No matter how old your roof is, you should conduct a yearly inspection to make sure your roof is in good shape. Many factors intersect to determine how a roof ages, and in order to make sure that your roof does not begin to form leaks, you need look for signs of damage. In some cases, you can conduct your inspection from the ground level, but you may also need to get up close to roofing components to find damage.
Damaged Asphalt Shingles
Asphalt shingles can be damaged in a number of different ways, and some damage is more obvious than others. When you find a damaged shingle, usually your only option is to replace it. Look for the following:
1. Loose shingles. You can tell that a shingle is not secured to your roof if its bottom edge is not even with other shingles in the same row. This happens because if a nail works lose or the shingle tears around the nail, it will begin to slip down your roof.
2. Curled Shingles. As shingles age, they may start to curl up. If you catch damaged shingles early enough, you can use a torch to make them pliable then stick the bottom edge down with a dab of roofing cement.
3. Missing Shingles. A strong wind can rip shingles off your roof. If you are missing any shingles on your roof, the damage should be obvious.
4. Missing Granules. Asphalt shingles have a coating of protective granules that block the UV light from the sun before it has a chance to damage the shingles. Hail can scrape these granules off. Look for an accumulation of granules in gutters and downspouts.
5. Bruised or Cracked Shingles. Large hailstones can puncture roofing shingles. Damage may look like a dark spot, or bruise, on your shingle or a bulls-eye-shaped crack.
Shingles are not the only part of a roof that can be damaged. You have flashing running along valleys in your roof as well as around the base of chimneys, dormers, and other protrusions. The top of this flashing should have a solid bead of caulk to seal out moisture. To inspect this caulking, you will probably need to climb up to your roof and walk along the dormers. If you find cracks in the caulking or any areas where the caulking has started to separate from the wall, you will need to buy a tube of roofing caulk and make a new bead along the top of the flashing.
If you have damage to your roof that you don't catch, your problem goes from replacing a few damaged shingles to dealing with thousands of dollars worth of water damage, and possibly mold infestations, inside your home. Taking a day once a year to inspect your roof and repair any damage you find will help to keep your roof viable.
For more information, contact a company like T & N Roofing residential roofing.