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10 Common Roofing Problems and Their Solutions

10 Common Roofing Problems and Their Solutions

Between small leaks to total replacements, there are a number of common roofing issues all homeowners should know about.

Being a property owner comes with a lot of responsibility. Between paying the mortgage, acquiring insurance, and keeping up with regular care and maintenance, property owners are pretty busy. It can be easy to overlook some of the common issues that arise with owning a house. But when issues are ignored, homeowners can be inundated with more problems than just the original complication.

This is especially true of issues related to your roof. The roof is your home’s most prominent and first defense against the elements and all other external forces, such as critters, plants, and more. When homeowners neglect their roofs, many issues can arise that affect not only their roofs but many other components of their house, which can lead to more serious problems, such as water damage, mold, and rot.

Protecting your assets is key as a property owner. But to do that, homeowners must know what to look for and what the repair or solution process entails. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the ten most common roofing problems and their solutions.

Continue reading to learn more.

10 Common Roofing Issues and Their Solutions

1. Roof Leaks — Roof leaks, big or small, are one of the most common and serious forms of roofing problems. Even the most minor roof leak can snowball into massive issues that could result in needing a new roof. Of course, not all leaks lead to something so serious, but it’s important for homeowners to understand what could happen.

Knowing the signs of roof leaks is crucial for a homeowner. Drips during a rainstorm are the most common identifier of a leak. But other signs of a roof leak include:

  • Water spots on your ceiling or walls
  • Water spots or wet roof decking
  • Cracked, damaged, or missing shingles
  • Missing or damaged flashing or 
  • Missing or damaged boot covers to roof penetrations

THE SOLUTION: If you know there’s a leak or suspect you are dealing with a leak issue, it’s important to address it right away. You can create a band-aid solution by adding caulk to the areas where you have leaks. But eventually — and this is one of those “the sooner, the better” situations — you’ll need to have a professional fix the problem. A skilled roofer has the knowledge, experience, and tools to apply a lasting solution and a quality repair that will prevent further damage.

2. Overhanging Tree Branches — There’s no doubt that large, established trees make for a natural and beautiful landscape surrounding any property and come with many benefits. But if the trees are going too close to your home structure and the tree limbs are overhanging, the shade, peace, character, and other perks don’t seem so advantageous anymore.

When trees grow too close to your home, they can cause a lot of issues to the structure, especially your roofing system. Low-hanging branches can scrape your shingles, wearing away the oh-so-important granules to the point where leaks can occur.

Moreover, trees never clean up after themselves. This means unless the wind kicks in, fallen leaves and other debris can accumulate on various areas of your roof unless the wind kicks in. Piles of leaves mean trapped moisture which can create ideal conditions for algae and mold growth, both of which can significantly reduce your roof’s lifespan. Additionally, an abundance of leaves and debris can be harmful and damaging to your gutter systems.

Overhanging tree branches can also pose a serious threat in storms, especially those that include heavy snowfall or strong winds. Limbs that are dislodged can fall directly onto your roof and create serious, long-term damage to its structure.

Another issue overhanging branches can create is they make an excellent bridge for animals and other critters that want to make their nests, burrows, and other homes on your roof. While it’s a safe habitat for them, they can destroy your roof over time. 

THE SOLUTION: When it comes to tree management and overhanging tree limbs, it’s best to skip the DIY project and speak with an arborist or another tree removal professional to develop the best action plan.

Regular, thorough roof inspections are also necessary to ensure your roof is in good condition and that no animals or storms have damaged your roof. If your roof has incurred damage, it’s essential to have an expert handle a roof repair right away.

3. Damaged Gutter System — Your gutters and downspout are made to direct water away from your property. Unfortunately, ice dams, animal nests, fallen leaves, and other debris can prevent gutter systems from working properly and can lead to further damaging issues.

Ice dams during the freezing months and other types of blockages present an obvious danger for your eavestroughs. Too much weight in your gutters can force your gutters away from the fascia, leaving a wide opening where water can escape down the exteriors of your home and pool around your foundation, which can lead to major problems and issues that create even more significant issues.

THE SOLUTION: The best way to avoid damaged gutters is to invest in a leaf guard for your gutters, clean your gutters twice yearly, and have a professional include your gutters in your regular care and maintenance inspection. Doing this ensures your gutter system will work at maximum efficiency.

4. Lack of Regular Care and Maintenance — Like your car, or even yourself, staying on top of your roof’s ongoing care and maintenance is essential. It’s easy to forget about your roof; out of sight, out of mind, right? But that does not mean it does not need regular care, maintenance, and attention. The roof is one of the most — if not the most — important part of any property. When it’s ignored, a lot of issues can arise. 

THE SOLUTION: Most of the common roof problems can be totally avoided when you stay on top of regular care and maintenance. Sticking to a regular care and maintenance schedule will prevent large issues from happening since it will nip more minor issues in the bud. The investment is worthwhile when you compare costs for regular inspections and small repairs to major repairs or total replacements.

