Do you remember the last time you checked the condition of your roof? Chances are that you haven’t checked it since purchasing the home or that you haven’t checked it at all. Although your roof is what protects both your family and everything within the home, a surprising number of homeowners tend to neglect their roofs until it’s too late and they have problems they can no longer ignore.
Regardless of how durable your roof was at the time of purchasing the home, after many years of the summer heat, heavy storms, and winds, it is bound to have weakened and experienced some wear and tear. At RT Roofing, we recommend that you inspect your roof on a yearly basis to help avoid any potential roofing problems from developing into major problems. It is important to not underestimate the kind of damage even a very small leak could cause if undetected or ignored.
To help our community avoid any major roof issues, we have developed a short list of 6 of the most common roof problems experienced in Southern California, general tips on how to spot roof problems and how you can fix them using several common roof repairs and remedies.
1. Roof Leaks
As you could have probably guessed, roof leaks are probably the most common roofing problem that homeowners experience. Roof leaks generally start off small and are often a result of broken shingles that a storm or falling branch could have caused. Most roof leaks are found around the gutter system, near the chimney, at flashing points, and close to vents or pipes.
When it comes to identifying a roof leak, it’s best to start by checking the attic as the leak is often located several feet away from the penetration. With a flashlight, thoroughly scan your attic and check for water stains, mold, or black marks. In the event that you have a vaulted ceiling and you can’t get to the attic, we recommend that you have a professional roofer take care of the roofing issue as you likely can only see the culprit while on the roof.
2. Water Damage
If you notice that your gutters are clogged or that there are piles of debris on the roof catching water, the moisture collected can start to form stagnant or pooling water – which can seriously damage your roof. Pooling water can quickly turn into mold or mildew, which will start eating away at the roofing material, causing water damage and an array of other roofing problems.
This roofing issue is most common in homes or buildings that have flat roofs. One of the common repairs of this issue would be to create tapered areas over the surface – allowing the pooling water to naturally run off. To ensure that water doesn’t continue to pool on your roof, we recommend having an expert roofer implement a solution and check on your roof regularly.
3. Damaged or Missing Shingles
When the sealant attaching your shingles starts to wear off, it tends to loosen and break or come off completely. The sealant may be damaged by natural elements like wind and rain, rodents, or simply the basic wear and tear that happens over time. As your roof begins to age and get to the back half of its lifespan, it is common for shingles to start breaking off, so no need to be too alarmed.
This is actually a relatively easy roofing problem to fix. Most of the time, all you have to do is replace the shingle. Some stores will sell you shingles individually if that’s what you need, however, they are commonly sold in boxes, which is ideal for replacing several wearing shingles at a time. Whenever that job involves getting onto the roof, we always recommend having a professional, however, if you are a solid handyman, you can likely replace the shingles on your own. Just be sure to put safety first.
4. Granules in Downspouts
If your roof is starting to get relatively old, seeing granules in your downspout is likely a sign that your shingles are getting weak and may need to be replaced. Granules are a crucial part of the roof that help protect it from the sun’s UV rays. Once they fall off, the shingles are much more vulnerable and often start to crack and break off.
One of the first and most common signs of falling granules is when they clog up your gutters. Similar to the shingle itself, to fix this granules issue you will have to replace the roof granules.
5. Tree Damage
Another one of the most common roof problems homeowners experience is damage from falling tree branches or other debris. You may think that only large branches can damage your roof, but when smaller branches collide with your roof or rub against it for a prolonged length of time, they start to erode the top layer of the roof.
The easiest solution is to regularly trim your tree branches before they reach the roof. You may also need to be aware of and regularly address your neighbors branch if they start to get too close. If the tree poses a serious threat of falling or dropping branches, then we recommend that you consider cutting it down, replacing it with a smaller tree or other plant (if desired), and replanting the tree further away from your roof (if able).
6. Damaged Roofing Materials
This could be anything from tile, shingles, nails, sealants, and more. The natural elements of weather in your area is the main contributing factor to a deteriorating roof, which is why it is so important to regularly check and maintain your roof. If the roofing issues are caught early on, you can prevent it from turning into a severe problem.
For example, tiny holes or leaks can lead to unwanted moisture seeping into the roof and causing water damage. Shrinking roofing materials due to heat can start to crack and deteriorate, and the flashing might begin pulling apart. If possible, schedule a yearly maintenance check with a local roofing company so they can detect and amend any issues before they worsen.
Spot Roofing Problems? Fix it ASAP!
The above are some of the most common roofing problems, as well as some common roof repairs and solutions that can help you fix and maintain the health of your roof.
For the most part, the best way to prevent any roof related issues is to have it looked at by a professional annually and have any discovered problems repaired before they are able to cause significant damages.
If you have any other questions regarding a roofing issue you are experiencing or if you think this is a great time to have a roof maintenance check, give us a call at (858) 206-9685! We would be happy to assist you with all of your roofing needs