10 Ways To Tell if Your Roof Is In Need of Repair

It isn’t often we look up to our roof and think “yes that roof is in need of repair”. Quite often the first we will hear that a new roof is required is when damp is collecting inside the house, and the builder you call out says it is the roof to blame.

But quite often, if you stay relatively vigilant, you can stop a small problem becoming a large problem, and an expensive one.

After-all, we all know a church that collects for a new roof – and how long have they been collecting now? And take it from me – having a new or partial roof is noisy, dusty, and the builders will drink their way through more tea and coffee faster than you can replenish stocks at the local supermarket.

So here are 10 ways to tell if you may need a new roof. The first four things you can do inside the house to get a good idea as to the condition of the roof above your head. Check for the following:

  1. Places where the roof is sagging.
  2. Water damage, leaking or damp.
  3. Dark spots, trails and other abnormalities in wall or ceiling colouring.
  4. Light can be seen through the roof at night from outside.

Slightly more difficult is to check the exterior of the house, and the roof itself.

  1. Check the roof for cracks, tears, bald patches or missing shingles/slates.
  2. Check the chimney to see if there are any loose materials around it. Also check around vents and protruding pipes.
  3. Blocked gutters? This could either be due to excessive leaves and debris, but could be also caused by loose shingles or slate shards falling into them. If you live in coastal regions or areas of high pollution, consider using copper nails to secure new tiles as they are more resistant to such conditions.
  4. Check for mould and fungi. These pests often occur around sitting water. If small shrubs start growing on your roof, it is likely there is a leak or cracked tile which is allowing water to flow underneath.
  5. Help your roof out by clearing the gutters, allowing water to easily flow off the roof and down into the drains.
  6. Concrete roof? A concrete roof very rarely needs replacing, and if you have one such checks aren’t as necessary. However, if your house is kept watertight and warm with a slate, shingled or even bamboo or any other type of roof, it is recommend you do the above checks just twice a year to make sure your roof is in good condition.

If any of these problems are noted, don’t jump the gun and call your local contractor demanding the immediate installation of an entirely new roof. Small leaks and water damage can be caused by a number of issues such as loose tiles or cracks in the waterproof membrane. These can be simply rectified, and using anti-rust stainless steel screws and nails will mean they should stay secure for decades.


Arthur is a blogger and freelance journalist working in Manchester, UK. He writes about all things technology, DIY, sport and news. Follow him on Twitter @Ayup_Arthur.