Solar-clad or not, sometimes difficult to detect by sight alone, and sometimes easy to detect by way of leaks or missing sections, roof problems happen, and when they do, you want to know how to identify them. Obviously the majority of roofs will be at their very best at the time they’re installed (one would hope, anyway), and problems can occur for many reasons, be it the age of the roof, high winds, hail, tornadoes, leakage, pests, you name it.
Here are 4 common problems to keep an eye out for. If you ever find any of these problems on any of your projects, or for that matter, the roof on your own home, catching them early, and taking proactive measures to lessen the damage will save you time and money down the road.
If you have a leaky roof, your problem is a pretty big one. The cause of the leak could be many different things – Ice dams, damage to your shingles, leaks around your chimney, flashings, or skylight, or even from plumbing penetrations like appliance exhaust flues, plumbing vent pipes, fan ducts and attic vents, that, when run through your roof, although necessary, can create problems like leaks.
2. POOLING WATER
Speaking of water, water that pools, or ponds on your roof can also cause external damage, as well as internal damage once that “pool” springs a leak. Investigate where the water is coming from and you may be able to avoid repairs to your roof. For example, the water could be coming from condensation from HVAC units that might be lacking drain lines. If you find that there are adequate drain lines, check them for dirt or clogs which could cause the unit from operating improperly. If you have BUR or a modified bitumen roof, make sure the roofers take extra precautions during the installation – improper mopping can create voids in the membrane and/or block drains which will not only result in pooling water, but will also most likely void your warranty from the roofing manufacturer.
(Image from nachi.org)
Blisters form on shingle roofs for one of two reasons: 1) Your roof isn’t ventilated well, or 2) moisture is trapped in the shingles, which can sometimes happen during the process of being manufactured. Over time, these blisters will pop. To help prevent the popping, you can take the most proactive approach and replace those shingles that have blisters – but this can get expensive if it’s a lot of them. You can also keep foot traffic to a minimum, and beware of any falling debris that may be around the perimeter of your home – things like branches, acorns, and pine cones. Hail is another culprit in popping roof blisters, but there’s not much you can do about that.
4. OVER EXPOSURE
(Image from nyc.gov)
West and South facing roofs will see roofing materials deteriorate sooner than those facing East or North. But not to worry, it’s not like this is going to happen overnight – you’ll be able to see the signs of sun, wind, rain, snow, and ice damage, assuming you inspect your roof on an at least annual basis (this post pertaining to roof inspections may be a helpful and worthwhile read).
There are certainly other problems to keep your eye out for that could cause extensive (and expensive) roof damage – don’t let lack of inspection or lack of maintenance be one of them. After all, the most important part of any building is right over your head.
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(Images from: mass-roofing, era, showalter roofing, jd roofs, mongolcom