From leaky skylights to missing shingles, roof problems often take homeowners by surprise. Roof problems are not just limited to older or worn out roofs, but can actually develop in newer roofs due to poor installation, faulty materials, or environmental factors like excessive wind and rain.
Common Roof Problems To Look For
It is important to be aware of the various types of roof problems that can occur, how to locate and remedy these problems, and how to prevent more roofing issues in the future.
Leaks and moisture issues are one of the most common roof problems. Shingles can lift over time, allowing moisture to seep underneath and into the underlying layers of roofing material. When moisture seeps into these layers, wood rot can occur that creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth. Leaks are also common around protrusions on the roof, such as chimneys, vents, and skylights. Over time, leaks tend to get worse, especially during periods of heavy rain or snow.
Holes in a roof can occur for a number of reasons. In some instances, an old or worn roof can develop small holes from a breakdown of materials. These holes usually get larger over time resulting in bigger leaks that cause substantial damage to the structure of the home. Holes can also appear following a storm. Harsh winds and other elements can cause tree limbs to sway or break. When these limbs fall onto your roof, they can leave holes that attract rain, insects, and small animals.
3. Standing Water
The presence of standing water on your roof indicates a major issue. Divots containing water often develop when the roofing materials start to sink towards the center of the roof. If the roof is newer, standing water can have other causes, such as pooling from improper drainage of HVAC units or gutters. Debris can also build up on the roof’s surface preventing water from flowing down and off the roof. If the cause of the standing water is not promptly found and remedied, leaks are likely to develop.
All it takes is a small hole or crevice and insects and other small critters can start to make your roof their home. It does not take long for these pests to cause substantial damage to your home, especially larger pests like squirrels, bats, birds, and raccoons. These pests will often build nests inside your attic or walls, may store food in gaps in the roof, and reproduce which makes the problem even worse.
5. Loss of Granules
Granules refer to the coating found on asphalt shingles. This coating is designed to help keep UV rays off the shingles while making them more fire resistant. Over time, your shingles can begin to lose their granules, which ultimately affects the integrity of your roof. You may find these loose granules in the lawn or collected in your gutter system. You can usually see if your roof is losing too many granules as there will be bald spots in certain areas.
6. Poor Ventilation
Ventilation issues are a common type of roof problems that have multiple consequences to the health of your home. Having proper ventilation in your attic is essential if you want to maintain the life expectancy of your roof. Vents allow warm air to escape the attic and cool air to enter. This helps regulate the temperature and moisture levels in the attic. When proper ventilation is lacking, it can negatively impact the rafters, sheathing, insulation, and shingles.
7. Inadequate Flashing
The flashing on your roof is the material that helps seal the area around protrusions, such as skylights, vent pipes, chimneys, and cooling and heating systems. When flashing starts to wear away or is poorly installed, seams can open up around these protrusions allowing water to seep in. If the flashing is loose, some of the material may break away and actually fall off your roof.
Warning Signs to Look for
It is not always easy to determine whether or not your roof needs to be repaired or replaced. When determining if roofing services are necessary, start by considering the age of your roof. Most roofs have an average lifespan of 20 to 25 years. If your roof has surpassed this or if you have multiple layers of shingles due to reroofing jobs, you may want to consider a roof replacement.
Also check the roof for signs that there may be a problem, such as broken or curling shingles, dips in the roof, a soft or spongy texture, damage around the chimney, or the presence of wood rot or mold growth.
Testing for Roof Issues
If you suspect that there may be a roof leak but you cannot locate the source, perform a simple leak test to find out. Stand in your attic with a flashlight while another person uses a hose to soak the roof. As your partner soaks the roof, see if there is any water dripping into your attic. Use your flashlight to find the source of the leak and mark its location.
Preventing Roof Problems
There are a number of things homeowners can do to lower the risk of roof problems. Undergoing regular roof inspections is one of the best things you can do to keep roofing issues to a minimum. Bring in a trained professional to inspect the condition of your roof and have any problems found treated quickly before they become more costly to fix.
Pay close attention to roof flashings and make sure that you are not blocking ventilation in your attic. In addition, keep trees and bushes away from your home to prevent damage to your roof and maintain gutters and downspouts.
Speak To The Roof Repair Professionals
Have you discovered a roofing problem or do you suspect that one exists? Do not wait until the problem gets worse before calling in the professionals. Contact Beyond Exteriors today to learn more about roof repair services in Northern Virginia.