Roofs are complex systems made up of many different parts, including shingles, underlayment, ventilation stacks, flashing, soffits, and more. As your home’s first point of contact with everything from rain and hail to sun and wind-borne debris such as leaves and sticks, your roof needs to be kept in top shape if it’s going to keep you and your family safe and dry.
The following are 7 common roofing problems and suggestions for how to fix them:
1. Leaks and moisture. One of the roof’s main jobs is to keep out rainwater. Leaks are more likely to occur as a roof ages and nears the end of its effective lifespan. The first step in stopping a leak is finding it. Enter the attic or crawlspace with a flashlight and look around for areas that seem damp or moldy. Once you know where a leak is, hire a professional roofer or fix whatever parts of the roof appear to be letting the water in.
2. Damaged, loose, or missing shingles and tiles. Shingles and tiles guide water away from the inside of your house, moving it downward, toward the ground via the gutters. Asphalt shingles that look shiny or wavy need to be replaced. Replace torn or damaged shingles with new ones. If more than one quarter of your shingles need to be replaced, chances are you need a whole new roof.
3. Torn or missing flashing. The materials that bridge the gap between two different types of roofing elements are called flashing. Made of metal or rubber strips that connect the shingles to the chimney, for example, or the tiles to an exterior wall, intact flashing stops moisture and debris from getting inside your home. To keep water out, make sure your flashing stays intact.
4. Blocked ridge, gable, or soffit vents. Proper ventilation helps your attic shed moisture and heat. Hot air rises, meaning that soffit vents (where cooler air enters) and gable vents (where warmer air exits) need to be kept open so air flows freely. Moisture and heat build-up in the attic can lead to damage to structural beams and other wooden items stored there.
5. Critter and bug intrusion. Faulty siding as well as rotten roof elements such as the fascia and soffits can let in insects and other pests. Protect your home’s structure and everything in it by sealing up holes and replacing torn or broken siding.
6. Clogged gutters. Gutters move rainwater away from your home’s siding and foundation, preventing harm to crucial structures. Clean any debris out of your gutters by hand, then flush them out using a garden hose. Make sure downspouts move water away rapidly, and clear out any that appear clogged. Remove grass or other vegetation growing in gutters immediately.
7. Overhanging trees. Tree limbs or other types of vegetation growing over or close to your roof can possibly damage it, especially during ice storms or periods of high wind. Have a qualified professional cut back overhanging limbs, and remove any plants that appear to be growing on or onto your roof.
If you don’t feel comfortable mounting your roof, or if your insurance policy forbids it, check it out from ground level using a pair of binoculars. For expert assistance from trustworthy roofing specialists, Professional Roofing Contractors are there for you when you need us most.