Shelter is one of the basic human needs, and if you’re a homeowner, you know how much work goes into making sure that you’re providing adequate shelter for yourself. The roof on your home is the piece that shelters the rest of your living space, but roofs don’t last forever, and eventually, every roof will need some repair. Do you know how to spot the signs that your roof might need repair? In our last blog, our roofing contractor in Melbourne covered the first three of eight tips that any homeowner can check for, and today, we’ll cover the remaining ones.

4. Look for loose or missing shingles

Loose shingles are a sure sign of needing roof repair. You can experience loose shingles after any storm or windy day, but here in Florida, where we can be subjected to hurricane-force winds from time to time, loose shingles can be a bigger problem than in other areas.

When shingles come loose, water damage to your roof is accelerated. How? Your roof is made of overlapping layers of shingles. Each sheet of shingles is attached with nails in the very top portion of the shingle. These nail holes are then covered up by the next sheet of shingles, meaning that water doesn’t have access to any of the nail holes. However, as soon as any shingle gets loose or comes off entirely, water will have access to the nail holes for the neighboring (downhill) shingle. The nail hole penetrates all the layers: the shingle, the tar paper, and the wood. Now water has access to get through all these layers and start causing damage where it’s the most costly–the plywood that forms the structure of your whole roof. Left unrepaired, this can lead to costly renovations down the road.

To check for loose or missing shingles, stand back at a distance from your house, where you can see the entirety of one side of the roof. Visually scan your roof in a systematic way, looking carefully from left to right at each row of shingles. Not sure if a shingle is loose? Use binoculars, or get creative if you have access to a drone or a GoPro camera attached to remote-control helicopter for a closer look.

5. Look for loose nails

Loose nails cause loose shingles, but sometimes this is a more hidden problem, as all the shingles may be intact, but the nails are loose. This is difficult to see from a distance, but it essentially causes the same risks to your home as loose or missing shingles. We’ve heard of people who go up to their roof after every bad storm and pound a bunch of loose nails in with a hammer, but this is an unsustainable method for two reasons. First, those nails are going back into the same (loose) holes, where they’ll only work their way out again. Second, all that pounding on top of the good part of your shingles will increase the wear and tear on the shingles, meaning that you’ll be more at risk of leaks and water damage with every successive round of this “repair.” If the nails are working loose across your roof, it’s happening for a reason, and it would be good to address the root of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms.

6. Look for sagging or sunken areas

Look carefully at each side of your roof from a vantage point where you can see the whole thing as well as possible. Do you see any sagging or sunken areas? If so, this is a huge problem and indicates that you should call a roofer right away to get an estimate for repairs. Sagging or sunken areas in a roof are a sign that the plywood or wood decking underneath your shingles may be rotting, and by the time that you can visually notice it sagging, the damage is probably already be extensive. In other words, you won’t just need a quick new roof where they lay down new shingles on top of the old ones; you’ll need a tear-off and replacement of the plywood that forms the base of the rest of your roofing materials. The quicker you can notice and address the problem of a sagging or sunken roof, the better, as the longer this problem goes untreated, the more expensive it will probably be. (Tip: If you’re in the market to buy a home and the shingles are new but the roof looks like it’s sagging, the previous homeowner likely put a band-aid on a much deeper problem. Run away!)

7. Look for water leaks

We’ve already covered the need to look for water damage, but if water is actively leaking, you won’t have to look for it–you’ll already know by the puddles that appear on the floor every time it rains. It should be a no-brainer to realize that if it is raining indoors, you need roof repair. Put a bucket under each site where the water is dripping in order to catch the water and prevent the damage from ruining your flooring. Sometimes, water splashes up and out of the bucket since it’s falling from so high up, so you could also put a bath towel or two under each bucket. Once water is leaking in your home, you’ll probably be facing the most extensive repair yet, possibly requiring replacement of even certain rafters, attic flooring material, ceiling drywall in the rooms underneath. You may also have mold that has spread much further afield than just the leak site, such as all up and down the spaces between your attic floor joists and the ceiling material for the rooms below. Even though the repair to your home will probably be expensive if you have active water leaks from your roof, the damage to your health could be even more costly, and that’s not as easy to fix as hiring a roofing contractor.

8. Look for asphalt shingles

Okay, this one is just us being cheeky, but hear us out: If you have asphalt shingles on your roof, even if they’re brand new, it’s a sure sign you will need roof repair and replacement if you live in the house long enough. Why not get the type of roof that will outlive you? A metal roof comes with some hefty benefits, and we are passionate about making sure that our Melbourne neighbors don’t need to repair or replace their roofs–period! When you get a metal roof from Hippo Roof, we guarantee it’ll be the last roof you ever buy. But what if something does happen to your roof? No problem. Our 50-year warranty says we will take care of it–for free.

Contact Hippo Roof for a quote today

When it’s time to get roof repair or a whole new roof, turn to the roof repair professionals at Hippo Roof. We look forward to serving you.