Every homeowner needs to understand the importance of having a good, reliable roof. It protects your home from the elements, keeps you warm at night, and protects your family from falling debris. It’s important to keep an eye on your roof and check it regularly for any signs of damage. During my nearly two decades in the roofing industry at Overson Roofing here are a few of the key signs to look for when it comes to roof damage that will help you avoid costly repairs in the future.

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The most obvious warning sign you have roof damage are leaks. Understand that just because you have a leaky roof doesn’t mean you need a full roof replacement. Often leaks occur due to shingle, tile and underlayment damage. A professional roofer can fix these issues by replacing the materials and any damage around the area.

Other common causes of leaky roofs include storm damage and outdated roofing materials. Unfortunately, you won’t know the solution to your leaky roof until after a full inspection by a professional. If you notice leaks in your roof, contact a professional roofer immediately for an inspection. Seek out multiple roofers to get different opinions so you can choose the best repair solution for your home.

Sagging ceiling

A sagging ceiling may not seem like a big issue at first, but it can be a sign a leak in the roof is causing moisture build up in the ceiling. If you have a sagging ceiling check it by touching it with your hand. If it feels soft or feels like wet cardboard, the most likely issue is moisture build up. Never ignore sagging ceilings. Once you notice a sagging ceiling contact a professional roofer to get an opinion and get the area repaired as soon as possible to prevent costly repairs.

Dark streaks

Stains and dark streaks on the ceiling are an indication of moisture build up due to a leak in the roof. The moisture from roof leaks can also seep into walls leaving stains. You may not notice actual dripping leaks, but dark stains growing on the walls indicates water is getting through the roofing material and into the home. If you notice stains on the ceiling or walls, contact a roofer immediately as the moisture build up can lead to large repair costs if left unattended.

Dated roof

Most modern roofs last for decades. Depending on the roofing material roofs last for different periods of time before needing a replacement. For instance, most homes in Arizona have either asphalt shingle or clay tile roofing. Asphalt shingle roofs last between 20 and 30 years whereas clay tile last 50 years and longer. When buying a home always ask about the age of the roof. Being prepared beforehand can help keep damage from occurring in the future.

Missing or broken tile/shingles

Missing tiles and shingles are a concern for any homeowner because once the material flies off during a storm or gets blown away during high winds the underlayment becomes exposed. Once exposed, the underlayment is prone to moisture build-up that can seep into the home. Check your roof periodically, once every three months, and after storms to check for missing roofing material. If you notice any damaged tiles or shingles, contact a professional roofer for repair.

If your roof is getting old or you have seen any of these signs of damage it is important to contact a licensed roofer as soon as possible to get it fixed. The longer you wait the more damage can take place resulting in higher costs of repair or even replacement.

Author: Pat Overson is the owner of Overson Roofing in Mesa. Overson Roofing has served its clientele with respect and professionalism for more than 30 years. The company won the Better Business Bureau Blue Torch Award for ethics in 2016.