When your roof is damaged, the problem can get worse quickly if it's not taken care of. The trouble with your roof can lead to structural issues, mold, rotting wood, and leaking, so if you notice any of the following signs, it's time for an immediate inspection.
Curling, Missing, or Damaged Shingles
Shingles are your roof's primary defense against the elements. If any are damaged or missing, your roof is no longer weatherproof, which means it is prone to suffering damage from wind, rain, hail, and other inclement weather.
Sometimes, signs of trouble are subtle. Look for signs of shingles that are no longer lying flush with the rest of the roof. Also, keep an eye out for a sudden increase in shingle granules in your gutters and around your downspouts.
Going onto your roof can be a good way to closely inspect any problem areas, but this can be very dangerous. When in doubt, call for an inspection from a professional.
Wood Warping and Bowing
If any of the wood on or around your roof is starting to change its shape, this is a common sign of water damage. Bowing and warping is when the wood starts to bend because of regular exposure to water. While normally wood is sealed against the elements by a coating or by the roof itself, fading seals or a damaged roof can cause wood to start changing shape.
Bowing and warping is not only a sign of potential weakness from exposure to water but can weaken the rest of your roof structure. If you notice any bowing and warping, have it inspected and repaired immediately.
Sometimes, the signs of damage are a little more obvious. A roof that looks like it is leaning to one side, or that looks like certain sections are caving in, is in serious structural trouble.
This can start to happen for a few reasons, most of which come back to the structure of the roof weakening somewhere. The wood itself may be weakening or be damaged due to water or pest infestation, or some component of the roof itself could be failing. A leaning roof can lead to partial or total collapse if not taken care of immediately.
Damp, Moldy, or Rotting Wood
Any wood that suffers constant exposure to water needs urgent attention, both because the wood itself may need roofing repair or replacement and because it's often a sign of a leak somewhere that will need to be fixed.
Many of these symptoms can be found in your attic, which can make them harder to find. You may have trouble with water in your attic if you notice stains on your ceiling or walls, or if you smell a musty odor that won't go away, which can indicate mold.
Even if the outside of your roof looks fine, make sure to inspect your attic to check for signs of woot rot, heavy moisture, and mold.