What Damage to Look for on an Asphalt-Shingle Roof

A slow leak in a roof may never cause enough damage to show up on the inside of your home. A drip of water may run for a few feet down a roof joist before it is absorbed into the wood. You might not even realize you have a problem until you go into your attic and smell or see signs of rot, or you might see that your roof decking is sagging between the joists. In any case, it is better to catch damage early so you don't have to pay for repairs later. Here's what to look for:

Flashing Foibles

Flashing is a strip of metal placed along the edges of any structures that protrude from your roof and should also be found in valleys where two sections of roof come together. As you inspect your flashing, look for rust spots, sections that have pulled away from the surface they were attached to, and/or any areas of the caulking that have started to crack and separate. If you find rust spots, replace the flashing. If you find areas that have pulled away, reseat the nails. If you find damage to the caulking, buy a new tube of roofing caulk and place a new bead along the top of the flashing. 

Bruises and Bullseyes

Large hailstones can damage shingles in two ways:

1. They can scrape the protective granules off the shingles and smash the tar below. This smashing primes shingles to spring leaks. As the UV rays of the sun beat down on the shingles, it can cause the already damaged shingles to crack.

2. Hailstones can also punch a hole clear through a shingle. When this happens, the damage will look like a bullseye-shaped crack. 

In either case, you will want to replace any shingles that are damaged in this way. 

Wind Damage

A strong wind can catch the bottom edge of a shingle and rip it off your roof. A missing shingle is the easiest type of damage to spot, and if you have a good view of your house from ground level, you should not have to climb up onto your roof to find signs of damage.

There is no reliable, durable way to repair an asphalt shingle. Thus, whenever you find damage to a shingle, you should replace it. To make life easier, you should have a stack of shingles around that you can use to make repairs whenever you find signs of damage. On the other hand, if you are worried that you might be missing something, can't access your roof, or don't have time to make your own repairs, you can always call in the professionals to make repairs for you. Contact a representative from a company like HomeTowne Roofing to get started.