10 Of The Most Common Roofing Problems
As roofers in Weymouth we often get asked about preventative measures when people have inspections or need repairs to their roof. We all strive to protect our property, however sometimes however careful we are, issues will arise. The roof is a fundamental component of your property and is one of the most important as it protects the rest of the building from various factors, most notably the weather. An issue with the roof could mean your home is at risk from potential water damage. Issues left too long could cause be quite serious. So what are the issues that occur most often?
Here are 10 of the most common roofing issues that can lead to further problems.
1. Lack of Proper Maintenance
It sounds obvious, but keeping a regular eye on your roof and fixing any smaller issues as they arise, will help to maintain the overall integrity of it. Many larger problems start out small, but could be easily fixed with a simple roof servicing.
Regular routine inspections of your roof are advised to look for problems like missing, loose or broken tiles, a build up of moss or puncture holes in the roof tiles. This does not mean going up to your roof and checking each individual tile, but being able to spot problems from the ground and call a professional in to fix them.
2. Ponding (pooling) Water
One sign to look out for is ponding. Small lakes appearing on the roof. This is a sign that your roof is not performing efficiently. Usually rain water should travel away and into into drainage pipes. If your roof is not transporting water away it will start to pool and increase the load that your roof has to bear. If no action is taken, ponding water can cause the load to exceed the overall threshold of your roof and potentially lead to a collapse.
3. Poor Installation
Poorly installed roofs will have problems sooner rather than later. A number of factors highlight poor installations. Poor tile placement can allow water to enter through the spaces and cause leaks and damage to your roof and roof space. Incorrectly placed nails or too few used to hold down the tiles, can result in tiles slipping and breaking. This is especially an issue in bad weather. Poorly installed guttering can misdirect water to areas where it can cause damage. Lead flashing that’s meant to protect valleys and protrusions like vents and chimneys can cause water to leak into your home if not fitted properly.
4. Moisture & Water Damage
Moisture is not always obvious at first, and can find its way through gaps and cracks in your roof and seep into walls and floors. This can be a costly fix not just for your roof, but also other areas of your home. Moisture damage can occur due to a number of reasons, but is generally down to gaps in your defences such as missing tiles, or puncture damage on flat roofs and protective membranes. This makes your roof less effective against adverse weather such as rain, snow, or sleet.
5. Damage caused by Trees
Trees overhanging the property can cause huge problems. There the danger that a strong wind could blow it over, and also its branches can rub on your roof tiles which can wear away the top layer. This means the tiles are much more likely to succumb to weather damage, and general wear and tear. You should ask a tree surgeon to clip back overhanging branches.
6. Badly Installed Flashing
The flashing in your roof seals areas that are prone to weather damage. They are very effective in protecting joints from water damage, and maintaining water tightness in your roof. Without the flashing, rain can effectively pour straight into your home, which can cause a considerable amount of damage. Effective flashing is a must to keep your roof in tip top shape.
7. Punctures & Penetrations
Harsh weather conditions (such as hail or strong wind) can penetrate and puncture your roof. This can create entry points for moisture to seep into your home. It is important to check your roofing material regularly for any holes or gaps to avoid the water damage that can occur as a result.
8. Poor Ventilation
Most roofs have a space near the base (near the soffits) and at the top (near the ridge) to provide ventilation for the warm air that naturally rises.
A poorly ventilated roof means that the moisture and temperature in your roof are unregulated, which can lead to serious problems. Moisture and temperature build up can cause damage to the components of your roof, lead to a build-up of mold and mildew, and even have an effect on your energy costs.
9. Membrane issues.
The roof membrane protects your property from UV light, extreme temperature and also helps resists the aforementioned punctures. Underneath the roof tiles, there is a roof membrane that acts as a barrier against extreme temperature and UV light, whilst also helping to resist puncture damage. This protective membrane can shrink when over exposed to UV light, which leads to cracks, blisters, and ridges in your roof tiles.
There are a number or reasons that roofing membrane shrinks, but these mainly centre around what the membrane is made of, the way it was designed, and the way it was installed. The most effective way to find out if your roof membrane is shrinking is to look for any roof shingles that have started to come away from your roof, or get a qualified professional to come and take a look.
10. Blocked Drainage
Your drainage system is designed to transport water from your roof to your drains. This plays a very important part in maintaining your roof, as it prevents pooling which could lead to a roof collapse if left unchecked. Blocked drains and guttering are usually caused by a build up of fallen leaves, dirt, dust and silt. It is therefore important to check your gutters regularly, and even more so during the autumn months when we see the most falling leaves.
If you are having any of these problems you are advised to contact a local roofing company.
By Jason, a roofer in Weymouth, Dorset