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The roof is the first line of defense; it protects against extreme weather conditions like storm damage and other environmental hazards. Even though it's a protective feature, it's important to note that it needs to be strong, well-maintained, and secure.

Roof rot can cause serious problems for the building and the homeowner, and it's important to rectify these problems to preserve the structural integrity of your structure.

Despite being urgent, it's important to note that this problem can go undetected for many years and spread to other parts of the building.

This further compromises your building and puts the lives of everyone at risk. In this article, we'll take you through how you can spot signs of roof rot. We'll also highlight some of the potential causes of roof rot.

What Causes Roof Rot?

The number one culprit is moisture getting into your building. If the cavity on your roof is poorly insulated or not properly ventilated, high humidity can build up within the roof. This increases the exposure of the wooden components of your roof to moisture, and when in excess, they start to form rot.

The wood fibers are destroyed by wood-eating fungi, thereby causing wood rot. In addition, roof leaks, gaps in bedding or pointing, and cracked or damaged flashing can cause water to enter the roof, resulting in the growth of fungi, mold, and other microorganisms that can cause wood rot.

That said, it's important to regularly perform roof inspections to help you identify these problems. Always ensure proper gutter maintenance and that the downpipes and gutters are not clogged.

Some Roof Damage Signs to Look For

There are different signs to look out for, with some being easy to spot and others not so easy to spot. Sadly, if your roof damage goes unnoticed for long, it can leave severe consequences for your property.

With that said, it's important to know some of the signs to look out for, and these signs include the following:


One of the first signs to look out for is corrosion on your roof. It's important to check for these signs, especially around the gutter or close to any metallic component on the roof. Corrosion is usually an indication that there's water gathered on your roof.

It's important to act quickly and get a roof replacement service if you identify corroded fasteners and fittings. This is to ensure that the problem doesn't worsen.

Dark spots

Another sign to look out for is the presence of dark spots or patches on your interior walls and ceilings. The presence of water stains is an indication that there's a leak in your roof.

It's important to note that the leak might not drip straight down, and this sometimes makes it difficult to identify the actual leak spot. In many cases, the leaks are usually far from the dark spots on the ceiling and interior walls.

Mold growth

In most cases, roof mold usually occurs where there's a roof leak or exposure to moisture. If you spot mold, moisture, or rot in your ceiling, it's a sign of roof damage or a water leak, which shouldn't be ignored. It's worth mentioning that mold and rot thrive better in humid and damp conditions, mostly caused by roof leaks.


Sagging signs can be seen inside and outside the roof, which can be very worrying. It's important to call a professional immediately after you notice this sign to look at your roof and provide professional advice.

Sagging doesn't always mean your roof is collapsing or on the verge of collapsing, but it's a sign not to ignore. In most cases, a professional can restore the roof; in other cases, you'll need a replacement.

Cracked or crumbling tiles

If you have cracked or crumbling tiles, water can easily seep into your roof and rot the wood or timber holding the roof. This can create more problems for you, costing you a lot of money to restore or replace. If you notice any sign of crumbling or cracking on the tiles, the best thing is to contact a professional immediately.

Premature aging

With time, your roof will start to age, and it wouldn't be as good as it was when new. However, this shouldn't happen until after many years. If you start to experience frequent aging problems on your roof after only 10 to 15 years, you may need to get the roof restored. Generally, your roof should last 15 to 20 years without developing age-related problems. After 20 years, it's advisable to get a complete roof replacement.

Deteriorated shingles

This doesn't always mean the entire roof is bad, but it's a sign to look out for, and it gives you more time to identify decayed shingles. Inspecting your roof every season is advisable to ensure that you don't miss out on this type of damage.

Signs to look out for include blistering, cracking, splitting, chipping, curling, and peeling. Replace affected or damaged shingles immediately after you notice any of these signs.

Sunken roof deck

The presence of a sunken or uneven roof deck is another sign that you have a rotting roof. Get a professional to inspect your roof if you notice this sign. Another thing to look out for is parts of the roof decks that appear bowed in when you are in the attic.

This condition requires immediate attention because it can create a pool of water on your roof, making the situation even worse. In severe cases, it can cause the roof to cave in. Regular inspection lets you easily spot smaller signs of this damage before it becomes severe.

Debris in gutters

The sand-like particles on your asphalt shingles are your roof's first line of defense. If you notice them in your gutter, it's a sign that your roof is aging. As time passes, this protective feature on your roof starts to wear off, and this is due to continuous exposure to water and other atmospheric changes. Basically, your roof will be vulnerable to different elements if the shingles don't have these granules.

Damaged flashing

Flashings are designed to provide additional protection to the roof, and they help to keep water away from regions where there is water runoff at high speed. Adverse weather conditions and sealant deterioration can cause damage to flashings, and this can cause the flashings to become loose. Ultimately, this can cause water to leak into your ceiling and walls, which is also dangerous.

When to Call a Roofing Professional

There are many ways to tell if you have roof rot, whether it's a commercial roof or residential roof. In most cases, you will be able to perceive the smell of the rotted roof. During regular home maintenance, it's advisable to always check your roof cavity for signs of leaks or water damage.

If you see any mold growth on your roof deck or insulation or notice an unpleasant rotting odor, you should get a roofing expert to examine the issue and identify the cause of the damage. It's always better to find the issue before the rot sets in and causes even more severe problems.

Fixing the problem earlier is also easier; you won't need to spend so much money. If you notice only one of the signs above, you should get roof repairs done. However, the presence of more than one of these signs indicates that you should get a complete roof replacement or restoration.

The need to keep your roof in perfect condition cannot be overemphasized, as it will keep your home watertight. Call a roofing professional to thoroughly inspect your roof if you notice any sign of damage or deterioration.

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