1. Stains – Discoloration and stains on the attic or interior ceilings and walls is one warning sign that a home’s roofing system may need replacement. The stains may be from water, mold or mildew and may represent shingle underlayment that is faulty or inadequate. Another possibility is poor ventilation.
2. Wetness – If the attic ceiling is wet after an episode of wind-driven rain, this may be a sign of leakage. One possible cause is poor underlayment of shingles, which allows water to infiltrate the roofing system. Another possibility is deterioration of flashing.
3. Dirty – While standing on the street and looking at the roof exterior, if it looks dirty, it needs to be replaced. Look for algae, moss and other types of vegetation visibly present on the surface. There may be dark stains caused by environmental pollutants such as acid rain or airplane fuel. The shingles may have a bald appearance due to granule loss from age.
4. Decay – Sometimes the exterior portion of the siding and/or sheathing may be deteriorating. Decay may be caused by poor ventilation in the attic. One or more areas may have a crumbling or cracking appearance.
5. Blisters – When the paint on a home’s exterior or interior is blistered, this is a symptom that it may be time to replace the roof. Paint blister are often caused by excessive heat in the home’s attic due to lack of adequate ventilation. When the air is unable to circulate as needed, it becomes very hot and humid. This causes the paint to bubble and blister. A new roof may remedy this issue.
6. Leakage – If there are leaks inside the attic after a thick layer of ice builds up on the roof, this may be a symptom of trouble. Shingles and/or underlayment may be inadequate, allowing the melted ice water to penetrate the roofing system.
7. Shingles Missing – When the roof is viewed from the exterior, the shingles should be examined. If they are missing, cracked or curled, this is a possible sign of trouble. This is a good time to find out how old the shingles are and determine whether they have reached the end of their useful life.
8. Energy Bills – When a home’s energy bills begin to climb without the utility rate increasing, it is wise to consider the reasons. The attic may have poor ventilation, which may, in turn, cause the home’s heating and cooling systems to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the home.