Owning a house means performing maintenance on occasion. Some people buy homes that need a huge amount of work done to them and others seem to get by with minimal fuss and the occasional lick of paint. One area that can trouble a homeowner is the roof. For some people, it is impossible to climb up there to observe the damage. Perhaps, through infirmity or from lacking the tools and skills to judge any problems correctly they would rather use a professional.
Even if you could get to your roof easily would you know how to spot and fix a roofing problem? Here are some of the most common things that occur upstairs and some advice on how to fix or avoid them.
Leaks in the roof
Not surprisingly, leaks are one of the most common problems in roofing. Cracked or missing tiles or lifted shingles can let water into your home. Left untreated this will cause mold and create water damage and possibly rot the woodwork.
Water retention and pooling
It is possible on some roofs for water to pool instead of flowing away through gutters. Flat roofs are especially prone to this problem such as on a garage or apartment building. Fixing guttering and metal flashing can rid this problem.
Tiles and roof shingles can be damaged by high winds. Metal flashing around a skylight can be lifted by storms and severe weather such as hail might damage tiles. Again this can lead to leaks into the attic.
Pests and animals
Small openings allow birds, bats, rats, and other small animals into your home. Birds like to set up nests in safe places and your roof might be their perfect place to rest. Having pests in your home can lead to lots of problems as they store food and cause damage to the roof. Some pests are more than just a housing nuisance. You cannot remove bats easily or harm them by law so if they set up home you will have a real problem.
Holes in the roof
Again this is likely to be caused by storms but from debris being transported by high winds into the roof. This can lead to pests moving into the attic and causing problems and also leakage. Not only this but any holes can lead to cold air and thus increase heating bills over time if not fixed.
Houses need to be prepared for shrinking in cold weather. The same way metal and other items shrink in cold, so does the whole house. Although it isn’t visible it is a problem for the roof. If your roof has not been properly prepared for this you can expect tiles to crack and fall off leaving the home exposed to the elements. There is also the opposite of this effect that is called splitting. This is where hot weather causes the tiles to expand. If there isn’t the right amount of space between them they can be damaged this way. These are areas that should be prevented from happening in the first place to have a roof correctly installed.
Shingles are covered in asphalt granules that over time can come loose and wear off. This coating protects the roof from UV and the elements and is an important part of the roof covering. If you can see smooth, bald spots then you need to look at the areas and replace those shingles.
This may not be the most common problem but it is likely to be the most costly and damaging. Trees losing branches in storms and hitting roofs can cause more than just a cracked tile. A tree actually tipping over into your house could not only cause damage to the house but you too. Trees need to be maintained just like houses. Be sure to keep enough sun and cover from other elements but don’t let your trees get too large.
Poorly fitted gutters or ones that are not able to correctly direct the water flow could cause pooling in areas. Cleaning gutters is highly important as blockages can lead to overflowing. If too much water builds up, especially in heavy rainfall, then the gutter might even come loose causing other damage to your home.
Poor roof installation
Having a roof installed poorly in the first place can then lead to many of the problems listed above. If you need to have a new roof or you are building a new home then hiring reliable roofers is the way to start out. By making sure you have skilled, experienced experts putting the roof on your home then you keep future problems at bay. Starting out badly is a recipe for disaster further down the line. Use the internet and, if possible, the internet to search for company reviews and recommendations. A good company will advise you on what you need and offer a competitive quote.
Bad repair work
Some problems can arise from poor workmanship when repairing previous issues. This could come from a less than professional company that you hired or it may be that you tried to make a temporary fix and the problem has worsened. Hiring a reputable company is one way to ensure that your problems are fixed and many regions have certification for roofers.
Lack of maintenance
Just like installing a roof properly in the first place, maintenance is the key to prevention. As in many situations, prevention is often cheaper and more effective than repairing after the fact. For your first step, simply look up at the roof and see if any of the problems you have just read about are visible. Are your gutters buckling? Can you see missing tiles or any obvious cracks? By spotting problems early you can fix them yourself or with a professional before problems arise.
Pruning and trimming trees back, cleaning the gutters, removing moss, and checking your insulation is still up to scratch can save you problems. If you are fitting a new roof then getting it right by hiring expert roofers at the beginning will save you headaches and further expenditure later on.