Few things are as troubling as a roof problem for most homeowners. After all, roof damage can negatively affect a building’s structural integrity and lead to expensive repairs.
By knowing how to identify common roofing problems early on, you can take proactive steps to mitigate small issues before they become pressing matters.
This overview of the most common roofing problems will help you spot issues like water leaks, blockages, and general wear and tear so that you can maintain your roof’s integrity.
Schedule a free roofing inspection with Vikings Contractors today!
Top 10 Common Roofing Problems That Need to be Addressed
1. Roof Leaks
Roof leaks can cause some serious headaches if you don’t take care of them as quickly as possible. We can’t tell you how many times we’ve seen water dripping down from roofs and ruining insulation, walls, paint, and more.
The most common causes of roof leaks are cracked, worn, or missing shingles and flashing, which allow water to seep from the roof and into your house.
This can cause all sorts of issues, including:
- Rotting roof decking
- Damaged insulation
- Mold growth
- Peeled paint and wallpaper
- Dangerous electrical issues
For minor leaks, fixing or replacing the defective shingle or flashing should fix the problem. In severe cases, though, you may need a partial or whole roof replacement.
2. Damaged Shingles
From strong winds and impact from tree branches to people walking on the roof, roof shingles are constantly under pressure, so they’re prone to crack or endure some degree of damage over time.
Cracked or damaged shingles take away from your roof’s aesthetic appeal. And as we’ve established, they can lead to a leaking roof if not dealt with promptly.
So, take a good look at your roof’s shingles, keeping an eye out for fractures, punctures, lifted corners – that sort of thing.
In most cases, you’ll only need to replace one or two shingles. But if there’s widespread damage, you may need to replace entire sections of your roof or even the whole thing.
3. Worn Flashing
Healthy roof flashing is key to keeping joints and intersections sealed up tight against leaks. If not maintained properly, however, it can rust, crack, or come loose over time.
You need to carefully check places like vents, chimneys, and valleys for any signs of flashing damage. Even a single nail popping loose around the flashing can be problematic!
Sealing gaps, adding membranes, and replacing rusty sections are often enough to remedy roof flashing issues. But be sure to consult a reputable roofing contractor beforehand.
4. Clogged Gutters
Clogged gutters are no fun. As soon as they get packed with leaves, gunk, and debris, water starts running in the wrong way and pooling where you don’t want it to.
How do you know if your gutters are clogged, you ask?
You’ll notice peeling fascia on the outside, and the gutters may simply start overflowing. Take this as a clear indication that you need to get your gutters cleaned.
In addition to cleaning your gutters at least twice a year, consider investing in gutter guards or screens. They can help cut down on clogging a great deal!
5. Pooling Water
Little dips and depressions in the surface of the roof are problem spots for standing water. And anywhere that stays wet for more than 48 hours can be at risk of damage, leaks, and mold.
To overcome this problem, all you need to do is dab some roof sealant in affected areas to fill them in. If the affected area is large, you may need to add tapered insulation beneath to help redirect the water so that it doesn’t pool.
For low-slope and flat roofs, which are the most prone to pooling water, we recommend installing crickets and extra drains as a prevention measure.
6. Overhanging Trees
Overhanging tree branches might not come across as problematic to the average homeowner, but they can do a lot more damage than you might think.
For starters, overhanging trees can wear and tear away at shingles, which can lead to a roof leak. On top of that, they can clog gutters with their leaves and needles.
With that in mind, you should take the time to trim all overhanging branches. We recommend a minimum clearance distance of about 10 feet.
7. Poor Ventilation
Proper roof ventilation plays a big role in preventing excess moisture from damaging your roof. It also helps prevent mold and mildew.
Watch out for signs of wet insulation and mildew stains. Also, make sure there aren’t any blockages around vents, attic fans, and soffits.
If you have attic hatches, consider sealing them, as they can disrupt airflow. And it doesn’t hurt to add a few more vents if needed.
FIY: Too much ventilation can create ice dams in the winter, so don’t go overboard with vents!
8. Ice/Snow Damage
Heavy ice and snow buildup tends to strain roofing materials big time. It can lead to cracked shingles, warped sheathing, ice backup, and more.
If you live in a harshly cold climate, we recommend installing snow guards on your roof. They’re to be installed above low roof sections, eaves, and valleys.
It goes without saying that you should use a roof rake to remove the excess weight and clear off overhangs and icicles whenever possible.
9. Roof Shrinkage
Asphalt shingles naturally expand and contract as the temperature fluctuates. Over time, this constant movement, along with sun exposure, leads to shrinkage and damaged roofing materials.
Brittle, shrunken shingles are compromised in terms of the protection they offer. They’re also prone to blow upwards and break when walked on.
If you notice extensive shrinking, cracking, and granular loss, it’s time to call a professional roofing company for a full roof replacement!
10. Lack of Maintenance
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Maintaining your roof regularly helps you avoid costly repairs down the road.
Just doing visual checks to catch and address any issues early on goes a long way. Simple tasks like clearing debris and trimming overhanging branches can help prevent major issues.
Having a good roof maintenance plan that’s tailored specifically to your home really pays off.
Take Action Today
While some roofing issues may seem too minor to call for your immediate attention, it’s crucial to address them early on so that they don’t escalate to major problems that can threaten your property’s structural integrity and cost you a fortune to repair.
Take action today by scheduling a free roof inspection with Viking Contractors!