The roof of your home is the first line of defense against Mother Nature. In order to protect your family and valuable belongings, it needs to stay in tip-top shape.
Inspecting your roof is probably not an activity you often do. Some damage can be seen from the ground, but often you aren’t aware of a problem until a roof repair is needed.
Knowing the main causes of roof damage can help you spot them early and possibly save money before it goes from bad to worse.
Here are 7 common causes of roof problems.
1. Faulty Installation
If the current roofing job was not done correctly, it won’t take long for the signs to start to show. New shingles should never be placed over old ones.
In addition, the sealant should be applied along with proper flashing installed. Roof underlayment is necessary as an extra layer of moisture protection.
2. Little or No Maintenance
Even with the best installation, shingle roof damage will eventually happen without proper maintenance.
The first step is to actually look at them. Have a regular schedule once during the spring and then again in the fall. A visual inspection can spot small problems before they become big ones. If you are uncomfortable doing this, an experienced roofer knows exactly what to look.
Keeping your gutters clean is necessary to keep water from backing up and harming the fascia. It is also a good idea to trim any tree branches that lean close to the roof.
Another important factor in protecting your roof is having the right ventilation system in your attic along with good insulation. This aids in keeping the roofing material from getting too hot.
3. Aging Roof
Roof material is made to withstand a lot and lasts quite a long time. Some will even last up to 50 years. However, time will eventually catch up with your roof. Even with good maintenance, your roof will start to show the effects of age.
After a certain lifespan, it is better to go ahead and replace the roof rather than keep spending money on repairs.
4. Wind Damage
The wind can cause problems for your roof in two ways. A strong wind can get up under loose shingles and blow them up or crack them. If you live in an area prone to fierce storms, you should choose a roofing material made to withstand the wind.
Another issue with the wind is blowing over trees or knocking branches onto the roof. This will break shingles and could even go all the way through into the home.
This is why keeping limbs trimmed is so important to stop wind damage to the roof.
5. Issues With Ice
Anyone living in a cold climate should be aware of the problems ice can cause to their roof. As snow and ice melt it can settle in under the shingles. As it refreezes, it expands and lifts the shingle away from the roof.
Over time this will cause the shingles to crack or break, and water will then leak in through the roof. If you live through harsh winters, make sure to keep an eye out for this problem.
6. High Heat From the Sun
Extreme heat can cause just as much weather damage as extreme cold. Heat makes the roofing material expand and then shrink back when it gets cooler. Over time this affects the integrity of the roof.
The harsh UV rays will also slowly break down the bond that holds the shingles together. That is where the attic ventilation and insulation helps.
7. Walking Around on the Roof
You could be causing damage to your roof! If you are up there walking around checking on things, be careful!
You should never walk around when it is hot as that can make the situation worse. Also, always wear shoes with soft soles and good traction.
Another suggestion is to leave the roof inspection to the professionals.
How Do You Know if You Have Roof Damage
The biggest thing to watch out for is problems with the shingles or roofing tiles.
The shingles should be uniform and connected. If there are any loose or missing shingles, tiles, or gaps, then you know there is potential damage. Any of these will allow water to get underneath and eventually into your home.
Curled shingles indicate a roof problem, but they could also point to a ventilation problem. When the attic does not have a proper venting system, the excessive rising heat will curl the shingles. If this is the case, both issues need to be resolved.
Hail is a huge sign of possible roof damage. After a hailstorm has gone through, your roof needs to be checked thoroughly. The same is true with a heavy wind storm. Depending on your home owner’s policy, this kind of damage could be fixed by filing an insurance claim.
Another thing to look for is water damage on your ceiling or down the walls. By this point, there is a significant leak already formed and needs attention right away.
Should You Repair or Replace the Roof
Once you have realized there is damage to the roof, you must decide what to do. Do you repair or replace?
The answer to that depends on the type and extent of the damage. If you just have a few loose or torn shingles from a storm or limb, then a repair job should do the trick.
If the damage is more significant but confined to one area, you can go the route of replacing just that section. You will need to consult with a professional to make sure the new work matches the rest of the roof.
Of course, an entire roof replacement may be your best option when the damage is severe or widespread, such as with age or a severe storm. Again, consult with an experienced roofer for the right decision.
Protect Your Home
Unknown roof damage will eventually put your home and the valuables inside at risk. When life gets busy, it is easy to forget this vital part of your home because you don’t see it every day.
Let us help. We offer free roof inspections and will guarantee your satisfaction at every step of the way, from a simple repair to a full replacement and even working with your insurance company.
We are your experienced full-service roofing company. Come check us out.