10 Most Common Roofing Problems and How to Fix Them

April 14, 2023

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Knowing the most common roofing problems and how to address them can save you thousands on roofing repair costs! Also, addressing needed fixes quickly can prolong a roof’s lifespan overall. This also means lower repair and replacement costs over the lifetime of home ownership.

With this in mind, check out the 10 most common roofing problems and how to fix them. Also, don’t hesitate to call a professional for anything outside your area of expertise. It’s also vital that you always mind safety when working on a ladder or roof! There’s no point in trying to save money on roof repairs if it means risking physical injury in the process.

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Common Roofing Problems You Can Fix

There are 10 common roofing problems you can fix on your own with a bit of know-how, including:

  1. Leaks
  2. Standing water
  3. Clogged gutters
  4. Missing shingles
  5. Missing or damaged flashing
  6. Shrinkage
  7. Trees scraping a roof
  8. Storm debris
  9. Ventilation problems
  10. Pest infestation

Consider each of these in more detail so you can ensure your home’s roof is always in tip-top shape.

1. Leaks

Large-scale leaks need professional fixing, as these might indicate damaged decking and underlayment. Also, larger leaks can risk damaged drywall and mold growth, which a professional should check. However, a homeowner can use roofing cement to patch smaller leaks. Simply apply this material like caulk to the cracked area and allow it to dry.

2. Standing water

Standing water breaks down roofing materials, including shingles, tile, flashing, and decking. In turn, it’s vital that a homeowner remove puddles quickly. You can invest in a roof broom, used to remove snow in wintertime, for fast water removal.

3. Clogged gutters

Clogged gutters encourage standing water on a roof, as mentioned above. Also, roof eaves tend to absorb water sitting in clogged gutters. This problem risks buckled or wavy shingles and other costly damage.

To keep gutters clean, trim back tree branches hanging over a roof. Additionally, schedule professional gutter cleaning at least once every year. You can also invest in a gutter guard, which helps keep out leaves and other debris.

4. Missing shingles

Homeowners can usually replace a few missing shingles without much trouble. However, one mistake they often make is to use standard nails on a roof. To keep shingles in place, choose galvanized roofing nails. These resist rust, so they’re not as likely to come out of place over the years.

5. Flashing

Flashing refers to metal panels bent to fit between the edges of shingles and obstructions such as chimneys. This flashing creates watertight channels. However, bent or damaged flashing allows water to collect in those nooks, risking water damage.

Bent flashing can be put back into place and secured with roofing nails. You can also purchase new flashing and bend it into position to replace damaged pieces. Ensure it wraps securely around the obstruction so that it provides a watertight fit.

6. Shrinkage

When shingles shrink, they pull at their nails and other connectors and come out of place. To correct this issue, pry up those shrunken shingles and replace them. Also, check for standing water or a sagging roof. These are two common causes of shrinking so they should be addressed as well!

7. Trees

Tree branches scraping on roofs can dislodge shingles and tiles. They also scrape granules off shingles, making them thin and ineffective. The solution to this problem is obvious; trim those trees! Regular trimming keeps branches away from roofs and prevents damage. For overly large trees or those too close to the roof, consider full removal.

8. Storm debris

Storm debris scrapes at roofing materials while lodging itself under shingles and tiles. This debris also holds dampness against the roof and clogs gutters. To avoid these issues, use a garden hose to rinse the debris off the roof after a storm. If a hose is ineffective, call a professional about roof washing.

9. Ventilation problems

Inadequate roof ventilation risks humidity getting trapped in the attic. In turn, roofing materials absorb that humidity and begin to rot from inside the home! Homeowners should ensure roof vents are always clear and free of debris. A professional roofer can also replace them when damaged.

10. Pest infestation

Insects and rodents can chew on and dislodge shingles and tiles, risking damage. They might also burrow around flashing, pulling it out of position. Carpenter ants and termites are especially dangerous for the wood decking that sits below the roof’s underlayment.

Regular roof washing can remove bothersome pests. You can also speak to an exterminator when needed. He or she might suggest special pesticides meant for roofs or rubber coatings that provide an inhospitable environment for them.

What Is the Number One Cause of Roof Failure?

In most cases, water intrusion and resultant deterioration are the number one cause of roof failure. As water seeps into cracks, it breaks down roof decking and other materials. If ignored, the roof can eventually collapse.

Along with cracks and leaks, poor-quality installation and repairs risk water damage and roof failure. An inexperienced roofer might not install decking properly, leaving behind gaps between panels. Using the wrong nails can also risk having them rust and fall away. This can also mean a greater risk of shingles being blown away in a storm!

In other cases, damage such as from a fallen tree or lightning strike can collapse a roof. In turn, it’s vital that homeowners schedule a roof inspection after storms move through the area. You also don’t want to leave tree branches on a roof or ignore storm debris! Timely fixes keep the roof in good condition and avoid secondary issues as well.

The Warwick Roofers is happy to outline these common roofing problems and how to address them. Hopefully, you’ve found this post useful. You can also visit our blog for more great tips and tricks. Also, call our Warwick roof repair contractors when you need expert services. We provide top-notch roof fixes and new roof installation. Every project starts with a full, FREE inspection. For more information, call today.

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