Most people don't give much thought to the condition of their roof until a safety breach occurs and water leaks into their homes. Don't be unprepared, be prepared. Here are some tips to help you spot potential roofing problems.
1 – Sounds a bit obvious, but look for the missing clapboard. While previous roofers had to have a protective tar or icing layer applied, this is something that cannot withstand the elements for long.
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2 – Check if your shingles are cracked, or bent. This can be due to ventilation problems or simply due to age. If the tiles aren't on top of your roof, the tar layer underneath won't work properly. These shingles are very susceptible to wind and will likely explode over time.
3 – See the amount of grit you have on your shingles. The smooth black tile on the underside of the tile indicates that the grain is loosening and the tile tar layer is exposed. Another way to tell if you're missing pellets is to check the gutters or even the gutters.
4 – If you have access to the ceiling, check the underside of the roofing membrane. After heavy rain, see if you can spot any new watermarks. Also, try to find damp or soft spots on your plywood. Pay particular attention to all roof vents, plumbing, skylights, and chimneys.