Roof Damage 101: What to Look Out For

You probably only think of your roof when something goes wrong with it – the problems these structures face are multifaceted with everything from leaking, rot and mold being natural consequences.

The best way to prevent these major problems is to develop a keen eye for damage that often occurs as a result of a natural disaster or just over time. Doing so will not only ensure the safety of yourself and loved ones but save you money in the long run as a simple repair will always be cheaper than a full replacement!

Types of Roofing Damage

While there are many different types of roofs out there, most of them are composed of the same parts. The best way to look for roof damage is to break it up into its parts and look at each piece individually.

Shingle Roof Damage

One of the most common problems associated with roofs usually starts with the shingles. It’s no wonder either as these are the first line of defense against the outside forces of wind, rain, hail, snow and sun.

Asphalt shingles can become torn or blown off completely by high winds – even if you aren’t in an area that’s prone to powerful storms, you still need to keep an eye out as this material can erode over time, creating holes and cracks.

Other common characteristics of older shingles are cupping, curling or being brittle to the touch.   Hardy shingles can get damage to them too albeit in a slightly different form. Wood, tile and slate can all crack or break underneath enough concussive force.

These types of shingles need special treatment as they can’t be simply cut and replaced like asphalt ones. While small cracks can be filled in with some sort of plastic roofing cement, larger breaks will need a full replacement that requires some degree of prying and a great deal of strength.

Flashing Damage

Roof flashing can have multiple forms as it’s specifically designed to protect the weakest areas in the roof. Anywhere where a lot of water can make its way in is where flashing can be found – this is anywhere along valleys, chimneys or around the drip line.

Needless to say, damage to this part of the roof can be catastrophic. Often being worn down over time from the constant flow of water, sun and wind, sometimes more damage after a big storm to these areas is quite possible.

Sometimes the flashing isn’t necessarily damaged by anything but just incorrectly installed. Improper flashing might easily fall apart or just fail to do its job entirely.

Downspouts and Gutters

Gutter upkeep should be done about biannually. Failing to do so can cause numerous problems ranging from small holes to entire chunks of it falling off. Just like the roof itself, you should try to check out the weakest points first, as these are most likely to break under pressure.

If you have sectional gutters, this is anywhere where two sections intersect – being doubly true at corner spots. Other types of gutters, specifically those that are one continuous piece, should be checked in an area where an excessive amount of leaves and liquid accumulate – usually near valleys or at the bottom of the incline.

The area immediately behind the gutter should be checked too. If a gutter screw isn’t holding on to good wood, then it isn’t really doing much. This is the perfect recipe for a disaster to occur during a windy or rainy day.

Roof Ventilation Damage

Ventilation is a part of many types of roofs to allow the warm air of the attic escapes to the outside. These areas can become damaged over time. Damage can be to the vent itself but more likely the screening will have become piercing.

Whichever the source of the damage is, either one can let insects and animals inside of your attic and allow them to nest, causing further to destruction your roof. Other times, the issue can be in the form of blockage from vegetation like vines or tree branches.

The Structural Wood Could Be Damaged

The overall structure of a home’s roof is the wood itself. Wood damage doesn’t come from nowhere –  it’s usually the result of damage coming from somewhere else.

A continuous leak can make wood moldy or rotten, exasperating the leak and letting it spread to the rest of your home. Termites can get inside of the roof wood and undermine it from the inside out.

Any of these types of problems can quickly expand to the rest of your home.  If you and your family are becoming constantly sick in the form of trouble breathing, coughing, sneezing or skin irritation, this might be a sign that you have mold along the wood in your ceiling and walls.

Repair or Replace Your Roof?

Any of the above problems by themselves can often be fixed with little trouble. If the damage is excessive enough though, you might need a full replacement of your roof. If a couple shingles are cracked or curling this isn’t cause of alarm – if there are multiple cases over the entire roof though, you might want to think about getting a full tear out.

Roof damage ranging from blatant sagging or buckling – this is a wave-like pattern that can form by older shingles – should be a major cause of concern. If your home has numerous leaks, this means that the damage isn’t coming from one place and might need a full overhaul.

The biggest indicator of roofing needing to be replaced is its overall age. The lifespan of a roof can vary tremendously based on the climate, the quality of installation, and the material used – with the last of these probably being the most important.

Keep an Eye Out for Roof Damage

Minor damage in the form of curled shingles or ripped flashing can easily be repaired. Other types of damage as a result of neglect can require a bit more gumption. This damage can range from wood rot and multiple flayed up shingles.

When checking your roof, try to take a look at all of its parts – not just the shingles, flashing, and wood, but also gutters, skylights and ventilation.

When the time comes for roof replacement, there’s only one name that can get the job done best in the Chicagoland area – Feldco Roofing. Homeowners trust us because we offer high quality products at an affordable price and unbeatable customer service.

Start your roofing project today with a free quote online and get the roof you need.

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