Very few people will ignore major roof leaks for a long time. A leaking roof is far more than an annoyance, and substantial leaks will quickly cause damage to everything from your drywall to your home's hidden structural members. If your roof seems to be spring leaks with frightening regularity, that's probably a good indication that you need a replacement.
However, replacing a roof before it leaks is often the best approach. Replacing a roof during the early stages of failure can help you avoid frustrating and damaging leaks and potentially even help save you money on the replacement by preventing damage to the decking. Instead of waiting until water starts dripping on your head, watch for these three critical and easy-to-overlook signs of failure.
1. Dark Spots
Dark spots are easy to overlook, but they're also one of the signs of failure that may be more visible from the ground. Your roofing system's primary job is to shed water away from your roof and into your gutters. The design of your roof (and its exposure to direct sunlight) means it shouldn't stay wet for long, even after a pouring rainstorm.
Dark spots may indicate water seeping below your home's shingles and soaking the lower layers, which typically won't dry as quickly or easily. Large dark spots may be a warning sign that your roof is already failing in a major way. If you can see these areas on your roof, you should contact a roofing contractor as soon as possible to investigate the problem and determine if your roof may be failing.
2. Excessive Moss or Algae Growth
Like dark spots, excessive moss and algae growth may indicate your roof isn't draining correctly. These organisms require moisture to thrive, so they shouldn't take hold on a dry roof. However, you should consider where you're seeing the most growth. Are you primarily noticing moss and algae growing on parts of your roof with significant shade coverage? If so, you may not have a problem.
On the other hand, growth on parts of your roof in direct sunlight should be relatively rare. If you're seeing moss growing across these areas, you almost certainly have excessive moisture issues. A roofing contractor can investigate the problem and determine if it's a sign of a more serious failure with your home's roof.
Blistering can often be hard to spot from the ground, and many homeowners may mistake this problem for hail damage. Like hail damage, blisters typically appear as small dark spots scattered across your roof. However, blistering is much different from a hail impact. Where hail causes damage from above, blisters form as trapped moisture expands from inside your shingles.
Poor ventilation is one common cause of blistering, which may worsen as your roof ages. Significant blistering can weaken your shingles and make them more prone to failure. If you see many blisters forming across an older roof, it may be a good indication that you'll need to replace your roof soon.
Contact a local roofing company for more info.