Home / 16 Warning Signs Your Illinois Roof Needs an Inspection

16 Warning Signs Your Illinois Roof Needs an Inspection

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In this article, we’ll talk about common signs of roof damage, how to check for them, and how concerned you should be about each one.

Warning: We do not recommend that you climb onto your own roof to inspect it. This should be done by a trained professional who knows what they are doing. If you insist on doing it anyway, make sure you have shoes with good friction and a sturdy ladder. Also, watch where you’re going when you carry your ladder and don’t hit any power lines. Again, our official recommendation is not to climb on your own roof.



Are you wondering if you have roof damage, but aren’t sure if you should get an inspection? You’re not alone. Nobody wants to waste time, and especially not money, on something they don’t need. That being said, if there is a real issue with your roof, you’ll want to get it taken care of as soon as possible.

For example, if you have a leak caused by nail pops or a cracked pipe boot, you may only need a simple repair. But if the leak isn’t immediately dealt with, it can cause mold, rot, and may even lead to structural damage. In general, the sooner you deal with the problem, the less the problem will cost you!

That’s why we wrote this article about the 16 Warning Signs Your Illinois Roof Needs an Inspection. We wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to make a good decision, so we’ve included a risk factor with each warning sign. This will give you an idea of how serious each one is.

We hope this article helps you make a good call, protect your home, and save some money!

Water Stains on the Ceiling

High Risk

Take a look around your home. If you spot water stains on the floor directly below your attic, you probably have a roof leak. (If you have a two-story home and you spot them on the first floor, or in your basement, they are probably from a plumbing leak.) 

If you see these water stains, call a roofing pro as soon as possible for an inspection! Remember, the earlier you deal with the issue, the less it will cost you.

A picture of water strains forming on a ceiling near the crown molding.

Leak in Your Attic

High Risk

Most homes have an attic access in a hallway, closet, or garage. While moving around in your attic, only step on beams. Some attics don’t have a solid floor under the insulation and you could actually fall through. You may also need to bring a flashlight with you. 

See if you can spot water running down the rafters, as this will tell you that you have a leak. Pro tip: you can wait until it rains or use a hose to spray water on your roof to spot a leak more easily.

Beam of Light in Your Attic

High Risk

Go into your attic during the day sometime. If you have a light in your attic, turn it off so its dark. Do you see any beams of sunlight coming through? If so, there’s obviously an opening in the roof. Call a roofer out for an inspection!

Mold, Rot, or Discoloration on Roof Decking

High Risk

Mold is another thing to check for in your attic. Mold grows where there’s moisture, so if you see groups of mold forming around your rafters, you may have a leak. 

You should also see what the condition of the roof decking looks like. (Decking is the wooden structure that forms the foundation of your roofing system.) If you see rot or discoloration, this is another sign that you have roof damage.

A picture of rotten and discolored roof decking from inside an attic.

Recent Hail Storm

High Risk

¼ inch hail (also called pea-sized hail) typically won’t do much harm to a roof without previous damage. However, if you get a storm with hail above ¾ inch in diameter, it’s probably best to get an inspection. Anything above 1 inch and you’re almost guaranteed to have significant damage. In this case, get an inspection as quickly as possible! 

In the event of a hail storm, your homeowner’s insurance will often pay for most of the required repairs or replacement. But the sooner you file your claim, the better!

If you think you might be entitled to an insurance claim, give us a call. Allied Restoration Contractors has over a decade of experience in handling insurance claims, and we will work diligently with the insurance company to get the highest value for your claim as possible.

A picture of a shingle with a dent in it from large hail

Sagging Roof

High Risk

Roofs only sag when there are major issues, like bad structural support or a rotting roof deck. You may even have broken rafters! Since sagging causes displacement in flashing and shingles, it can allow moisture to get in and leaks to form. If your roof is sagging, you should get an inspection right away.

Finding Granules in Gutters / Downspouts

Medium Risk

Granules are small particles that look like coarse sand and sit on top of the asphalt in your shingles. These granules are the first layer of defense against the sun’s harmful UV rays and protect the shingle from deteriorating.

During a hail storm, granules get knocked off of the shingles, leaving the bare asphalt to bake in the sunlight. This accelerates the problem by causing even more granules to fall off and making the shingle deteriorate more quickly. 

If you consistently find granules coming out of your downspout, you should call a roofing pro to assess the damage before the problem grows. And if you spot a lot of granules immediately after a storm, you may actually be able to file an insurance claim to repair the damage.

Buckling, Curling, or Cracked Shingles

Medium Risk

Go outside and take a look at your roof. You may need to back away from your home a bit to get a good angle. How is the condition of the shingles?

Most asphalt shingles are built to last around 20-25 years. As shingles get near the end of their life span, they start to buckle, curl, and crack. This doesn’t necessarily mean you already have a leak, but you may have one soon. As the shingles continue to deteriorate, moisture is allowed to get into the roof decking. This causes the wood to rot and leaks to form.

Shingles can also deteriorate before their natural life if they were installed improperly, if your attic has poor ventilation, or if other underlying issues exist. If your roof is less than 10 years old and you notice issues with the shingles, see if you can contact the previous roofing company as this type of damage may be covered in a workmanship warranty. (Workmanship warranties cover damage caused by something that is the roofing company’s fault.) 

If you see this deterioration of your shingles, it’s best to call a professional roofer for an inspection.

