8 Common Roofing Problems and How to Fix Them
A well-built roof is essential to the integrity of your home. As its first line of defense, it shields the residents and their personal items from unpleasant weather conditions, such as extreme temperatures, torrential downpours and powerful winds, throughout the year. However, since your roof can only endure so much before it starts exhibiting some form of damage, it is extremely important to take care of it on a regular basis.
Today, we talk about some of the most common roofing concerns that homeowners face and how you can stop them before they spin out of control.
1. Tree Branches
It may not be obvious, but tall, overhanging trees combined with high-speed winds pose a dilemma for your roofing. From a fallen limb to the frequent lashing of branches against the surface of your roof, trees can either make your roof slump in the middle or leave unsightly scratches and dents. Make it a routine to trim back limbs and branches away from your home as much as possible. If a tree is standing dangerously close to your roof, then it should be removed.
2. Loose Granules
Asphalt shingles are built with protective granules made from crushed stones and minerals, allowing manufacturers to create shingles of various colors, shapes and sizes in the process. These granules are added because they help protect your roof from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, which can eventually lead to damage and cut the service life of your shingles short.
It is completely normal for these granules to come loose from the asphalt layer, especially a few weeks after the installation of the roof. However, when other factors like sharp-hitting hailstones contribute to the premature loss of this coating, resulting in bald patches and swaths of discoloration on the roof, then it is time to call local roofing contractors. Depending on the age and severity of the granule loss, you may be able to replace the affected shingles without having to get a brand-new roof.
3. Damaged/Blown-Off Shingles
When the wind blows your shingles right off your roof, it leaves the system vulnerable to water-related damage. Water from rainfall or melting snow can trickle down the underlayment and rot the decking. While the felt can maintain its integrity while damp, it will speedily break down in sunlight and with high amounts of moisture. Moreover, mold and mildew may form when the surface underneath is wet, and bubbles and wrinkles may create heat pockets that affect the shingles over time. If not the shingles, the wind can lift the metal flashing around penetrations up, which also destabilizes the protective barrier of your roof against moisture and pests.
Simply nailing the shingles down on the damaged decking will not address or solve the issue. An effective way to repair blown-off shingles is to replace them. However, these patches may be noticeable as weather conditions cause the older shingles to fade in color.
Leaks are difficult to ignore and can cause serious damage in a short period of time. Faulty materials, incorrectly installed shingles and storm elements are common reasons for the occurrence of leaks. The concern is spotting them and carrying out the much-needed roof repair in time to minimize the scope of the damage. If leaks are left unaddressed, the probability of structural erosion and health risks will increase.
Your best defense against a leaky roof is regular inspections. Be vigilant, and search for dark-colored water stains on your ceilings and walls, and in the attic, most preferably on a rainy day. Talk with your contractor about the condition of your roof at least twice a year and after every severe weather event.
5. Improperly Installed Flashing
Flashing is a thin strip of metal material, such as copper, aluminum or stainless steel, that roofers install to prevent water from seeping into openings and cracks in the roof. You can normally find flashing around valleys, vent pipes, skylights, chimneys and heating and cooling systems. When the flashing material is poorly attached, it can create open seams and laps, and cause tiles to be easily blown off by the wind, ultimately reducing the puncture resistance - the ability of a material to inhibit the intrusion of a foreign item - of your roof.
Flashing is crucial for keeping your roof watertight. Make sure it is properly installed in the first place by working with a reputable roof replacement contractor. If you believe that the flashing on your roof has come loose after a storm, contact your roofer as soon as possible to prevent further damage to your home.
6. Clogged/Damaged Gutters
Gutters are responsible for catching rainwater and diverting it away from the foundation of the home. If your gutters become clogged with leaves, twigs and other debris, they will not be able to drain properly and can start to overflow during rainstorms. Also, the excessive weight from the debris can cause the gutters to sag and ultimately pull away from your house. You can fix this by simply tightening the screws again, but if the issue is caused by hangers being spaced too apart, then you will need to install new ones. If leaks are your dilemma, use a gutter sealant to caulk the seams. If holes are larger-sized, then they will need to be patched using the same material as the gutter.
Experts recommend installing a gutter guard and sticking to a biannual maintenance plan with a trusted contractor to keep your gutters free of debris and undamaged for many years to come.
7. Rotted Soffit or Fascia Board
An exterior soffit is found beneath the rafter tails while the fascia is the exposed horizontal board at the end of the rafters. While these architectural elements are known to add visual interest and give a finished look to your home, they also serve a number of functional purposes. Soffit keeps warm, moisture-filled air from the outside from entering the attic, and the fascia secures the gutters to the roof. Once water seeps through worn-out shingles or loose flashing, it will run down the rafters and puddle on the soffit and fascia boards. From there, it only takes a short amount of time before the rot spreads, compromising the effectiveness of these barriers. Squirrels, birds and termites can also get inside through a rotted soffit.
If you notice that the soffit and fascia board are damaged, call a local roofer to have them replaced immediately.
8. Thermal Splitting
Splitting is caused by the thermal expansion of the material. When the temperature shoots up, asphalt shingles expand, and, when it inevitably plummets down again, the material contracts. This ultimately leads to splitting or tearing. Normally, asphalt shingles are immune to this phenomenon, thanks to advancements in technology. But if the expansion is causing adverse effects on your roofing system, it is an indication that you have low-quality shingles that need to be replaced.
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A1 Quality Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded and insured roofing contractor in all of Southern California. When it comes to re-roofing, roof repair, roof maintenance, roof certification or waterproofing, there are no problems our professional team cannot fix. With excellent workmanship and personalized service, we will restore the pristine condition of your home in no time. Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with us today! Call (951) 877-4406, or fill out our convenient online form.