The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends you perform an inspection of the roof on your Seattle home 2 times a year-once in the spring and once in the fall. It’s not sufficient to just look at the outside of your house, you need to look at your roof from the inside as that’s where trouble can start and you’ll never know UNTIL you take a better look. Here’s what to look for when determining if your Kirkland, Redmond, Renton, or Medina home needs new asphalt shingles.

Inspect the inside of your home

Stains on the interior walls and/or ceilings are a clear sign as they are more than likely water stains, which means something is leaking-usually your roof. If you have stains in several rooms, that’s a sign of multiple leaks. If you have saggy ceilings, that’s most definitely caused by water damage so you’ll have to make a trip up to the attic (which is where we suggest you go next) so you can track down exactly where the water is coming from.

FYI-It’s common to see leaks in bathrooms because of the vents in the ceiling. High winds can cause damage to the flashing and it pulls away from the vent (located outside on the rooftop) or it can be blown away; in either case, it allows water to leak into your home.

Thoroughly inspect the attic

Get out your flashlight and take a good look at the entire attic-not just a quick peek. If there are dark stains on the underside of the roof deck and/or on the rafters, this usually means your roof is leaking. If you find multiple areas that are stained and show evidence of water damage, that means you should not wait as your roof is leaking from several areas and damage will only become more severe the longer you ignore it. This is why as soon as you detect any sign of leakage you should contact any reliable roofing contractors in Worcester MA that can help you control the overall damage. 

Is the decking between the rafters sagging?

If so, you’ll probably have to have the decking replaced along with the shingles. Decking is usually not replaced when new shingles are put on a home so if you need that done, you’ll have to make sure it’s part of the estimate. At the same time, look for any outside light shining through the roof that’s a huge indication of problems since if light can come through, so can water.

What to look for on the outside

First, look for any shingles that are missing or loose and take note of any that are curled, cracked, buckled, or blistered. Once they have curled, they are not doing any good and need to be replaced. The same goes for buckled shingles as they allow water to get under the shingles and penetrate the roof.

Granules in your gutters?

All asphalt shingles have a granular coating and over time, these granules wear off so take a look in your gutters to see if there are a lot of granules. Helpful hint-the granules look like grains of sand so if you see sand-like material that’s your shingle’s coating wearing off.

The job of the granule coating is to weather-proof your roof and protect it from ultra-violet rays and once they are gone, the shingles can dry out and crack. If you see a lot of dark patches on the shingles, that’s often because the granules have worn off and the shingles are no longer able to repel the water-this is another way leaks can occur and damage your roof.

Is your roof stained with algae or covered in moss?

If you have moss or algae growing on your roof, it does not always mean you need a new roof though it does need to be cleaned as it will shorten the life of your roof. Of course, a lot depends on how long the moss/algae has been on your roof and how large of an area it covers.

Flashing loose or gone?

Your inspection isn’t done yet. Take special care to look around chimneys, vents, pipes or other fixtures, such as skylights, to see if there’s any loose material as sometimes the flashing gets damaged from storms or high winds. FYI-the flashing is the material that is put around vents, chimneys, etc. to seal it from outside elements (rain, wind, snow). During a strong wind storm, the flashing can easily get damaged or even blown away.

Determine the age of your roof

All asphalt shingles are rated for a specific number of years and the most common lifespan is around 20 years so if your roof is older than that, you should probably consider a new roof. If you have a small leak and your shingles are in good condition, having your roof repaired maybe your best option. Make it a part of your spring and fall routine to do an inspection for leaks as well as the condition of your asphalt shingles to avoid extensive damage that can happen when things go unnoticed for a long time.