Signs of Roofing Damage

“Obvious” Signs of Roof Damage

While walking through a mall the other day I noticed a vendor, you know, the ones who set up shop in the middle of the walkways in the mall. He was selling shoe products and he rarely lifted his head because he was interested in the people’s shoes that were passing by to see if they needed his services. So he kept his head down.

I couldn’t help but chuckle watching him, because I do the opposite. I look up. Being in the roofing industry I find myself looking up most of the time at the roofs on houses when I’m out driving around. Question is… how much are we missing when we aren’t seeing the big picture? And are we overlooking the obvious?

Thunderstorms and Roof Damage

I often have homeowners, after a thunderstorm with hail has passed through their area say, “I looked up at the roof and I don’t have any damage.” Unfortunately, wind and hail damage can be easily overlooked without close examination. Just looking up at the roof from the ground most likely won’t reveal the hail damage that may have occurred during the storm. You have to get on the roof for a close inspection or you could miss the obvious.

Roofing Shingle Damage

There are obvious tell-tell-signs to look for when you inspect your roof. “Shingle damage.” Storms will often blow limbs off of trees and they fall on to the roof. Falling limbs from trees can tear or gouge shingles or even puncture a whole in the roof. Debris should always be removed from the roof and well inspected for damage.

Look for “hail dents and bruises.” When hail hits the shingles on your roof it leaves a distinctive mark. The velocity of the hailstone when it hits will knock the granules off the fiberglass mat of the shingle leaving a bruise and sometimes even a break in the mat. It will have the appearance of a bruise. If you have a metal roof the hailstone will leave a dent or ding.

Wind Damage to Roof Shingles

Another obvious sign to look for is shingles that have been “twisted or blown off.” All shingles should have a manufacturers’ warranty rating of over 60 mph. for 20 to 25 year shingles and 130 mph for 30 year to lifetime shingles. Twisted shingles, or shingles that have blown off, leave the roof exposed to possible water damage. These shingles should be replaced as soon as possible to avert expensive repair.

What may not look obvious to a homeowner may look very obvious to an experienced roof contractor or roof salesman. It’s never a bad idea to call a professional roofing expert for an inspection. Most roofing companies offer free inspections and would be glad to give you a free estimate for a roof replacement or repairs. If you’re in East Texas, you can call the guys at

Here’s something to keep in mind…

After a storm don’t just look up at your roof from the ground, because, “Sometimes the most difficult thing is to be able to see the most obvious thing.”

Soft and Spongy Roof

Soft and Spongy Roof

Soft and spongy sounds like a toy for the bathtub, huh? You know like the little yellow ducks you used to see all the time when our children took a bath. The softer and spongier they were the better. The kids had fun and they couldn’t get hurt with them. Well that’s fine when you’re talking about bathtub toys but when you’re using the words “soft and spongy” to describe what you feel when you’re walking on your roof, well that’s another story. Your roof should not be “soft and spongy” it should be “sound and sturdy.” What causes your roof to become soft and spongy? There are several reasons why they may be in this condition.


The most common reason is “water damage.” Moister has been able to penetrate the shingles and underlayment and has damaged the roof’s decking. Usually water damage is only found in certain areas of the roof where moister has been able to soak into the plywood decking causing it to rot. In the case of water damage the old shingles, underlayment and plywood will have to be torn out and replaced only in the area found to be damaged. The rest of the roof should be firm and solid when you walk on it.

Another reason a roof may be soft and spongy is “inadequate ventilation.” Proper ventilation is important in order to prevent under roof moister. Above-roof temperatures and below-roof temperatures can cause a buildup of moister inside your attic due to the lack of adequate ventilation. The roof decking can absorb the moister causing it to become soft and spongy. A roofing or ventilation specialist can help you in determining if your ventilation system is inadequate and needs to be re-designed.  In some instances an entire new roof may be needed depending on the amount of damage found.

“Inferior design” can also be the reason a roof may be soft and spongy. Using plywood decking that is not thick enough, or up to code, can cause a roof to have soft or spongy areas between the rafters when you walk on it. Or, if the rafters are spread too far apart to adequately support the plywood decking. Whether it is building design or lack of sound building code this creates a problem for the homeowner who truly cares about the quality of aesthetics and soundness in their home.

Ok, so you already know this. But, sometimes a guy just needs to take a walk. You can learn a lot by taking a walk and paying attention. Your roof may be trying to get you pay attention to those waves and dips you can see up there. It may be inviting you to come and take a closer look. The best way is to get on your roof and take a walk. What is your roof saying tol you? Pay attention to your feelings. Do you feel those “soft and spongy” areas when you are walking on it?  If you do then it’s time to do something about it. Call a qualified roofing contractor asap to give you his professional opinion.