What if your world was about to turn upside down and you didn’t even know it?
When times are tough, many homeowners console themselves by saying “at least I have a roof over my head.” But that flat roof on top of your house may be a disaster waiting to happen until you replace it.
How will you know that you need flat roof replacement? To help you make the decision, we’ve compiled the biggest signs that you need to go ahead and replace your roof.
Why Flat Roof Replacement Is So Important
Below, our guide will walk you through some of the telltale signs that you need to replace your roof. First, though, we need to answer a more basic question: why is flat roof replacement so important, anyway, especially for older roofs?
One of the biggest reasons replacing a flat roof is so important is that a damaged one will expose your house to weather damage. For example, that small damage on your roof may not look that scary, but it can easily lead to a flooded house next time you have extreme weather.
Needless to say, damage to both the interior and exterior of your home seriously damages the value of your house. Most homeowners don’t like shelling out money to roofing contractors to replace their roofs. But the alternative is to let damage absolutely ravage the house and destroy the value you have been building up for years.
Finally, a damaged roof poses a major danger to you and your family. Every year, homeowners miss the signs of a damaged roof and are shocked when the roof collapses into their living rooms and kitchens. And anyone who is caught under that may get injured or even killed.
Fortunately, you can avoid these scary scenarios by simply having your roof replaced once you notice some of these signs below.
1. Water Damage
Water damage is one of the biggest signs that you need flat roof repair, but it’s very easy to mistake this damage for something else. That’s because you will see this water damage within your house and potentially chalk it up to something else.
For example, if you see mildew or watermarks in an area like your bedroom, your first thought may be that the moisture came in through the window. But it could just as easily be coming in through the roof.
If you see watermarks, mildew, or especially standing water (more on this in a minute), try to figure out if the water came through a window or door. This will determine whether you need a roof replacement or not. And when in doubt, you should contact reliable roofing contractors to make sure.
2. Pooling Water
Previously, we talked about how pooling water inside your home may indicate damage to the roof. On a related note, pooling water on the surface of your roof is another major sign the roof needs to be replaced.
Ideally, rainwater will roll right off of your flat roof. But if the roof shifts over time, it means the whole thing won’t be as level as it once was. And this can lead to water pooling up in different parts of the roof.
Because this water is gathering in the dips, nooks, and crannies of your roof, it won’t go away on its own: you’ll need to drain it. Otherwise, the water can seep into the layers of your roof, which can cause cracks and damage that will only get worse the longer you leave the water there.
3. Mold and Moss
Spoilers: proper roof maintenance involves frequently getting on your ladder and visually inspecting the surface of your roof. And one thing you need to keep a serious eye out on is any mold, moss, or mildew that has gathered on your roof.
That’s because the presence of these things can damage your roof in multiple ways. The moss and mold on your roof may push tiles apart over time, and this basically invites the water directly into your house. Eventually, this can lead to bacteria and fungi that cause further unwanted damage to the roof.
If you catch mold, moss, and/or mildew early enough, it is relatively easy to remove. But if there is too much, or this is happening too often, you may need to replace the roof.
4. Bubbling and Blistering
Still got that ladder ready? One of the other things you need to keep an eye on is bubbling or blistering areas on the surface of your roof.
Multiple things can cause this bubbling or blistering. When there is bad insulation, ventilation, or even poor roof installation, it can lead to water or air getting trapped. And this leads to some “good news, bad news.”
The good news is that if you catch the bubbling and blistering early on, you can simply pop them and release the trapped water or air. The bad news is if you don’t catch them early enough, the bubbles and blisters get so large that when they pop (either by your hand or on their own), it causes damage to the roof that will let water in. At that point, roof replacement is your only real option.
5. You “See the Light”
Sometimes, those who are near death report seeing a bright light. But when you’re inside your own home, seeing the light may mean it’s your roof that is near death.
Around sunset, turn off all the lights in your house and look up at the ceiling. If you see the sun shining through, there is only one conclusion: you have cracks and holes in your roof.
As you can imagine, water can get through these holes just as easily as light can. So if you’re “seeing the light,” make sure to contact a good contractor about roof repair or replacement.
6. Unexpected Leaking
Some of the signs you need flat roof replacement are more obvious than others. And perhaps the most obvious sign is that you encounter unexpected leaking water within your home.
