- Look for large amounts of shingle gravel in the gutters around your roof: lots of gravel in the gutters might warrant close inspection of the surface of the singles themselves to look for patches of little or no gravel cover on the shingles. If there are more then one or two areas where you see the asphalt through the gravel, then most likely it’s time to replace the shingles
- Popped or protruding nails: nails that can be seen or felt as a bump under the overlap area in the shingle are signs that aging has occurred and that the nails that adhere the shingles to the roof have lost there grip. This is another sign of an aging roof in need of repair.
- Inspect for loose or missing flashing around vent pipes and chimneys: Inspect closely around these apertures where they are caulked down. Look for cracks or missing areas in the caulk. Although this may not signal the need for a new roof, it the caulking around these items will need to be replaced at minimum.
- Look for holes or potential holes in the valleys: Most roofs will have either shingled over valleys or possibly tinned or copper covered valleys. Valleys are a particular heavy wear point for a roof. It is where two or more sections of roof converge and drainage from the sections comes together in a central location. Shingle ware can be very high in these areas. Even roofs with galvanized tin or copper flashing covers, are subject to wear. Time will erode the galvanization from the tin, subjecting it to rusting through. Corrosion from air pollutants and acids in different tree saps can corrode the copper flashings until holes appear.
- Check for Rotting at eves and over hangs: Check exposed painted materials with something like a flat bladed screwdriver. If the screwdriver can be pressed into the material more then about half an inch, then the material may be showing early signs of rot. Heavy or extensive rotting should be evident to the eye or touch by the hands, when applying pressure
- Inspect your roof from the inside out: Look into attics and crawl spaces with a flashlight. Look for areas that are moldy or show signs of water staining. These are sure signs that your roof has a problem that needs to be addressed. Also check for proper air flow from side soffit to roof vents. Often soffit vents get covered up when insulation is added. These vents should be clear of obstruction. They are essential in allowing your roof to breathe properly.
If your roof is more then 10 years old, you should have it inspected at least semi-annually. If you don’t feel you can do an adequate inspection yourself, find a trusted roofing contractor to help you. But don’t put it off until you need buckets and mops telling you its time for some