Anatomy of a Roof

Is your roof showing any warning signs of roof damage; it may be time for a new roof?


1. Ceiling spots –If you notice any discoloration or spots on your ceiling, you should check your crawl space and attic for any water damage. Water damage can be determined by any discoloration or wet spots in the beams and boards that are directly under your roof. Usually damage will be centralized near the problem area so you should be able to patch the leak as long as it has not developed into a more severe problem.

2. Damaged flashing – The flashing reinforces weak areas on your roof like where the chimney sticks out or where two parts of the roof meet in a valley. These areas are notorious for causing leaks especially if they were not properly installed. Check that the flashing on your roof looks even and lays flat. Any areas where there is a tear or buckle can allow water to enter your house.

3. Missing shingles—Many times, missing shingles can be caused by improper installation/fastening, windy weather, or other extreme weather and can often be individually replaced.

4 & 5. Bulking & Curling— Your roof should look very flat and even. Any area that has lifted up or buckled is a target area for leaks to form. There are a number of reasons you may have curling issues including improper fastening/installation, ventilation issues, nails that are too high, lack of back coating and even the under-saturation of the asphalt felt used on your shingles. If you have curling shingles, your roof’s “immune system” is too low and your roof is susceptible to wind or even ice damage.

6. Blistering—Once water has managed to get under your roof, it is very hard to totally get rid of it. Any water that remains for a long period of time can cause blistering on your roof shingles, indicated by small dark spots forming.

7. Algae growth & Stains— Wondering why your roof looks dirty and dingy? You could have an algae problem and if left to its own devices, your algae friend can wreak havoc and actually destroy your roof. Algae is normally dark brown to even black in color.

8. Missing Granules—When a roof is very old the top layer of protective granules tends to slowly wear away. Any obvious bare spots that can form over time are an indicator of the end of the life of your roof. The bare shingles have usually become fragile and brittle over the years and should be replaced before serious damage happens.

9. Rotting—Rotting forming on any part of your house is bad but on your roof it can signify severe problems. Rotting is caused only when an area of your roof remains wet over a period of time. Any water damaged on the surface like rotting can be hiding even more severe problems underneath were water can do damage to rafters and ceilings.