Because roofing problems can be difficult to see, they are often ignored or go unnoticed until a major issue develops. Most homeowners do not bother paying attention to their roofs until they notice a leak on the inside of the house, at which point the problem could result in great expense. To avoid issues like this it is important to keep an eye on the most common causes of roofing problems and roof leaks. For this reason we want to provide a quick informative list of problems and causes to watch out for related to your roof before any serious damage happens.
Make sure that proper maintenance is performed on your roof, including roof inspections. These should be done ideally once a year and more frequently after serious storms. Maintenance may involve things like minor repairs, gutter cleaning, removing pine needles or leaves or other debris from the roof, and removing any tree branches that overhang the roof. Any build-up of foreign material on the roof can wear down the exterior of the shingles (or metal or tile) that is meant to be the protective layer for the roof. This is especially true of tree branches that overhang and rub against the roof. If this process is left unattended it will inevitably result in a roof leak. Branches close to the roof are also dangerous because a storm may break them off of the tree and cause them to fall onto the roof, potentially creating a hole directly into the interior. In Florida, which is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, it is generally a good idea to remove any trees that are too close to the house, particularly if they look dry, to avoid major storm damages.
An inspection by a qualified roofing professional can get in front of any potential damages before they progress too far. It is best to hire a trusted contractor to do the inspection, as they will know exactly what to look for. Here are some of the issues that an inspector will look out for:
Flashing is a material, typically metal, that is put in particularly vulnerable parts of the roof. These include cuts in the roof for plumbing or HVAC vents and anywhere that a ninety degree corner appears on the roof, like at a chimney or elevation change. Flashing is meant to protect these vulnerable areas, but if it was improperly installed or is separating from the roof surface due to age, then it creates an easy and most effective point for water penetration.
A related vulnerable area is the valleys of the roof surface. Because water tends to run down the valleys, they can get worn away faster than other areas. For this reason, valleys are usually lined with extra protection, like valley metal or rolled roofing or peel and seal underlayment. If one of these were installed improperly, or if they fail due to wear and tear (which is especially harsh in valley areas), then a leak is inevitable. In fact, dead valleys, as these are called, are one of the primary causes of roof leaks.
Relatively minor storm damage often goes unnoticed by the homeowners; however, even minor storm damage is a gateway to bigger problems. Once there is a vulnerable area on the roof, normal wear from the elements (heat, wind, rain, etc…) is exacerbated and leads to leaks and sheathing damage. Minor storm damage includes creased or missing shingles, lifted up by wind storms, as well as hail damage, which presents as small spots on the roof. These spots damage the exterior surface of the roofing material, which allows water from following rain storms to seep under the exterior layer and cause leaks and other damages.
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!