The roof is a strategic component in a building's envelope.
A roof’s longevity and its ability to remain waterproof will be increased if it is properly maintained. The following checklist can help evaluate the condition of a roof in order to increase the service life of your roof system.
Condition of the roof: Measure and inspect the surface to make a list of required minor repairs. It may be necessary to add some repair compound around any openings such as the chimney. Repair or replace aged or damaged shingles, remove debris from the roof area, clean out the gutters, etc.
The following will help you identify the potential for roof failure.Â If your roof is more than 15 years old and shows any of these warning signs, you may already have a problem.
The protective granular surface of shingles wears off as the asphalt, into which the granules are embedded, begins to harden over time. Bare spots are often accompanied by fine fissures on the shingles’ surface and by the accumulation of granules in the gutters.
The upward curling of shingle tabs makes them highly susceptible to wind and ice damage. This is a problem on older roofs where moisture build-up in the attic affects the underside of the shingle. Rotting is caused by absorption of moisture by the mat. It is a common problem with organic-based shingles.
Damage can be caused by extreme wind conditions and snow removal. Since shingles are supposed to shed water, broken, torn or missing tabs become obvious entry points for water, especially on low slope roofs where run-off is slower and at the peaks of the roof where shingles are the most vulnerable to high winds.
This is the curling under of the shingle tab’s bottom edge and is part of the normal aging process of shingles. The bulge created is susceptible to substantial damage by wind action, hail and ice.
Buckling is a visible distortion or waviness in the horizontal lines of shingles, and usually runs in a straight line up the roof slope. Shingle tabs become exposed to wind and can be torn off. Very often, the problem is warping in the roof deck caused by poor attic ventilation. The use of thinner-than-recommended plywood and other non-plywood materials adds to the problem.
Many problems occur at the flashings around vents, plumbing stacks, chimneys and vertical wall joints. Is the flashing cracked? Is the caulking around the flashing dried out? Are the shingles that lie over the flashing in good shape?