Missing Shingles

Medium Risk

Heavy wind can blow loose shingles off your roof. If you can see that shingles are missing, or start finding shingles in your yard, you should call a roofer. Missing shingles allow water to seep into the roof and cause further damage. Having to pay for small repairs is no fun, but it’s a lot better than paying a much bigger bill later on!

If you see missing shingles after a storm, you’re probably entitled to an insurance claim to take care of the roof repair or replacement. Contact a pro roofer for an inspection to see what needs to be done!

A picture of a roof with a lot of missing shingles

Roof is Older Than 20 Years

Medium Risk

Most asphalt shingle roofs last around 20-25 years. As your roof ages, shingles will have increased wear and tear, and can even begin to rot. Remember that the biggest enemy to your roof and your home is moisture getting inside. 

After 20 years, your roof becomes much more susceptible to forming leaks due to the natural wear and tear that occurs. If your roof is older than 20 years, it can’t hurt to call a professional, experienced roofer and at least get their opinion. It’s best to replace your roof before it starts leaking, not after. Waiting ‘till the last minute probably won’t serve you well!

Damaged Flashing

Medium Risk

Have you noticed a thin metallic material around the features on your roof? That’s called flashing. Flashing is installed around chimneys, roof vents, skylights, and other openings. It’s there to provide an extra layer of protection and keep water from getting in. However, when flashing gets damaged, it doesn’t properly seal the area anymore. 

Do a quick visual inspection from the ground to see what the condition of your flashing is. If it looks damaged and like water could get in, it probably can! Get an inspection from an Illinois roofer to make sure you don’t have a leak, and have the flashing repaired as soon as possible.

Shingle Blisters

Low Risk

Shingle blisters look like little round bumps or bald spots on your shingles. A few blisters here and there probably won’t cause much damage. However, when there are enough of them, your roof will wear out faster. 

Blistering (or “bubbling”) is when gas bubbles form in the asphalt of your shingles. When these gas bubbles pop, granules are knocked off. This exposes the bare asphalt, which is then allowed to bake in the sunlight and the shingles deteriorate more quickly.

Shingle blistering is caused by manufacturing defects or poor attic ventilation. In recent years, poor attic ventilation is usually the culprit. Heat from the sun beats down on your shingles all day, and shingles are designed to be able to withstand it. However, when heat is also trapped in your attic and gets absorbed by shingles, the asphalt overheats and forms gas bubbles.

Moss Growth

Low Risk

Is your roof looking a little green? Moss in small patches may not cause much damage on its own, but if left unattended, large patches can be a serious problem. Moss acts like a sponge and soaks up water when it rains. This moisture can get trapped in your shingles, causing rot and eventually a leak. 

You may be able to do a simple visual inspection for moss from the ground. Stand far enough away from your house so that you can get a good angle. If you have a pair of binoculars, they can come in really handy as well!

If you spot heavy moss, you should probably have it cleaned off, and you may want to call out a roofing pro to make sure that damage hasn’t already been done to your roof.

A picture of a roof with moss growing on it

High Energy Bills

Low Risk

If your electrical bills are unusually high during the summer, it could be an issue with your roofing system. 

Heat gets trapped in your attic when it’s not properly ventilated through your roof. This means your HVAC system has to work much harder to keep your home cool. It also means that your shingles are absorbing more heat than they are designed to and will deteriorate much more quickly! If your HVAC system is healthy and electricity bills are still unusually high, consider having a roofer inspect your roof and make sure it is providing good ventilation for your attic.

You’re Moving or Recently Moved

Low Risk

A new roof can provide value and curb appeal when you go to sell your home! On average, home sellers can expect to recoup around 60% of the value of a roof replacement. In some cases it can be up to 100%. An added benefit is that it can help you find a good buyer more quickly.

Even if you don’t replace your roof, buyers will probably find an inspection report helpful and it will give them a better idea of when they should repair or replace their roof. 

On the flip side, if you recently moved into a home and the seller didn’t provide you with a condition report, you should have your roof inspected. Issues with the roof can cause expensive damage if they aren’t fixed. So knowing the condition of your roof may save you a lot of money in the long run!

Animals in Your Attic

Low Risk

Animals living in your attic could mean there’s a hole somewhere in your roofing system! Some animals can also do damage to the structure of your home. A pest control expert will probably be needed to fix your animal problem, but you’ll want a roof inspection as well to make sure your roof is in good health.

Next Steps

We hope this article gave you some insight and helps you make a good decision!

If you get a roof inspection at some point and decide that you need a roof replacement or repair, don’t be afraid to get quotes from a few contractors. Just because a contractor spots the problem doesn’t mean that they need to be the contractor to fix the problem. The contractor you work with to repair or replace your roof, or to file a claim, should be someone who you have full confidence in! 

If you want more information on how to choose the best roofer, check out our article on 7 Tips to Choose the Right Roofing Contractor.

If you need some time to choose which contractor to go with, and you have an active leak, there are plenty of roofers who will provide emergency tarping for a small fee. This will temporarily protect your home from further damage while you get quotes. 

Allied Restoration Contractors has been serving and educating the local community in Tinley Park, IL and surrounding areas for over a decade. We are also public adjusters and have valuable experience working with insurance companies. We work diligently to make sure our customers get as much value for their roofing claims as possible!

Call us today at (708) 809-2288 or request a call back to get a free roof inspection!

1655 South Oak Park Ave, Tinley Park, IL 60477

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