The six most common roof problems

12 Apr 2019
Published in Property
Views 511

Commonly overlooked, healthy roofs are integral to an energy efficient and well kept home. Found out here how to keep yours in good condition.


6 Most Common Roof







By Patrick Adams

Taking good care of your roof is just as important as making sure your walls are intact. You wouldn't disregard a big hole in one of your outer walls, would you? Without roof integrity, you're inviting a lot of moisture into your home and it could affect your heating bill. Unfortunately, roof problems aren't as obvious as wall problems. You aren't constantly looking at your roof and its components are a bit more complicated. There are lots of bad things that can happen to your roof and very few people know how to deal with them. Weather conditions can be harsh and roofing materials might not have been picked right. There's a lot to unpack for homeowners. Here are some of the most common examples.


1.      Tenting and Cracking


Roofing materials are built to sustain a lot of damage, but even they aren't perfect. They can bow and tent over time, making the materials below them vulnerable. Flashing and shingles aren't always properly laid and this can exacerbate tenting and cracking in the shingles. On the other hand, time can also wear them out and make them susceptible to this kind of damage.

Strong winds can further damage tented shingles and this will lead to them falling off of the roof. Because of this, it’s important to recognize the problem as early as possible in order to prevent it from getting worse. Without any protection, the roof materials below it will quickly deteriorate. The only issue here is that these changes aren’t easy to spot. Your roof could look perfectly normal from the outside, with only a slight change in the position of individual shingles.

Houses in warmer climates are especially at danger from tenting and cracking. They usually use cheaper materials which bend much more easily. After a few years in the sun, an asphalt roof will bend a significant amount, which will allow the wind to tear it down. Materials like slate and clay make for perfect shingles, because they are much more resistant to wind and temperature changes, even when you take into account a long period of time.


2.      Poor Installation and Shabby Work


Anything can stand the test of time if it’s installed properly. The opposite is true as well. If your construction work is shabby, you’re going to end up getting what you paid for. This is especially true when it comes to roof installation. Roofs are designed to take a beating every single day for years, which is why any mistakes are going to manifest themselves relatively quickly. There are a series of steps in the process of roof installation which have to be followed. Without them, you’re going to end up with a faulty roof in one way or another.

Usually, the most common mistakes you'll see are shabby installations in areas that are hard to walk to. Without the necessary tools to reach these places, some roofers might resort to only doing the bare minimum of work on those areas. Those installing your roof have to take care of the materials beforehand. It's critical that you relax the roof sheets before they are installed.

Make sure that the roofers you choose are knowledgeable in roof installation and that they have quite a bit of experience.


3.      A Lack of Regular Maintenance


Roofs are made to be relatively tough, but they’re still prone to quite a few malfunctions. Performing regular maintenance on your roof is critical if you want it to last longer, especially before the beginning of winter. Due to time constraints, a lot of people might not do the necessary check-ups that their roof requires. Neglecting the maintenance of your roof could lead to complications.

The first thing you should do is educate yourself on the kind of roof you have. Using this knowledge, you can pinpoint exactly where a mistake can occur frequently. When you do locate a malfunction, it’s not recommended that you fix it yourself. A lot of people are a bit too confident to realize that fixing a roof is serious business. Climbing up at that height can be dangerous, especially considering the fact that roofs can get slippery. Your best bet would be to call in a professional that has the necessary safety equipment to avoid injury.


4.      Blistering


Blistering a pretty subtle sign that your roof might be in trouble. It’s usually represented by tiny dots that cover shingles. These are holes in the material that signalize moisture has infiltrated the underside of the shingle. When these dots appear, it’s a sign that the shingle isn’t functioning properly. The main causes of blistering are improper heating systems and dry lapping. Fortunately, it's only a problem if the blisters grow in size. The problem arises when warmer weather starts. The blisters become bigger and bigger until the water can seep inside the shingle and cause problems.

Houses in tropical and subtropical climates are especially vulnerable because of the high temperatures and humidity. Luckily, there are early warning signs that even predate the roof damage. Blisters aren't unique to roof shingles. They also appear on paint that is on the exterior and interior walls. If you notice those same kinds of blisters there, you might want to check out your roof for issues as well. This can be a great way to prevent any significant damage to the roof.


5.      Gutter Clogs


Water is one of the main factors in roof damage. It doesn’t seem like much of a threat, but stagnant water can erode just about anything over time. This is why we have angled shingles and gutters to make sure the water doesn’t pool up on the roof. Even when properly installed, gutters can often clog up after a storm due to the accumulation of leaves and grime.

Cleaning them regularly is key to preventing roof damage. Check up on them every once in a while, to see if anything is preventing the flow of water to the downspout. The quality of the materials the gutter is made from also matter. Gutter components from places like Interline Manufacturing are often good enough to last you quite a while, even after several clogs. When you’re installing a new roof, make sure your roofers get every angle right. Otherwise, even if you have great materials, water is going to pool on your roof.


6.      Shrinkage


Not every roof is made from several different membranes. Many use what is called a “single-ply” membrane for their base. It does the job just fine, but there are some complications that can arise from using it. Since the sheet is single-ply, it could end up shrinking or stretching after exposure to different temperatures. When it shrinks, it won’t cover the whole roof and it will take with it many of the shingles that are connected.

Homeowners with this kind of roof need to pay special attention to any problems that might be visible. If you detect this issue early enough, it could be fixed with minor repairs. Otherwise, you might end up with a big problem on your hands. An expensive problem that will need additional help.





Making sure your roof stays in one piece might seem like a difficult task, but it becomes quite manageable once you know what to look for. Using a little bit of expertise and a lot of foresight, you can predict all the different things that can happen and check for them regularly. Keep some of these issues in mind next time you take a look at your roof and you can avoid having problems altogether.

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