7 Most Common Roof Problems

Common roof problems

There are plenty of things that can happen to a roof over the span of its life – wind, hail, the sun, and tree damage. In addition, leaking, mold, pests, and more. There are, however, a few more common roof problems that can plague a roof and make it more vulnerable.

If any of these common roof problems occur, you need to get them taken care of right away.

Common Roof Problems to Avoid

Flashing

Flashing on roof
Roof flashing

The areas where a roof needs flashing are always the areas of a roof most vulnerable to leaks. Valleys, transitions, chimneys, and any other roof protrusions like vents and skylights are all places where a leak is more likely to start.

Roof flashing is an important part of your roofing system. Roofers use flashing – a painted or silver malleable material – to cover the places where the roof butts up against these things. If the flashing fails in some way; warps or gets pulled away, a leak is not far behind. You want to prevent leaks as soon as possible. It’s easier to prevent than to fix the damage caused by leaking.

Soffits

Roof soffits and fascia
Soffits and fascia

An essential element of your roof protection are the soffits. Soffits – the wood underneath your eaves, or roof overhang – are vulnerable to pests.

Squirrels, birds, raccoons, and other climbing animals will try to find any hole they can in order to burrow and nest. You can’t blame them – it’s a warm, dry place – but you definitely don’t want to let them do it.

Animals can get into your attic from there and wreak havoc on your insulation, electrical wiring, and even the wooden structure of your roof. Not to mention that any hole in your roofing system could mean a leak eventually – even if it’s on the underside of your roof overhang.

Fascia

Fascia boards – the wood, metal, vinyl or wood composite boards just under your roof line – are vulnerable to rot because of their close and constant proximity to water. They are especially vulnerable if your gutters aren’t performing well. If your fascia boards start to rot, they can compromise the wood decking inside your roof, the structure of your house and even your windows.

Gutters

Gutters
Gutters with debris

We’ve talked a lot on this blog about proper gutter systems and maintenance. Gutters that aren’t regularly cleaned and maintained will cause the rest of your roof to become vulnerable and fail that much more quickly.

Gutters are not optional – they are part of your roofing system. They siphon water away from your roof and away from your house’s foundation.

If they become backed up with debris, not only will water pool, but snow and ice will cause ice dams in the winter and debris can rot, or even start to grow plants which will quickly take over and ruin your roofing material.

Basically, you want to get that water away from your roof as quickly as possible after it rains or snows.

Shingles

Curling asphalt shingles
Comprised shingles

Shingles themselves can be ripped off, get warped, lose their protective coating or be worn down by the hot sun. When shingles get compromised, everything underneath will be compromised too sooner or later.

Proper maintenance is critical to extend the life of shingles.

Trees

Tree branches over roof
Tree branches overhanging roof

More specifically, overhanging branches can cause a number of problems for your roof. There is always the chance of an old or unhealthy tree falling in a storm and causing structural damage to your roof.

Additionally, there is a more constant problem of limbs scraping away the granules on your shingles and the tree dropping debris on your roof. We realize homeowners don’t want to cut down big beautiful trees near their homes.

However, if your tree is big enough to cause harm to your roof, it may also be big enough to be messing with your foundation. Not to mention the easy access it gives all those critters to your nice, cozy roof. Better to call a professional roofer and ask than ruin your new roof.

Lack of Maintenance

Most of these problem areas can be small or become huge depending on how soon they are treated. Lack of homeowner maintenance is one of a roof’s worst enemies. Have a professional company come to do maintenance on your roof twice a year.

Takeaway

These 7 common roof problems should and can be avoided. It is important that you don’t attempt to get up on your roof due to safety precautions. Use a pair of binoculars to spot the situation or call the professionals. Make sure your attic is properly insulated and ventilated.

The roofing company you employ should know your local municipality permit process, have valid credentials and a proper contracting license as well as be able to provide good references within your community.

If you are located in Southeast Michigan, please give us a call. We are here to help whenever you need us.

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