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How To Spot The Signs Of A Failing Roof Early

Whether the building is commercial or residential, a roof failure can be disastrous. It is not always as dramatic as that in the image; they usually develop problems over time that you can address by identifying them early. You will spot tell-tale signs that something is not right above your head eventually, but by that stage the problem may be extensive. There are things we can all do, however, to make sure our roof maintains its integrity. Here are ways you can spot the signs of a failing roof early.


The secret to saving money on roof repairs is to look for problems when they are in the early stages, and the only way to do that is with a physical inspection. Don’t worry, it is not as scary as you may at first think. If you have an ounce of common sense and are happy to climb ladders, you can do it.

General View

When you stand back and look at the roof, does it look like it is sagging? Hold a straight edge at arms length and compare it to the top of the roof. It is normal for old roofs to dip a little, so don’t jump to conclusions just yet. If an internal survey reveals nothing untoward, check the line of the roof again in a few months to see if it has changed.

Ceiling Stains

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if there are water marks on the ceiling, there is something suspicious going on with the roof. The trick is not to ignore them or put a further investigation off until later.


Wet and dry rot are both roof killers. They are fungal infestations that can occur anywhere water finds its way into your roof space. Dry rot is the most damaging of the two because it releases spores that can settle on and attack all of the roof timbers. When an infestation is severe, there is often no other choice but to call a contractor, such as Marcus Roofing, to rip out all of the bad wood and replace it. As you can imagine, it is a massive undertaking. Luckily, with a screwdriver and an enquiring mind you can find the damage early and remove only the infected wood from the roof. You must crawl into all of the nooks and crannies, prodding the wood as you go. If you come across a rotten joist or rafter, it will be soft and crumbly and will signify that there is a leak somewhere that you must track down and fix.

The Chimney

On of the main causes of catastrophic roof failure is when a chimney stack collapses on it during high winds. It is obviously a life threatening situation, so if you suspect your chimney is leaning, call the professionals straight away; you may need to rebuild it. You should perform a close inspection of the stack every few years to see if there is any deterioration in the condition of the mortar courses. If the mortar comes away easily or is crumbling, you may need to dig it out and re-point it. Because the chimney is at the top of the house, it suffers from the worst of the weather.

I hope you have found my advice useful; it could save you much money on repair bills. Those who fail to spot, or ignore the warning signs have only themselves to blame when things go wrong. Could that be you?


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