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Protecting the Roof Over Your Head

by Jessica Santina
Home Improvement Ideas Columnist

When we think of home repairs and remodeling, we don't usually remember the roof. But if your roof's in bad shape, nothing else matters.

What You Can't See Can Hurt Your Roof

The problem with roofs is that it's not easy to know when it's time to repair or replace it. By the time you do know, it's usually too late, and you're stuck with big problems. Make it a habit each fall and spring (perhaps when you set your clocks?) to do a roof check. Look for the following:
  • Your shingles are missing, curling, cupping, broken or cracked.
  • There's leakage in your attic after a storm, or after ice build-up.
  • Exterior or interior paint begins blistering or peeling.
  • There are stains on your interior ceilings and walls.
  • You notice dark, dirty-looking areas on the roof.
  • Your energy costs go up drastically, indicating that heat is escaping through your roof.
  • Pooling or ponds of water won't drain from your flat roof, indicating poor drainage or low areas.
curled shingles, roofing repair
Curled shingles
water damaged ceiling from leaking roof
Water damaged ceiling from leaky roof


Inspect the underside of your roof from the attic with a flashlight. A couple of pinholes are normal, and the shingles will usually swell the holes shut when the roof is wet. But you should take note of holes that look bigger.

When in Doubt, Seek Professional Help

If you're not sure what you're looking for, contact an inspector. Never go on your roof to inspect or repair it - the risk isn't worth the money you'd save.

Looking for a roofer when you're desperate for one can lead to hasty, unwise decisions. Be sure to shop around first, and select a licensed, insured roofer who guarantees all work. Being proactive about roof repairs or replacements now can save you lots of stress later.



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