While most homeowners try and take good care of the walls and interiors of their houses, the roof is often forgotten. While you might think your roof looks sturdy and will last for years, without regular inspections for damage and proper maintenance, you are likely to end up with a leaking or cracked roof requiring extensive or in severe cases, even a total replacement! As both those options are neither easy nor pocket-friendly, prior knowledge about potential roof problems can help you identify them quickly and take corrective steps. Here are some common roofing problems that can be easily avoided:
1. Roof leaks: A leaking roof can cause quite a big issue as it means locating and fixing the exact source of the leak while keeping an eye out for weakened areas. Typically there is damage to the waterproof flashing (sealant/ adhesive) installed between the roof structure and the roof materials around externally protruding structures like chimneys, vents, exhaust pipes, and skylights. This lets in water and moisture which damage the roof membrane material and causes the leaks. The flashing could either be installed improperly or with wrong materials. Roof leaks can also come about due to fallen debris or extreme weather damage. However, with timely inspections of the roof membrane, covering, and all the flashing along with immediate repairs of even the smallest damages roofing leaks are preventable.
2. Ponding water: Water sitting on your roof for a long time can simply penetrate between tiles and shingles, through minor cracks and punctures and create havoc in the structure which can originate massive leaks. In worst cases, if the water is accumulated over a larger area, combined with extreme UV rays it can cause the roof materials to rot and the entire roofing to collapse. To prevent ponding on your rooftop, ensure that there is a proper drainage system in place. Sound structural design of the roof also plays a vital role. It is important to note that flat and low sloping roofs are more susceptible to ponding. If you live in an area with harsh sunlight, investing in UV-resistant materials or a UV-resistant covering is advisable to avoid rapid deterioration of the roofing.
3. Wind lift: During storms and extreme weather if the roof is not properly secured, the uplifting pressure and vacuum created by severe wind blowing over the roof can cause a large number of shingles and roof membrane to be ripped off the structural frame. This is called a blow-off and can be very conveniently avoided by hiring licensed and experienced construction workers who know how to properly secure the roof and optimize wind resistance using suitable flashing materials and methods.
4. Shrinkage and cracking: If roof materials such as synthetic rubber membrane covers shrink, it pulls on critical components like adhesive flashing and cause deterioration, membrane cracking and surface cracking. This significantly reduces the lifespan of the roof and can be circumvented by choosing a good quality membrane and covering materials. Hire an expert roof constructor who will be able to guide you the best.
5. Poor installation and repairs: If you are hiring inexperienced or uncertified roofing contractors, take into consideration the risks of a poorly installed or finished roof. Not only will the workmanship on the exterior of the roof be up to the mark, often the structural design ends up with flaws which can cost a lot of money in the long run. Make sure to only hire licensed and verified roofing specialists with plenty of experience.
Roofs are the protecting umbrella to our homes and need to be maintained regularly. If inspected and taken good care of it is fairly easy to avoid the common modern roofing problems.