The roof of a house is designed to protect the building from weather invasion like rain, wind, snow and hail and against falling objects. Without proper maintenance or a regular roof inspection, minor problems can become disastrous. There are many ways to cause a roof to leak or fail. Here are some common problems that can affect roofs:
1. Flashing failure
Flashing problems can happen to any kind of roof and are often the most vulnerable part of a roofing system. Flashings are usually used when two angles of the roof meet, roof penetrations, or when there are valleys. The cause for flashing to fail can be from poor installation or corrosion.
2. Overflowing gutters
One major system of the roof is its drainage. If the gutters are blocked by debris, the water will back up and may damage the fascia or the building. Cleaning the gutter and your downspout is a maintenance task that should be added to every house owner’s spring and fall agenda to avoid water damage.
When re-roofing is not done properly, often new shingles are added on top of the existing layers of shingles. The extra weight of the roofing material increases the dead load for the house structure to carry. If the structure is not designed to carry this extra weight, it can cause deflection on the roof.
4. Pooling water
This usually happens on flat roofs or low sloped roofs. Pooling water can indicate improper roofing slope or poor drainage. Ponds of water can cause more damage if roof seams are not sealed tight or flashing is not properly installed.
5. Moss/Tree/Vegetation debris
Moss or any vegetation takes moisture to grow. Having moss on the roof means holding moisture against the roofing material and can accelerate the deterioration of the roof. Roof cover by tree branches can also prevent roof from drying, and contribute to moss growing. Debris from trees can block proper water drainage from the roof.
6. Fasteners failure
Nails are often used as fasteners on roof. However, whenever there is a nail opening, there is a possibly for water penetration. If these nails are not sealed properly or are rusted, dripping can begin in the attic.
Roofs are normally worn out due to the age of the roof or lack of maintenance. The latter usually speeds up the wear and tear and shortens the life expectancy of the roof. When roofs are completely worn-out they can no longer perform their function and are prone to leakage. The bottom line is to do a routine inspection and regular maintenance to ensure the roof lasts to its designed age.
8. Physical damage
Some roofing materials like concrete tile and clay are brittle and can be damaged by fallen objects, foot traffic, weathering and freeze/thaw damage. Sometimes you will find missing tiles as a result.
It is important to address the roof problems at the earliest detection through routine inspections to minimize the problems and maximize the roof age. If in doubt, always call a qualified professional home inspector from A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections.
9. Missing shingles
When strong wind comes, sometimes it can blow off shingles on the roof. If the shingles are not laid adequately or the seams are exposed, the roof is vulnerable for nature’s attack. It is crucial to have missing shingles replaced to prevent water damage in the attic.
10. Lack of maintenance
If you do not regularly take your vehicle to a mechanic for its scheduled maintenance, problems are likely going to pile up. And the same theory applies to your property including the roof system. Regular inspection and maintenance can help preventing potential leaks in the roof. Do not get deceived by the lifespan of certain materials of the roof. Without proper maintenance, a 25 years asphalt shingle roof can last half its time. A good habit is to have your roof inspected by a qualified professional annually or after major storm events to ensure you are staying under a safe roof.
Contact Sylvain “Slinky” Girard at A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections-Sea To Sky for a maintenance inspection report on your property. 604.938.2115 www.seatosky.abuyerschoice.com