In our last post we provided an explanation of the origins of the most common roofing problems and roof leaks. Turns out that origins of common problems are more extensive that we could exhaust in one post. Consequently, today we return to go over yet more common issues that eventually lead to roofing problems if left unchecked or unnoticed. As always, a timely roof inspection could forestall any such causes before they develop into leaks or other roof damages that may require costly repairs.
Most of the material covering your roof was fastened there by specialty roofing nails. Although roofing nails are specifically designed to prevent water entry and associated leaks, no system can be perfect. The underlayment layer, whether felt or synthetic, is always attached by nails and so are the shingles, tile, or metal that provide the exterior covering. (Peel and seal underlayment sticks straight to the decking and does not require nails, but it was not in widespread use until only the last few years; even nowadays it is considered an upgrade and comes with extra costs). The first potential issue with nails is installation. If the nails were improperly installed, as when they are driven in too low so that they are not covered by the course of shingles above, they can remain exposed to the weather. Exposed nails begin to quickly rust, especially in the hot, rainy, and humid Florida environment, and rusty nails are prone to failure and water entry as they warp beyond their original form. Even when properly installed, nails can back out or stand high due to continued heat and moisture (again, both common in Florida). When deck nails, the ones installed in the deck sheathing, back out, they can lift the shingles above them, eventually allowing water entry. When shingle nails stand high these are called nail pops and can be easily observed on the surface of the roof. While common, nail pops can be a sign of an aging roof with extensive wear and tear, which may require repair or replacement in the near future.
When laying shingles, roofers begin from the bottom by laying down a starter course along the perimeter of the eaves. This starter course serves as a sort of anchor for all the courses laid above it. If a starter course is damaged, then it can cause big problems–rot tends to set in along the eaves and fascia. The soffit on the bottom of the eaves can also show this damage through discoloration. Starter courses can be damaged in a variety of ways from incorrect installation to nail pops to improperly attached gutters that might interfere with the drip edge (a metal strip that bridges the starter course and the eave of the roof).
As we have extensively explained in previous posts, proper attic ventilation is crucial for a well-functioning and long-lasting roofing system. Adequate ventilation occurs when air enters vents located around the eaves of the roof, usually in the soffit, and exits vents located at the top of the roof–ridge or off-ridge vents. Because hot air naturally rises, if this system is properly installed and remains unobstructed, the ventilation system works appropriately. If any of the vents are improperly installed, missing, or obstructed, or if the attic is improperly insulated, the ventilation system may malfunction. This can cause the roof to overheat, damaging the shingles, or moisture to build up in the attic, which can rot the sheathing or the rafters/trusses holding up the roof. Mold and mildew problems often result from lack of proper ventilation and can become a health hazard and significant expense. Animals, such as bats, squirrels, mice, birds, and others can enter the attic and obstruct vents, as well as causing other damages. Any critter infestations are best identified quickly and evicted as soon as possible.
Again, these are only some of the major issues to watch out for to prevent roof damages. If you have not had a roof inspection in a long time, then it may be a good idea to get one now to prevent any future problems. Just give us a call and we would be happy to help you out. Florida’s Best Roofing, Inc. is a fully licensed (CCC 1325974) and insured, local roofing contractor with decades of experience. If you are interested in roof replacement or repair and you are in the Palm Coast, Flagler, or Volusia area, please give us a call at 386-263-7906 for a free estimate!