Along with your foundation, your roof is the most important part of your home. It makes sense, since it literally covers everything that lies beneath it: your house, your possessions, you! But, since we don’t look at it every day, we can take it for granted. We take it for granted, that is, until something goes wrong, at which point it’s too late. So, before you get to that point of no return, here are some common roofing problems you should act on right away.
The Dreaded Roof Leak
These can be hard to ignore. If flashing is cracked, or if you suffer from broken shingles, tiles, or slate, then leaking could become a real problem. In particular, look out for leaking by the chimney and around gutters, and at any flashing points. Check your roof regularly, and if you see any leaks, or discoloration in the walls or ceiling, it’s time to call in a professional.
Look for Holes
Holes – or depressions on the verge of becoming holes – are more common than you might think. There are lot of outside debris that can damage a roof. From wind and rocks, to heavy hail, to wildlife tramping all over the roof. Squirrels, woodpeckers, and other birds can create holes that can cause tremendous damage over the years if they’re not dealt with.
Shrinkage and Cracking
Like roads, moisture, the accumulation of ice, and fluctuations in temperature can cause materials like roof tiles to shrink, expand, and crack. When a material shrinks, it damages everything connected to it, and since roofs are enormous collections of interconnecting materials, damage can spread in a hurry. Shrinkage can pull apart flashing, limiting their effectiveness, and can be particularly damaging to roofs covered in EPDM. Of course, even solidly built roofs can be vulnerable to damage cause by ice. All it takes is for water to accumulate under a roof tile, then freeze overnight, creating gaps between tiles which can further expand when that ice melts the next day. The only way to prevent this is to perform a thorough inspection every spring and fall to look or damage, and to make repairs before things get out of hand.
Beware of Trees
A tree falling into your house is obviously a bad thing. But, something people don’t always notice is trees rubbing up against the house. If not cut back, a tree can scrape against a roof constantly, scratching the surface, and wearing down your top layer of protection. Definitely be sure to prune your trees on a regular basis, and consider removing trees that pose a constant threat.
Some roofs are so poorly installed to begin with, they never had a chance. Choose your roofer wisely. Don’t just go with the first one you see. Take the advice of your friends and neighbors who’ve had success with their roofers, and take the time to research any proposed roofer by checking out the testimony of users online.
If you regularly inspect your roof, and rely on the services of a reputable, experienced roofing company, then simple repairs are all you should need, sparing you from the emergency repairs that are the bane of every homeowner.