Roofing Problems: Warning Signs

The following images will help you identify the potential for roof failure.  Or call us and we will help you with the inspection.

Bare Spots

Bare SpotsThe protective granular surface of shingles wears off as the asphalt, into which the granules are embedded, begins to harden over time. Bare spots are often accompanied by fine fissures on the shingles’ surface and by the accumulation of granules in the gutters.


CurlingThe upward curling of shingle tabs makes them highly susceptible to wind and ice damage. This is a problem on older roofs where moisture build-up in the attic affects the underside of the shingle.

Broken Shingles

Broken ShinglesDamage can be caused by extreme wind conditions and snow removal. Since shingles are supposed to shed water, broken, torn or missing tabs become obvious entry points for water, especially on low slope roofs where run-off is slower and at the peaks of the roof where shingles are the most vulnerable to high winds.


ClawingThis is the curling under of the shingle tab’s bottom edge and is part of the normal aging process of shingles. The bulge created is susceptible to substantial damage by wind action, hail and ice.


BucklingBuckling is a visible distortion or waviness in the horizontal lines of shingles, and usually runs in a straight line up the roof slope. Shingle tabs become exposed to wind and can be torn off. Very often, the problem is warping in the roof deck caused by poor attic ventilation. The use of thinner-than recommended plywood and other non-plywood materials adds to the problem.


FlashingMany problems occur at the flashings around vents, soil stacks, chimneys and vertical wall joints. Is the flashing cracked? Is the caulking around the flashing dried out? Are the shingles that lie over the flashing in good shape?

Thanks to Building Products of Canada for supplying the images and text.

How to choose the right roofing company – ridge venting system

Attic ventilation is an important part of every roof installation. The proper method of ensuring air flow in your attic is a ridge venting system. These are structures with molded-in air vents located under the ridge cap shingles. The system provides the desired airflow in the attic while maintaining watertight integrity.

How to do it right: If there isn’t enough airflow in the attic, mold may grow and plywood may delaminate and rot. Box vents can provide attic ventilation, but are prone to leakage and are unsightly. A ridge vent system provides better airflow than box vents and will not leak. It also gives your home a higher profile and a more attractive look. 

How to choose the right roofing company – flashings

In addition to the gutter edge flashing, your roof has flashings at many other critical points. These include fireplaces, the valleys in the roof, around skylights, around plumbing vents and anywhere roof and siding meet. Read more

How to choose the right roofing company – Underlayment

Underlayment is a layer of fabric-like material that is rolled out and stapled to the sheeting. It adds an important level of moisture protection between the shingles and the sheeting.

How to do it right: A high quality underlayment is just as important in preventing leaks as the roofing material itself. Municipal codes require roofing underlayment to meet standards like fire resistance, wind uplift resistance, puncture resistance, and resistance to wind-driven rain. The most widely used underlayment is asphalt impregnated felt. The weight and specifications of the material should be sufficient to provide protection for the life of the roof. 

How to choose the right roofing company – quality sheeting

Sheeting is the solid wood surface that your roof is built on.

How to do it right: You need a firm, weather-resistant and level surface on which to put your new roof. Your existing sheeting is one of the first things we look at when we inspect your house and make up your estimate. The sheeting you now have may be good quality plywood and may be fine.

Be aware that some contractors may bid low by not replacing bad sheeting. You may get a good price, but you may have problems in the future. Similarly, if your contractor offers to replace your sheeting with chip board, press board or oriented strand board (OSB), he’s using a cheap, inferior product not made for exterior use that can swell and break apart when moist. 

On the job: cedar roof repair
On the job: cedar roof repair