How do I know if my roof needs repair?

by robbinsroofinginc on March 7, 2012

Buying a home is more than just a purchase—it’s your family’s most important investment. Keeping your home up-to-date and in good condition is a responsibility required of every homeowner. What if your home really needs some help, but there’s nothing obviously wrong? If it’s not actively leaking, how can you even know when your roof requires repairs? A good rule of thumb is to have a trained professional examine your roof at least once every 15 to 20 years. And if you’re not sure when your roof was last checked, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

The simplest, most direct thing you can do is called a visual inspection. Simply put, this means just having a good, long, careful look. What you’re looking for is anything out of the ordinary:

  1. Look closely around all your roof’s edges. It’s important to keep all of those spaces clear. If you have gutters, make sure they’re all clean and open, flowing smoothly and draining properly. Make sure no tree branches, shrubs, vines or other plants have grown over or are in positions where they could fall on the roof or its edges. Growing plants can seriously damage roof tiles and cause cracks, which will of course inevitably leak.
  2. Check your attic. Even if your roof looks good on the outside, you may have leaks around edges or corners that aren’t so obvious. Looking around the high spaces in your attic—especially with a powerful flashlight—allows you to see your roof from the inside. The main thing you’re looking for is water damage: discoloration, soft spots, wet insulation, and especially any indications of mold. Many times, if you can spot problems in the attic, you may catch problems early enough that you can have them repaired before they escalate into serious damage. It’s best to look in the attic during the daytime, checking the roof both with and without your flashlight. When you turn the flashlight off, look for any spots—even tiny ones—where you can see light coming through from the outside. If light can get in, so can water and other elements. (When inspecting during the day, just be aware of the temperature and keep safe; avoid spending prolonged time in the attic during the heat of the day, particularly during summertime.)
  3. Check the inside of your house. Look for any kind of damage, but especially water damage. Telltale signs are discoloration on walls or ceilings (either darker or lighter), in corners, bulges or bubbles in walls, and even misshapen or damaged baseboards or other trim. (Water travels down whatever grooves it can find.) Check around any home features that lead to or connect with the outside, such as fireplaces, skylights and vents.
  4. Have a professional check the surfaces on your roof. A trained roofer can do a thorough inspection of the surface of your roof that you can’t see from the ground. For safety reasons, it’s important that you don’t try and do this your self. Additionally, a trained roofer knows what to look for and will be able to provide a complete analysis of your roof.

Your roof endures the brunt of most weather conditions that affect your home, so it’s more likely to be damaged than most other surfaces. Wind, sun, storms, debris and every kind of condensation—rain, snow, frost, ice—all can cause serious roof damage, especially over time. These weather dangers present even more challenges in places like Oklahoma, where we receive the full spectrum of heat and cold and all the extreme conditions that go along with them, like tornadoes, wind and hail.

Robbins Roofing and Construction has been repairing Oklahoma roofs for more than 60 years. In that time, we’ve seen pretty much everything this state can throw at your home. We’re uniquely qualified to help you care for that most important feature of your family’s most valuable investment.

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