Roofing Faq: Basic Roof Problems
What are some of the typical causes of roof problems?
There are different types of roof problems, and it is best to be aware of them so you can avoid shortening the life span of the roof. Some typical roof problems are:
- Not enough maintenance done. Failing to fix minor roof problems can lead to a bigger problems later on. Structural damage caused by any physical contact can also lead to more problems later on.
- Climate and Weather. Extreme weather (hail, ice, snow, scorching heat) can expedite the deterioration of a roof. Strong winds can, of course, damage the roof as well.
- Industrially polluted or salty air (as near the sea) and other atmospheric contaminants are also contributing factors.
- Wrong design. A faulty design can lead to early problems. A weak or improperly attached roof can also collapse from weight.
- Flashing problems. Flashings are used to make the roof watertight. Improper installation and weak flashing can make the roof leak and by the time it is discovered, water damage maybe extensive.
How do I know if I need a new roof if I don’t see any leaks?
Leaks are not the only reason for replacing a roof. Furthermore, if you wait until you begin seeing leaks, you may end up with more damage and a bigger problem than you had hoped. So, check your roof regularly for the following:
- Age of roof – Depending on the kind of roofing, a roof can last up to 20 years. If your roof is 15 years old, you should be watching for signs of needing repair.
- Missing or torn shingles – Damaged shingles expose the roof to water damage and rot. They also make it so that other shingles may be blown away in the wind. Old shingles may curl, split and lose their waterproofing effectiveness. These weakened shingles are more likely to be blown away by wind gusts.
- Rusted or missing flashing – Flashing is the metal that surrounds chimneys, skylights and vent pipes. It is also often found in the valleys of the roof where the roof sections meet. If it is rusted, damaged or missing, it could cause leaks.
- Gutters – Check gutters, downspouts and splash pans for damage or decay. Look for broken pieces of paint and scraps of roofing. This may be a sign that your roof needs some attention.
- Inside Walls – Watch for discolored plasterboard or cracked paint and peeling wallpaper indoors. This could be a sign of a leaky roof.
What kind of preventive maintenance should I do for my roof?
Since roofs are constantly exposed to the elements, most roof damage results from weather and pollutants in the atmosphere. To save yourself big repair costs or even having to replace your roof before its time, you should perform a general inspection on your roof at least twice a year, checking for mildew, mold, rust, trapped water, and possible damage, and hire a contractor to make repairs if necessary. That is the best preventive maintenance you can do.
Also, be sure to keep your roof clean. Remove any debris that may accumulate on it and clean out the roof gutters regularly. Also, repair any weather damage as soon as it occurs.
Author: Paul Kleinmeulman
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