Top 10 Roof Problems for Homeowners & How to Fix Them– The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Gainesville Restoration and Remodeling.
Top 10 Roof Problems for Homeowners & How to Fix Them
The roof is the most vital component of your home, as it protects you and everything under it from rain, snow, or any other forms of precipitation. However, as the home deteriorates, you may encounter potential problems.
While many of us think that the condition and life expectancy of the roof is determined solely by materials, other factors can contribute to its deterioration. Roof repairs can be a significant expense, often at the top of the homeowner’s maintenance list. It is not a DIY project, as you have to hire experts with accreditation and roofing insurance.
To prevent costly repairs, you need to mitigate potential roofing issues. Here are ten of the most common roofing problems you will likely encounter as a homeowner and their fixes.
1. Roof Leaks
Roof leaks are inevitable. It does matter what kind of roof you have. It can be caused by many factors, like broken shingles or the flashing not being properly fastened during installation. You can find leaks around the gutters, near the chimney, close to pipes or vents, and at flashing points.
The best way to find the leak is to inspect the attic, which is typically several feet from the penetration. Use a flashlight to search the attic for water stains, mold, or dark spots. If the ceiling is vaulted and you can’t access the attic, you can only see the problem on the roof. Hiring a professional roofer is the best person to perform leak repair.
When ignored, roof ridge splitting, surface erosion, and blistering frequently become more serious issues. Although blisters are typically not cured, they must be dealt with if they are a substantial size.
Blisters can develop for various reasons, such as slipping felts, improperly attached hot bituminous roof systems, and rapid aging. Blisters can also develop due to dry laps and weak interply integrity.
Another cause of blistering is when trapped air and moisture in modified bitumen roofs evaporate. Blisters typically don’t result in significant harm. But it must be fixed immediately when it affects the lap area.
3. Damaged or Worn Flashing
Metal flashings are made to endure deterioration. However, they are not made to survive forever. You need to check whether your flashing should be changed or repaired if your roof has been in place for several decades or has been exposed to some harsh conditions.
4. Tree Damage
Another frequent issue that homeowners encounter with their roofs is fallen branches from trees. You might assume that only giant branches could harm your roof, but tiny branches can also erode the top layer of your roof if they come into contact with it and brush against it repeatedly.
Trimming your tree branches as they approach the ceiling is the best solution. If the tree poses a major threat, remove it and replant the tree somewhere else. It is especially important if you live in a region with strong winds and storms.
5. Missing or damaged shingles
When your shingles’ sealant wears off, it becomes loose, cracks, or falls off. Some possible causes are the force of nature, rat infestations, or general wear and tear. It is normal to assume that shingles may begin to come off as your roof ages.
Simply replacing the shingle will solve this issue, and it is easy to do. You may even find a store selling a single shingle. Alternatively, you can purchase a box and replace those with issues. You can replace the shingles yourself if you’re into DIY.
6. Damaged Roofing Materials
These could include, among other things, shingles, tiles, nails, and sealants. The deterioration of the roof can be caused largely by nature. That is why you need routine maintenance for your roof before it gets too serious.
For instance, holes will leak moisture into the roof, damaging it. Roof materials that shrink can crack and degrade, and the flashing may come undone. Contact a roofing contractor to arrange a maintenance check so they can find these problems before they get worse.
7. Damages from Freezing
Living in an area where your roof is frequently exposed to snow and ice means your roof will have a shorter life expectancy. Homes in cold weather usually have roofing issues. It is because it melts at a slow rate. That means you have standing water that can penetrate your roof and cause damage.
Even worse is when the temperature is below freezing, this water freezes. As it freezes, it can expand and push against the roofing material. Eventually, it leaves an opening, letting more water in. And when the season changes, you will have roof leaks.
It is inevitable because you cannot prevent this weather. However, you can prevent the problem by regularly checking your roof for damages.
8. Pooling Water
Your roof can get damaged if your gutters are clogged and there are heaps of garbage on it. When this happens, the moisture builds up, creating stagnant or pooling water. Standing water can be a perfect breeding ground for mold or mildew, which eats away at the roofing material and results in further problems with the roof.
Stagnant water is more of a concern when you have a flat roof. In this case, you need tapering portions over your roof to allow water to drain off. Regular inspections of your roof by a qualified expert can help you avoid more serious problems.
9. Clogged Downspouts
You might see some aggregates from the roof installation if it is still quite new. However, granules in the downspout indicate that your shingles are deteriorating and that you may need to replace them if your roof is reasonably old.
Granules are a crucial component of the roof because they shield it from ultraviolet radiation; if they are gone, the shingles become exposed and more prone to cracking.
Clogging in the gutters is one of the first indications of falling granules. Unless leaves and branches completely block your gutters, the obstructions are likely granules, and you need to replace them.
While the roof may appear to be a fixed part of your house, it slowly moves and changes with time. For instance, certain roofs may experience cracking due to shingles expanding as soon as the weather warms up. The roof may completely distort if the shingles keep colliding with one another.
These are some of the most common roofing issues and the fixes that can help keep your roof in good condition. The best action is to have them fixed before they become serious problems.
The good news is there are roofing contractors that conduct free inspections. But even if you need to pay them, it is well spent considering the amount you need to repair your roof.