Your roof keeps your home protected from the elements. Keeping up with maintenance also saves you from needing costly improvements. Therefore, you want to make sure it’s in top shape. However, identifying the signs your roof shingles need repair can be tricky if you lack experience.

Fortunately, we have you covered in the case of cracked or missing shingles. Here are some roof repair signs you should pay attention to — so you know when to contact a reputable roofing professional.

1. Curled or Cracked Shingles

This may seem obvious, but it’s the number one sign your roof shingles need repair. After all, when your shingles are broken, this is a typical sign they need replacing.

This is because curled or cracked shingles indicate the roof is nearing the end of its lifespan. How long your roof lasts depends on its materials and environmental factors, but you can use a general rule of thumb to plan out long-term replacement plans. For example, wood shingles can last about 30 years.

To check for cracks, walk around the exterior of your house. Take note of any signs of damage and look for missing roofing. Then call a professional contractor to make the repairs. Although, if there are only a few pieces, you can fix the issues yourself. Use roofing sealant to patch up the gaps.

2.  Dark-Colored or Wet Shingles

If your roofing is damp or darkly colored, there may be a sign of a larger roofing issue. If the shingles are trapping moisture, then your roof isn’t functioning properly and can create structural issues, particularly in the case of storms or heavy snow.

Why is trapped moisture such a concern? Keep in mind that water damage can lead to mold growth. Mold can be a health concern and lead to costly repairs. Have your roof professionally inspected twice a year to prevent future damage.

3. Loose Granules

Granules are made from crushed stone and minerals and are found on asphalt shingles. They help to protect your awning from the sun. Over time, your roof can shed some of these granules. They often end up in your gutters. You’ll know them when you see them because they have a coarse, black appearance.

Check your downspouts for signs of loose granules. While this is a normal roof aging process, the presence of loose granules may indicate it’s time for a roof replacement.

Consider how long you have had the roof and the average lifespan of the material. Suppose you need to replace it?

Additionally, heavy storms could lead to granule loss. Therefore, you should examine your roof after any major storm and make sure the shingles are still in good condition.

4. Signs of Wear and Tear Around Roof Openings

Check your chimney, vents, and pipes for signs of damage. These are spots where larger roofing issues may start to develop.

Make sure your chimney has proper flashing. The sections should include both step flashing and counter flashing. If not properly placed, this can cause rotted roof sheathing.

In addition, check your plumbing boot vents. Look at the bases for signs of cracks or broken seams. If you notice any worn-down parts on your roof, repair them immediately.

5. Peeling or Blistering Paint

If your attic has poor ventilation, it can cause moisture to accumulate near the roofline. Then, the paint starts to peel, creating both a cosmetic issue and a sign of a larger need for renovation.

Why does this happen? One reason is that your gutter system might not be working. So, clean out your gutters regularly. At least once a year, use a plastic scoop to remove leaves and debris. When cleaning, use a sturdy, extendable ladder. You may even want to use a ladder stabilizer or have a friend stand by. After you have scooped out all the grime, wash off the gutters with a hose.

Another solution is to tackle the ventilation issue directly. To do so, you may want to add insulation to your attic. It can keep out the humidity in the summer and save you money on your energy bills.

6. Stains on Your Interior Walls or Ceiling

Here’s yet another warning sign that has to do with water leakage. If your roof shingles are worn, you risk letting moisture in, causing wall discoloration.

In this case, it’s best to replace your roofing to prevent further water damage. If not taken care of, water could lead to rotting wood or mold, creating massive structural damage to the frame of your house.

These issues are costly and time-consuming to fix. You may have to spend between $2,000 to $6,000. Plus, the stain isn’t aesthetically pleasing when you have guests over, so there’s really no reason to put off the initial roof repairs.

7. Increased Energy Bills

Suppose you notice a spike in your energy bills? It could indicate that air is leaking from your roof. When the warm or cold air escapes, your furnace has to work harder, causing your expenses to increase. It can also impact the appliance over time. The increased pressure could shorten your heating system’s lifespan, creating an even more dramatic impact on your long-term home finances.

Your roof shingles and roofing system, again, can be culprits here. All our previous advice about regularly inspecting and repairing roofing applies.

However, if you’re looking for additional assistance, don’t forget that adding insulation can help. Insulate your attic, basement, crawlspaces, and walls. There are multiple types of insulation, such as batts or loose-fill. The type you choose depends on the space. For example, spray foam, fiberglass, and foam board work well in basements.

You also want to consider the R-Value of insulation. The R-value is the material’s resistance to conductive heat flow. In general, the higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation. The value depends on factors like the type of insulation and its thickness.

How to Know When Your Roof Shingles Need Repair

Some homeowners might not pay much attention to their roof once it’s installed. However, inspections help catch problems before they lead to expensive repairs. Roof shingles that are cracked, trapping moisture or creating openings lead to a host of long-term home issues including increased energy bills and mold growth.

Next time you’re outside, look for these signs to determine whether your roof shingles need repair or replacement.

Author:  Evelyn Long is the editor-in-chief of Renovated, a home improvement publisher with advice on gardening, decor and DIY projects.

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