Roof Repair and replacement can be expensive. When it comes to the integrity of your roof, many people fail to properly maintain their roof and regularly check for damage. Early detection of roof problems can save you money and time in costly repairs.
For the average homeowner, the roof is not a structure they think about until it is causing problems. Many people simply don’t know what to look for or how to tell if their roof needs attention or repair. There are a few things every homeowner should know about roofs and how to detect if there is a problem.
Leaks and Water Damage
Water is the biggest culprit of roof damage. If the roof shingles or tiles are damaged or cracked, water can seep underneath to the base materials. When water gets into the base materials, the resulting damage can happen overnight. Even one rainstorm can cause enough water damage to create problems such as mold, mildew, bowing of the wood and even roof collapse.
To ensure your roof is protected against leaks and water damage make sure that the roof materials (such as tiles, shingles or shakes) are all intact and of good quality. Replace any broken or missing materials as soon as possible. The metal flashing is also important in keeping out water and moisture, as it bridges the gap between the roof and structures, such as the chimney. Flashing can bend and flex over time, creating problems with the seal and leaving the roof vulnerable to moisture. Use a rubber-based caulk to adhere the flashing to the roof materials and the structure they support.
Tenting and Cracking
Some of the roof materials may begin to tent or bow over time, leaving the materials underneath exposed to wind and water. If the shingles or flashing are not properly laid, or they become weak over time, they risk exposing the rest of the roof to the elements. Wind can easily blow tented shingles off of the roof, leaving the base materials without cover. Shingles and flashing can crack as they age, leaving small gaps in the roof. The problem with cracked shingles or flashing it can be hard to identify visually and requires up close inspection to detect.
This can be especially problematic in hot climates where cheaper roof materials begin to warp after a few years in the hot sun. Asphalt shingles are the most vulnerable as they can bend in the heat and are light enough to get carried off in the wind. Other roof materials such as clay tiles or slate tiles are more resistant to the heat and wind, which is why they are the primary roof material used in hotter climates.
Roofs can accumulate debris because of their shapes. Typically, the valleys between roof angles are the easiest places for debris to gather. Pine needles, tree leaves, branches and trash are some of the more common types of debris found along roof tops. Pine needles are especially problematic as they have a lot of sap that can leak onto the shingles, creating a sticky mess. If the needles are left on the roof too long, they can seep color causing the roof to become stained. Leaves and branches can bring insects and scratches to the roof materials.
It is important to routinely inspect your roof for any signs of damage or problems. Simple roof repairs such as replacing flashing or a few shingles can be done easily. If you are unsure how to repair your roof, call a roof contractor. Having a small repair completed early can save you hundreds down the road in roof replacement costs.