Like we noted before, you are more likely to encounter evidence after the leak has occurred, including mildew or watermarks. You may also find mold in the house that was a result of leaking water. Sometimes, this water may come from damaged pipes inside your home.
Other times, though, you may visibly see water leaking into your home when it rains. And take it from us: by the time you are fetching buckets to catching falling water droplets, it’s a sure sign your roof needs to be replaced.
7. Loose Tiles
By now, you’re probably picking up on the fact that roof maintenance involves a bit of detective work. Sometimes, you’ll find something that is out of place, and it’s difficult to figure out what caused the disruption.
A great example of this is finding loose tiles on your roof. You may be tempted to dismiss these loose tiles as nothing major. However, the tiles are proof of very specific roof damage.
That’s because tiles are typically forced loose by mold, mildew, or extreme weather. If only one or two tiles are loose, they can easily be replaced (and maybe repaired: try stepping on the tiles to gauge whether they have been damaged). But if there are many loose tiles, that’s a sign that the roof most likely needs to be replaced.
8. Visible Splits, Cracks, and Tears
Remember when we said that some signs you need to replace your roof are more obvious than others? Aside from seeing water leaking directly from your ceiling, the most obvious sign would be the splits, cracks, and tears that are visible to the naked eye.
Think about it this way: you know what your flat roof is supposed to look like. If you go to inspect it and see any cracks or splits, that is a big deal because it may lead to the roof surface absorbing too much water.
If you catch this damage early on, you may be able to have it easily repaired. Otherwise, water can pool up, making the roof dangerous to walk on and likely to leak into the house. At that point, replacement is your best bet.
9. Sagging Roof
Toward the beginning, we noted that it’s entirely possible for a damaged roof to collapse into your house. And the biggest visible sign that this might happen soon is if your roof appears to be “sagging” inward.
A flat roof is supposed to look…well…flat. But everything from poor roof insulation to pooling water can cause the roof to visibly sag inwards. If you regularly inspect your roof for cracks, mold, mildew, and standing water, you can reduce the chance of the roof sagging like this.
What if, though, the roof is already visibly sagging inward? At this point, the damage is done, and replacing the roof is the only way to keep you and your family safe.
10. Flashing Damaged or Pulling Away
If you don’t already know, “flashing” refers to the material around your vents and chimney. It is used around basically anything that comes out of your roof. The purpose of flashing is to protect the seams around these areas and keep water runoff from pooling around these areas.
Over time, though, the flashing may get damaged by the different elements. This damage may be visible to the naked eye. Alternatively, you may see the flashing visibly pulling away due to the expansion and contraction on the surface of your roof.
Should you catch the problem early on, you may be able to simply repair or replace the flashing. Otherwise, damage may build up and you may have no choice but to replace the roof.
11. Cluttered Gutters
We’ve touched on the topic of inspecting your roof a few times. And a major part of any roof inspection is checking out your gutters. While inspecting, it’s important to remove any debris from your gutters before they can clutter up.
Don’t freak out if you just find a few granules from your tiles. This is perfectly normal from the wear and tear on your shingles. But if you notice the number of granules you are discovering increasing, that is a major warning sign!
That’s because this may indicate that roof tiles are getting damaged and effectively leaving your roof vulnerable to external damage. Keep the gutters clear and regularly inspect, repair, and replace tiles as needed to maximize protection. Otherwise, you’ll be replacing your roof before you know it.
12. Fluttering Sounds
Most of the signs that you need a flat roof replacement are visual. However, there is one sign you can only detect with your ears, and that is the sign of a damaged topcoat on your roof.
The telltale sign of such damage is that you will hear a fluttering sound inside your home when it is windy outside. When the topcoat is damaged, wind outside can cause your fluttering panels to be exposed to wind, rain, and other external elements.
This is another sign where, if you detect it early enough, you can replace the damaged topcoat. But if you ignore this or don’t notice it in time, it can cause enough damage to build up that roof replacement is inevitable.
What’s Your Next Move?
Now you know the most important signs that you need a flat roof replacement. But once you have decided to replace your roof, do you know who to turn to?
Here at Reliance Roofing, we specialize in taking care of you and your family by taking care of all your roofing needs. To see what we can do for your own roof, all you have to do is contact us today!