Around here, we talk a lot about the importance of your roof, and even more so about the importance of inspections and preventative maintenance. However, given how important your roof really is to your home, we don’t feel like enough can ever be said about this subject.
Your roof is your home’s first and last line of defense against the world around it. Long ago, when man first started building homes and structures, nature declared war on them. The fact that ancient buildings are considered special landmarks isn’t just due to their historical significance, but the fact that they have withstood this assault for so long while remaining more or less habitable, even while using very primitive materials.
Your roof is vital in keeping your climate control inside your house; otherwise, your electric bill will become unmanageable very quickly. Your home will also become very uncomfortable despite the best efforts of your heating and cooling system. It’s also crucial in keeping infestations from occurring, including insects, spiders, and even some particularly dangerous animals like raccoons, snakes, and much more. Along with this, it also has to fight against the ravages of heat, solar radiation, and much more.
Finally, your roof has to fight against the most insidious thing a home can experience, water damage. Water damage will cause your roof decking to begin to sag, causing a compromise to structural integrity, not to mention being an eyesore. Water damage will also cause your drywall and plaster to start to disintegrate while cultivating toxic molds that you don’t want around.
One more point, this all impacts your finances very directly. A bad roof will cause your resale value to plummet, it will lower your curb appeal, and your insurance company will be unappreciative of the lack of maintenance being performed, raising your premiums and reducing what you can claim. Thus, understanding what the real problem areas of a roof are so you can do regular inspections and have preventative measures taken to protect your roof, is one of the most important things you can do for your home, yourself, and your family.
We are the most respected roofing service provider in the area, with decades of experience working on just about every type of roof, and having seen every kind of damage you can name. With us, you know you’re in good hands, but we believe that information is meant to be shared, so let us walk you through some simple things you can do to spot potential problems yourself.
Before we do, though, for your safety, we recommend that you avoid walking on your roof as much as possible. It’s dangerous; you could fall off the roof and injure yourself, or if the roof is in worse shape than it looks, you could fall through. While that’s funny in movies, it’s not funny in real life. That said, here are the most problematic areas of your roof that you should keep an eye on.
Shingles are basically like your roof’s skin. Notice how the overlap is not unlike feathers or fish scales, providing a gapless seal against debris, water, ice, and other problems. However, shingles are not immortal, and in the case of asphalt especially, they’re designed to be destructible, but easily replaced. The fact that they have a little bit of give to them makes them more effective against a lot of weather problems.
Over time, shingles will begin to lose their granularity, taking on a much blacker, and textured appearance as a result. On top of this, they can also crack, curl, buckle, or completely fall away from the house. You’ll notice shingle granularity loss by the buildup of these granules in your gutters, and at the base of your downspouts.
This deterioration results in a significant compromise in your roof’s ability to fight water damage, as well as deflect UV and heat, so if you have missing shingles or shingles that are worn down or broken, they need to be replaced right away. Just because you haven’t seen the problems that arise from this doesn’t mean that they won’t happen at any moment, especially if the heavens opened up and you experience a torrential downpour.
This component is a support board across the front of the edge of your roof. The fascia is a boundary between the edge of your roof and the elements that try to get in, completing the seal that’s started with your shingles, your flashing, and your soffit. The fascia can begin to warp, come undone, or experience other problems over time, due in no small part to thermal expansion and inclement weather. You will notice this problem as the edge of your fascia begins to warp, or you start to lose shingles at the edge of your roof despite the shingles being in otherwise good shape.
The soffit is the underlayer of your roof where it extends beyond the base of the house. The soffit is usually constructed of metal or wood, though other materials are sometimes used as well. It often looks like the soffit is made of siding, and that’s not much of a stretch. This can begin to warp or develop buckles, which can allow pests to get in, as well as cause the loss of heating and cooling, and ambient moisture. This warping is one of the leading causes of a damaged decking for your roof, especially in areas that have a lot of humidity either in the fall or spring.
Flashings are notorious for being a problem over enough time. Flashings are strips of seal that close off your roof where it’s interrupted by chimneys, vents, skylights, or smaller upper stories. Over enough time, these will begin to crack, fall away, or even disintegrate, letting horrible amounts of moisture into your roof. These are one of the more problematic parts of your roof, and their infamy is well deserved.
You can prevent all of these problems with regular inspections, at least annually, if not semiannually. We recommend that you have this done as quickly as possible, every time the seasons change. Fill out our contact form today. We’re the best roofers in the area, and we’re the best for inspections as well.