. Keeping an eye for leaks is another preparation tip, and looking in the attic after a rainstorm usually shows any signs of water damage.

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