Owning property is a monumental and exciting achievement. However, excitement quickly turns to stress when home repairs come up. Roofing repairs are particularly stressful because the problem isn’t usually detected until it has become urgent. It’s not often that you get up on your roof to inspect its condition or analyze your monthly bills to see if there are any red flags that signal roof or home damage in general.
To help you get ahead of potential complications, we’ve compiled a list of the most common roofing issues that homeowners encounter.
Signs of Roof Damage
There are several clues to look for that will reveal roof damage. Some indicators of damage include:
- Damaged, loose, or missing roof shingles
- Wet spots on walls and ceilings in your home
- Leaks when it rains
- Unexplained mold growth
- Accumulation of moss or other debris that force moisture into the roofing
Additionally, if there are large tree limbs that hang close to the roof of your home, it’s a good idea to examine the area for punctures. During a storm with high winds, those big branches can do some real damage.
While there are various reasons for roof damage, there are two very common sources. The most likely culprits behind your damaged roof are:
- Extreme Weather: Even the highest-quality roofing materials will be worn down by extreme weather. Hail and strong winds can harm your roof and poke holes that you won’t be able to see. Years of winter snow and summer heat will diminish any roofing type’s protective surface. For those who live in cold climates, there are roofing materials made to withstand these seasonal extremes.
- Lack of Maintenance: Improperly maintaining your roof can create some serious trouble. Regular roof inspections will catch deterioration in its early stages. Although roof maintenance can be expensive, it’s much cheaper than neglecting your roof. Preventative maintenance can fix leaks, loose flashing, missing shingles, and so much more for a fraction of the cost of a whole new roof.
The good news is that one of these two primary causes are completely within your control. Although you can’t prevent extreme weather, you can practice proper roof maintenance. If you start maintaining your roof now, trust us, you’ll be happy you did.
5 Common Roofing Problems
Roof repairs are no fun. Depending on the severity of the issue, they can be quite expensive. Learn about these common roofing problems to know what to look for, so you can identify them before they get out of hand.
Leaking is the most common roofing concern that property owners face. Although frequent causes include cracked shingles that allow moisture to permeate the surface and corroded flashing (the thin pieces of metal made to keep water out), there are countless other reasons for a leaky roof. Leaks often occur in the following places:
- By the chimney
- Underneath damaged shingles
- Around flashing
- Near gutters
- Around skylights
- Near vents and pipes
- In low spots
Roof leakage is a more serious problem than homeowners think. If your ceiling gets wet spots or leaks when it rains, your roof is leaking, and you must address it right away.
Poor roof design is usually the reason for ponding water. Flat roofs, roofs that sag, lack drains, and have weak structure are likely to result in ponding water. Water that remains on your roof for more than 48 hours will quickly deteriorate your roof and result in structural damage.
Ponding may be caused by roof design, heavy rain, or clogged drains. Design-related ponding is truly unfortunate. It means that you’ll need an entirely new roof. If the ponding is due to clogged drains, that’s an easy fix for an experienced and qualified roofing contractor.
Poor Installation and Flashing
One of the fundamental factors that define a roof’s longevity is installation. A poorly installed roof is more likely to be damaged and will need full replacement sooner than one that is correctly installed.
Flashing needs to be installed around chimneys, skylights, vent pipes, HVAC systems, and any other feature that penetrates your roof. Poorly installed flashing means that the seal around these components is inadequate and will allow moisture into places it shouldn’t be, which leads to leaks and other concerns.
Holes and Punctures
From foot traffic and weather to little critters and tree branches, the origins of roof punctures are many. Years of storms, animals drilling and digging into your roof, and roofing contractors walking across your roof can weaken certain spots, leaving them susceptible to holes and punctures. If one shingle is pried loose or punctured, all of the shingles near it are more likely to be ripped off during a storm, which can require a total roof replacement.
If you have a single-ply roof, your roof may shrink. This means that the material underneath the shingles is getting smaller. Shrinkage may be due to weather, moisture, or poor installation. Examine the places where your roof meets the flashing. If the roof is pulling away, your roof has started to shrink and may continue to do so. Be on the lookout for this. If you catch it early, you can avoid hefty expenses. If you let it go until it’s an urgent crisis, your bank account will take a serious hit.
Fix Your Damaged Roof Today
If your roof needs repairs, it’s essential that you work with a great contractor. Otherwise, the underlying issues may not be fixed, and you’ll be caught in a cycle of repairs until you finally have to replace your roof entirely. Keep tabs on these five signs of roof damage. If you catch them early, you will save yourself a lot of money. Better yet, in addition to staying vigilant, stay up-to-date on your roofing maintenance. By deploying these two strategies, you’re well-positioned to avoid severe roof damage.