Five Most Common Trouble Areas of a Roofing System
Even though a roofing system can suffer a number of issues, there are typically five problem areas that appear to be the most susceptible. Also, these common roof problems are fairly easy to recognize and sometimes repair on your own. However, in many cases an expert roofer is necessary. Most homeowners aren’t comfortable accessing their own roof since they feel this kind of work is beyond their skills and knowledge and therefore contact a roofing contractor.
Here are the five most common trouble areas you need to be aware of:
The gutters on your home are designed to prevent water from penetrating the foundation in order to protect its overall structural integrity. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure that your gutters are doing their job to their full potential since they are highly vulnerable to debris and water buildup, which can cause mildew and mold under the roof.
The primary problem occurs when a gutter gets so backed up with debris it becomes virtually useless. The extra weight of standing water, leaves, and twigs can cause downspouts and gutters to sag and separate from the fascia. Faulty hangers are usually the culprit in this case. Sometimes hangers are spaced too far apart in order to support the weight of the gutters and can also deteriorate over time. Hangers are a cheap, easy fix. If you notice that your gutters have holes or leaks, simply seal them with caulk in the joints or fill the small holes from the inside using gutter sealant. Larger holes will likely require a patch.
Note: make sure your gutters are properly pitched toward your downspouts for proper water flow. If water is standing, it’s likely you don’t have enough pitch. Therefore, keep your downspouts extended at least 4 feet from your house to prevent water from seeping into your basement.
Fascia refers to a roof trim and generally consists of sheet metal or wooden boards. Envision the vertical finished edge that connects to the rafter’s ends, trusses, and key areas where the roof and gutter meet.
The fascia’s primary role is to protect by serving as a critical layer between the roof edge and the outdoor elements, especially water. Also, it protects the interior of your home from weather damage by sufficiently blocking its way into your home. Fascia also serves an aesthetic purpose by creating an even, smooth appearance along the edge of the roof.
Moisture is the primary culprit behind many fascia issues. Therefore, make sure you look for visible signs of damage or rot and immediately contact a professional roofing contractor if you notice a problem.
Roof systems that use shingles offer a great deal of protection but are also prone to curling and discoloration. Broken or missing shingles can make underlying wood vulnerable to holes, rotting, and other damage as well. If they were not properly ventilated during the installation process, they can also buckle.
Discoloration is a strong indication that a roof may be leaking. If left untreated, a small spot can eventually grow into a huge, gaping hole. Curling, on the other hand, is primarily due to a lack of proper ventilation, poorly installed fasteners, or high nails. Not only do they look bad, they’re open invitation for damaging water seepage. Therefore, if you have missing or broken shingles, you’re letting water and snow directly hit your roof, which is a recipe for rot. Replace or repair your shingles immediately.
Flashings are used to properly seal a roof’s edges, walls, drains, penetrations, perimeters, valleys, and any other areas where the roof itself is terminated or interrupted. The main function of flashing is to help adequately seal any voids or problems in the roof system where water has the chance to enter the structure of the home, making these target areas for unsuspecting leaks if not checked on a regular basis.
The soffit is the finished surface beneath the rafters and fascia or the exposed area beneath the overhanging part of a roof eave. A properly vented soffit contains small holes that allow air to circulate so it can rotate to the vents and therefore draw moisture and heat away from the home. It plays a very important role in helping the attic to ventilate and to prevent rot in the rafters in sheathing.
Most soffits consist of vinyl since it’s a good cost-effective and water-resistant material. It also helps control the attic temperature as well as the rest of the house making it more comfortable to live in. Look for rotting, holes, and cracks to prevent an easy way for water, small animals, or insects to make their way in.
If any of these areas need attention in your home, address them as soon as possible in order to prevent further damage to your home’s overall structure.