A failing flat roof
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5 signs your roof might be failing

May 1, 2023
Signs of a Failing Roof: Key indicators to identify roof deterioration and potential issues. Learn how to spot warning signs and take timely action to protect your property.

Your roof is one of the most important components of your building's structure, whether it is a commercial flat roof or a steep-sloped shingled roof on a home. It protects from the elements and keeps your tenants or family safe and dry. Over time, however, even the strongest roof can begin to fail, and if left unchecked, it can cause significant damage to the building's interior and exterior. Here are five warning signs that your roof may be failing:



Most roofs last between 10 to 15 years when properly cared for. If your roof is approaching this age, it's a good idea to have it inspected by a professional to determine its current condition and if any repairs or replacement are necessary. Even if your roof looks fine from the ground, a professional inspection can identify any hidden issues that may be present. Usually, even seemingly tiny problems from the outside can cause major unseen damage on the inside. Without regular inspections, these problems can get out of hand, resulting in much higher cost repairs down the line.


Water Damage

Water damage is one of the most obvious signs that your roof may be failing. Look for water stains or discoloration on the ceiling or walls, as well as signs of water damage on the roof itself, such as missing or cracked shingles, or rusted or damaged flashing. (If you are unaware, “flashing” refers to the protection placed at the junction of penetrations in your roof, such as the point where a chimney meets the roof surface.) Water damage can also lead to the growth of mold and mildew, which can be a serious health hazard. Even a small hole in the membrane or badly-laid shingle can cause soaked insulation, which is much harder to deal with when detected early.



If your roof is showing signs of deflection, which may cause sagging, you will eventually find areas of ponding water after rainfall. Ponding is defined as standing water more than 24 hours after rainfall. This can be caused by water damage, a weakened support structure, or simply old age. A sagging roof is a serious issue and should be addressed immediately to prevent further damage or collapse.


Granules in the Gutter

If you notice a large amount of granules from your shingles in your gutters, it is a sign that your roof is losing its protective layer. This can be caused by old age, weathering, or other damage. Granules provide important protection against UV rays and other environmental factors, so if they're missing, your roof is more vulnerable to damage.


High Energy Bills

A failing roof can also lead to higher energy bills, as it may no longer be providing proper insulation or ventilation. If you notice a significant increase in your energy bills, it could be due to your roof, and you should have it inspected by a professional. Proper insulation and ventilation are important for maintaining a comfortable living environment and can also help to reduce your energy costs.


In conclusion, your roof is an important part of your structure, whether or not it is a commercial flat roof or a steep-sloped home, it is important to keep it in good condition to protect your tenants and/or your family. If you notice any of the warning signs listed above, it's a good idea to have your roof inspected by a professional to determine if any repairs or replacement are necessary. By addressing any issues early, you can prevent more serious problems from occurring and ensure that your roof continues to provide reliable protection.

Karnak products typically service large scale commercial properties with flat roofs, but in some cases single family homes have flat roofs that would be good candidates for roof restoration with our products. Furthermore, many of our certified roofers are versatile and can address issues with any and all single family homes. Contact us today for a referral to a local roofer.

Check out our Repair Guide for issues you may be having
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