5 Common Roofing Problems

If you have lived in your home for many years, then you probably have experienced a roofing problem at some point. Common issues range from minor leaks to major cracking.

Whether the problem is big or small, it needs immediate attention. Do not think you can put off minor problems when it comes to your roof. If you do put them off, then you will soon discover they have turned into major problems.

Although some roofing problems can be repaired by people proficient in DIY, it is recommended you hire a professional to do the work for you. This may cost you more money in the short-term, but a professional’s expertise means you can avoid running into further problems. You can, therefore, save cash in the long-term as well as maintain your home’s equity. Hiring a professional is not only about saving money and making sure the job is done to complete satisfaction. Repairing roofs can be dangerous. You do not want to end up in the hospital with a large bill to pay just because you were stubborn about doing the roof repairs yourself. What sorts of problems can happen to roofs? Stay on top of roof problems by learning about these five common roofing issues.

Cracked Flashing

Flashing provides a watertight seal between roofing materials, roof sections and other parts of a property. Incorrect installation or improper sealing of the flashing can lead to cracking. This means water will enter in between the roofing systems and roof structure. Water can create all sorts of problems, such as mold and rot. Other reasons for the failing of flashing include:

  • Insufficient overlaps.
  • Poor adhesion.
  • Loose insulation underneath.
  • Insufficient coating.
  • Improper height.
  • Incorrect fastening.
  • An insufficient number of base-flashing piles.

Flashing is used in various ways. Penetration flashing is used around any hole cut into your roof for projections, such as chimneys and ducts. Penetration flashing can fail for various reasons, such as an improper design or broken seams.

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Metal base flashing is another type of flashing material that causes problems. It separates easily from bituminous materials so the expansion and contraction rate of the two roofing materials can cause cracks and openings allowing water to enter and damage the surface. If you have metal-base flashing, then it is best to replace it with a bituminous base flashing to cease further problems from occurring.

Shrinkage

Shrinkage is a common problem for EPDM and modified bitumen roofs. When shrinkage occurs, the flashing around penetrations, curbs and walls can crack. In turn, the cracks result in leaks. The cause of shrinkage can be down to the age of the roofing material, UV exposure or poor installation.

Thankfully, shrinkage problems can be fixed. Firstly, the affected flashing and curbs need to be replaced. You can then relieve pressure by cutting the flashing and securing a field sheet with a russ strip or termination bar. It is recommended you get a professional to do this.

Wind Damage

The vacuum and uplifting pressure of the wind is so strong it has the power to partially rip the roofing membrane. To prevent this from happening, make sure your roofing and insulation are properly secured to the roof’s perimeter and the main roof structure.

Resistance to uplift wind can also be reduced when seams are incorrectly cured. If a cold adhesive is being used for your roof’s seams, then it takes time to cure before it has good integrity. Therefore, if the seams are exposed to high winds and rain prior to the adhesive curing, then water leakage can occur and your roof membrane could become damaged.

Snow and Ice Damage

Over time, any roof can be affected by problems caused by snow and ice. This is because snow and ice melt into water. Eventually, the water seeps underneath the shingles and wreak havoc. If the water refreezes, then it can push against the shingles or flashing. The force is so strong, it can even lift the shingles or flashing. This leaves gaps where even more snow or ice can enter.

There are ways you can help to prevent snow and ice damage from occurring. EPDM and other single-ply membrane materials are less likely to be damaged. For all roofing types, you can reduce snow and ice damage in the following ways:

  • Schedule a routine spring and fall inspection and do the necessary maintenance. By keeping on top of this, you can avoid being caught off guard with emergency situations that are expensive to repair.
  • Do not allow snow and ice to build up. Snow and ice do not only cause water damage, but their sheer weight can also be a problem too. Roofs collapsing due to the weight of snow and ice is not unheard of. You do not want to have more than a foot of snow on your roof at any time, so make sure you clear it off regularly.
  • Have a properly insulated attic. A correctly insulated attic allows just the right amount of heat to escape in order for snow and ice to gradually melt. Snow and ice that melts quickly can cause problems like clogged gutters and ice dams.
  • Clear your gutters regularly. Ice and snow can build up in a gutter system. If the build-up becomes too much, then the gutters could rip away from the roof and walls. This causes a lot of expensive repair work. Clearing your gutters regularly allows you to avoid major problems later down the line.

Holes and Punctures

There are many things that can cause holes or puncture marks in your roof. Over time, these problems could be caused by the foot traffic of contractors and repairmen or woodpeckers drilling holes with their beaks. Even if you only have a few squirrels running across your roof now and then, the damage will build up over the years.

This damage can create leaks, mold, rot and more problems. It is, therefore, best to regularly inspect your roof as part of your routine seasonal maintenance and repair any holes and punctures, or hire a professional to do a routine check-up for you.

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