You Should Be Looking Up More Often: Simple Ways to Check Your Roof for Damage

For many homeowners, the first indication of a roof problem is a leaking ceiling. In this article, learn how to spot the signs of a worn or damaged roof before it causes extensive – and expensive – water damage to your home.

Detect Roof Leaks Early

To avoid expensive water damage, you need to be alert to the early signs of a leaking room. Signs of a roof leak include:

  • Dark spots on ceilings
  • Damp spots around fireplaces
  • Peeling paint on the roof trim
  • Water stains on furnace venting

Roof Repair or Roof Replacement?

With a new asphalt roof costing an average of $7,600, you want to be absolutely sure if you need a replacement. Here are some important points to consider:

Roof Age

How old is the existing roof? Most asphalt shingle roofs last 20 to 25 years before needing to be replaced. If your current roof only has one layer of shingles, and is properly ventilated, a roof repair may solve your problem. If your roof was installed over old layers of shingles and is older than 20 years, you’ll probably need a new roof.

Missing, Curling, and Buckling Shingles

Curling, buckling, and missing shingles are surefire signs that your roof needs replacing. Other signs are inconsistent color and granule loss. If your gutters are loaded with granules from your shingles, you need a roof replacement.


Large patches of moss or lichen on the rooftop can cause your roof to decay from the underside. To clear moss, spread moss killer on the affected areas. Wait three hours, then sweep away dead moss. Be sure to clear your gutters afterward. Consider hiring a professional roofing company to clear moss regularly.



Missing or damaged shingles in the valley area of the roof – where rain and snow flows down into the gutters – can lead to roof leaks. If shingles in this area are missing or falling apart, your roof will definitely need to be replaced. The granules on shingles protect the roof and shield it from ultraviolet rays.

Tips for Repairing a Roof

If you’ve gone through the above checklist and haven’t spotted any obvious damage, you may not need to replace your roof. Try these simple fixes for roof problems before calling a professional.

  • Replace loose, missing, or damaged shingles
  • Hammer raised nails back into place.
  • Replace rested or deteriorating vent boots and flashing
  • Use caulk to seal the metal and vinyl flashing around your attic vents, chimneys, and skylights.

Call in a Pro

If you’ve exhausted the above list and still can’t find a solution to your roofing problem, it’s time to call a professional roofing company. While you can try to save money doing your own roof repairs, you should trust major jobs to a bonded, insured company like Ferguson Roofing. Visit Ferguson Roofing for more information.

Most common roofing problems can be fixed for under $500, and you can rest easy knowing the workmanship is guaranteed. A few common roofing problems that can be repaired inexpensively are:

  • Broken or missing shingles – $100 to $150
  • Replacement of flashing around attic vents and skylights – $300 to $500
  • Valley flash replacement – $15 – $25 (per running foot)

Several factors determine the cost of a roof repair. Roofing material costs vary depending on whether your roof is sloped, flat, shingled, metal, or high- or low-pitch. The presence of a skylight or chimney can also increase the cost of the repair. Some roofing materials require more labor than others. Asphalt shingles are generally the least expensive option, while a metal roof repair or installation tends to be the most costly.

Consider Replacing Your Roof

Despite your best maintenance and repair efforts, you’ll eventually have to replace your roof. If your asphalt roof is more than 15 years old and showing signs of damage, consider a replacement instead of a repair.

According to The National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Remodeling Impact Report, homeowners get a 105% return on their roof replacement when they decide to sell the home. In fact, roof replacement is the only home renovation project listed in the report that returns more than the initial investment.

Homeowners who were polled for the  2015 Remodeling Impact Report responded that they were very happy – 9.7 on a “Joy Scale” of 10 – with their roof purchase.

Get a professional assessment before deciding whether to repair or replace your roof. A specialized roof inspector will cost you about $175, but many professional roofing companies will inspect your roof free of charge. Call up a few companies, get assessments done, and then compare bids for the repair work.

Robert Hutchinson is a keen DIY’er who has recently stepped into the buy-to-let game, taking on the basic renovation tasks himself to get homes up to standard. When he doesn’t have a project on the go you’ll find him in front of the computer writing for property, DIY and decor blogs.


Tags: roof damage, roof repair

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