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Burton Hughes

How to Identify Roof Damage: A Guide for Homeowners


As a homeowner, you need to know how to identify roof damage – whether your home has just weathered a big storm or it’s simply more than a few years old. There are several tried-and-true ways to identify roof damage, so this guide explains each one.

How to Identify Roof Damage

Roof damage can be incredibly obvious – like when a tree has fallen on your roof, water is gushing into your living space or you see a pile of shingles sitting in the front yard.

But other times, it’s more insidious. You might not even know your roof is damaged unless you know just what to look for. Homeowners need to be on the lookout for these symptoms of roof damage, which can help head off a problem before it spirals out of control:

  1. Bald spots
  2. Decay or stains on soffits or fascia
  3. Rusty gutters with leaky seams
  4. Leaning chimneys
  5. Dampness or stains in the attic
  6. Skyrocketing energy bills

Let’s take a closer look at each sign so you can identify roof damage quickly.

#1. Bald spots

If you have asphalt shingles, look out for patches that look bald – that’s where the granules have come off. Because those granules are there to protect every roofing component they cover, seeing bald spots means that if your roof isn’t already damaged, it will be soon.

Related: 3 signs you need roof replacement

#2. Decay or stains on soffits or fascia

Soffits and fascia – the boards that run along the lower edge of your roof (you’ll see them when you stand under the roof edge and look up) and the boards that face out beneath your roof (you’ll see them from the street), respectively – should never be decaying or stained. If they are, it’s a sign that water is building up in the wrong places, and over time, it’ll cause significant roof damage.

#3. Rusty gutters with leaky seams

Water should flow through your gutters like it does through a stream – but if it’s stopping and pooling somewhere, rust can form. Gutters with leaky seams can indicate that debris has built up for too long. Either of these symptoms means that water could be soaking your roofing materials, which can cause structural damage.

#4. Leaning chimneysHow to Identify Roof Damage SQ

Your home’s chimney should stand upright, and the flashing should be in good repair – otherwise, there’s a chance that your home’s roof is damaged. Chimneys settle separately from houses, which does pose inherent risks. Typically, you’ll notice these warning signs from the ground, and if you see them, you should schedule a free roof inspection as soon as possible to head off damage to your roofing materials.

#5. Dampness or stains in the attic

If your roof’s ventilation system is working properly, your attic will be dry. Air should cycle through the attic freely – and when it doesn’t, you may see other symptoms, like:

  • Mold growth
  • Blistered shingles
  • Temperatures inside the attic that are different than the temperatures outdoors
  • Frost on the rafters
  • Ice dams forming on your roof

Related: What you need to know about roof ventilation

#6. Skyrocketing energy bills

A sudden surge in energy costs can be a sign that your roof is damaged. An undamaged roof helps keep your home at a reasonable temperature and lightens the load on your air conditioner and heating system, but if air isn’t flowing properly or there are holes in your roof, your utility bills can rise dramatically.

Do You Need to Learn More About How to Identify Roof Damage?

If you suspect that your roof is damaged – or even if you’re sure it’s not – it’s a good time for a free roof inspection. We’ll send a roofing expert to your home to check out every inch of your roof to make sure it’s in the best possible condition, and if it needs repairs, we’ll be happy to create a plan of action that protects your home.

About Burton Hughes with New View Roofing

Burton Hughes is a senior project manager and roofing specialist for New View Roofing, a family and veteran owned North Texas roofing company. We feature Owens Corning and CertainTeed premium roofing systems and are GAF Master Elite certified contractors, with a complete line of commercial and industrial roofing solutions. We present clients a variety of options and provide free roof inspections and detailed estimates.

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