Your roof is the number one defense in protecting you and your family from the weather's elements. Most homeowner's do not pick up on issues until they are causing problems on the inside of their home. A roof leak can be one of the most annoying issues to deal with, because as a homeowner you have no idea what is causing the issue.
Most people do not really have a good understanding of what their shingles look like, until they find them on the ground. Having regular roof inspections performed, usually in spring and fall, can pick up on small issues before they become an indoor problem. One indication of an issue would be if you notice shingle granules in your gutters or downspouts, although we don't condone climbing up on a ladder and checking on this yourself, you can check the downspouts and see if anything is noticeable in the rain water that is coming from your gutters. Shingle granules are made to protect your shingles from drying out and cracking due to the sun's UV rays. Once the granules have been removed from the shingle your asphalt in the shingle is susceptible to cracking. Dried out or cracked shingles can break off if we experience high wind speeds, making your roof susceptible to leaking. Today shingles are rated any where from 110 mph right on up to 130 mph, which in Pittsburgh we shouldn't have to worry about.
Another visual shingle problem is if your shingles look curled or wavy, this could indicate that your attic does not have proper ventilation. Ventilation is crucial in ensuring you get the full life expectancy of your shingle. Vents on a properly installed roof are placed at the ridge (ridge vent) and under the eaves (soffit panels) of the roof. Having proper ventilation regulates the air and moisture levels in your attic. Ice dams can also be an issue related to improper ventilation, another reason ice dams could occur is due to improper insulation. If you are experiencing either, you should hire a professional to assess your ventilation options. Flashing issues can also cause indoor damage to your home. Flashing is located around chimneys, skylights, and vent pipes are some of our most common repairs. Usually if you go with the "cheap" option these contractors aren't the greatest at replacing the flashing. So one of two things occur, they don't replace the old flashing or they try their best and it doesn't work out that well. Moisture can build up under your shingles if your flashing is damaged or missing, causing unsightly spots on your ceilings or walls. If you are having any of these issues with you roof, it is better to be safe than sorry, and call a professional to have the roof inspected.
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