5. The DIY Projects — There are many DIY projects a homeowner takes on. Handling lawn care, a new coat of paint, and even carpet cleanings are great jobs for property owners to handle themselves. However, there are some projects and tasks around the home that should be left to the professionals.

As tempting as a do-it-yourself roof repair job may seem, they often cause more harm than good. Firstly, most property owners do not have the necessary safety training that a professional roofer has. The CDC reports that over 150,000 Americans require medical attention annually due to roofing-related accidents. 

THE SOLUTION: Hiring an experienced and qualified roofing contractor to handle all roof-related jobs is the wisest course of action. Hiring someone that is licensed, insured, and skilled can carefully and safely find the heart of the issue and provide an effective and efficient strategy to remediate the roofing issues you are facing. 

Don’t let the idea of “saving money” fool you. Homeowners that DIY a project often end up spending more of their time and money doing it themselves than they would have if they had initially hired a pro. Moreover, you don’t run the risk of injury.

6. Roofing Gaps — Any roofing issue starts out as a minor frustration, then can grow into the biggest nightmare. If your roof sustains damage that results in open holes or gaps can appear quickly without your even noticing. Your roof’s worst enemy? Water. And once it makes its way inside a home, major issues can occur that can be detrimental to your health and safety.

THE SOLUTION: Thankfully, the solution is relatively simple here. Regular inspections conducted by a professional roofing contractor who can detect roofing issues like gaps and holes that aren’t visible to the average homeowner are essential. A pro has the necessary equipment and a trained eye to catch issues when they are minor.

7. Lousy Ventilation — Like you, your roof needs to breathe, which is why vents are an essential part of your roofing system. Vents are there to keep your attic cool and dry, and when ventilation isn’t up to par, you can expect your attic to be frosty in the winter and a toasty sauna in the summer.

Moist, warm air can cause your roof’s decking and trusses to become spongy and sag over time. Once the rot settles in, a complete re-roof job — trusses included— is the only way to effectively restore your roof.

Not only could poor ventilation lead to a re-roof in extreme cases, but more often, homeowners with this issue have an HVAC system working over time. Your air conditioning has to work hard during the hot summer months, and your heating system works overdrive during the winter. 

THE SOLUTION: To keep your attic dry and cool year-round, make sure to have your roofing contractor include vent health checkups during regular care and maintenance inspections. Functional vents mean a healthy roof and money saved on utility bills.

8. Flashing Fiascos — Just about every single roof requires something called flashing. Flashing is a metal strop that surrounds anything that inserts or penetrates your roof, such as skylights, chimneys, satellite dishes, swamp coolers, and vents. It is also installed at the roof’s edge, seams, and joints, sealing any valleys on your roof. The metal strips keep water from seeping in. 

Unfortunately, flashing has a shelf life, and after years of exposure to the elements, lack of maintenance and repair, and normal wear and tear, the material begins to degrade and fail. 

THE SOLUTION: Like the rest of your roof, flashing needs to be included as part of the inspection and care process. If you see a flashing problem outside of your regular care and maintenance window, bringing in a professional to repair the problem is a quick and straightforward fix compared to replacing all or part of your roof.

9. General Wear and Tear — Ideally, our roofs would last forever, but that’s not the reality. Roofs, regardless of the materials they’re made of, have a lifespan, and once they’ve reached their limit, a new roof is necessary. Staying on top of repairs and maintenance can help you reach or even extend the life of your roof, but at some point, it will be necessary to replace your roof. 

THE SOLUTION: Once your roof reaches the end of its life, a total replacement is necessary. A roof that was installed decades ago will be replaced with new materials that are lightyears ahead of what was there previously. Moreover, new roofs bring a lot of value to homes, so if the time has come to replace them, make sure to go with a reputable and trusted roofing contractor to install a new and more effective roof.

10. Shoddy Repairs and Installations by a “Professional” — The unfortunate truth is that not all professionals are created equally. In an ideal world, any “professional” you hire would get the job done quickly and effectively and have the integrity to do it right without cutting corners. But the unfortunate reality is that there are some roofing contractors that do not provide the level of service or work that’s expected on a professional level.

THE SOLUTION: Shoddy repairs mean future roofing issues, so the key to avoiding this is hiring a trusted and reputable roofing contractor, someone who knows what they’re doing and will guarantee their work. 

Got Roofing Issues? Contact We Do Roofing SLC!

If you’re looking for a professional roofing contractor that you can trust with any roof repair issues, a new roof replacement, or anything else, contact the skilled team at We Do Roofing SLC today!

We Do Roofing SLC is Salt Lake County’s trusted roofer with more than two decades of experience. We are a licensed roofing company and provide professional roof repairs, new construction roofs, re-roofing, and more for all commercial and residential customers in Salt Lake City, Murray, West Jordan, West Valley City, and many other surrounding cities along the Wasatch Front. 

Contact We Do Roofing SLC for your quick quote today.