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Common Roofing Problems and How to Address Them

In addition to being a primary driver of curb appeal, the roof is the home’s first line of defense against the elements. As such, any small problems with the roof can spiral into major issues along multiple fronts.



Unfortunately, many homeowners choose to take an “out-of-sight, out-of-mind” approach to roof maintenance, letting minor problems today turn into expensive headaches tomorrow.



To avoid this pitfall, the following article will delve into some of the most common roofing problems to look for and how to proactively address them.


Inadequate Insulation

Inadequate insulation is a common problem that can lead to several roofing issues. When your roof is not adequately insulated, heat can escape during the winter and enter your home during the summer, leading to higher energy bills. Inadequate insulation can also cause ice dams on your roof, leading to water damage and leaks.



There are several ways to address inadequate insulation. One option is to simply add more insulation to your attic or roof substrate. When taking this approach, just ensure that the roof’s structural support can handle the additional weight. 



Another option is to install a radiant barrier, which reflects heat away from your roof. You can also install a solar-powered attic fan, which helps to circulate air and keep your attic cool. 



When choosing an insulation material, it is vital to consider the R-value, which measures the material’s resistance to heat flow. The higher the R-value, the better the insulation. You should also consider the material’s sustainability. Some sustainable insulation options include hemp, denim, and spray foam. 


Incorrect Application

Incorrect application of roofing materials is another common problem that can lead to roofing issues. This can include using the wrong type of material for the job, using the wrong amount of material, or not following the manufacturer’s instructions. 



Poor application can lead to several problems, such as leaks, premature aging, and even structural damage. If you’re unsure how to apply roofing materials correctly, it’s best to hire a professional contractor with experience in this area. 



One of the most common mistakes people make when applying roofing materials is using the wrong fastener. For example, using nails instead of screws can lead to problems down the road. Nails are more likely to loosen over time, which can lead to leaks. The best metal roofing screws, on the other hand, provide a more secure hold and are less likely to cause problems. 



When choosing fasteners for your roofing project, use the type and size recommended by the manufacturer. It’s also essential to use the correct number of fasteners. Using too few fasteners can lead to leaks while using too many can damage the roofing material.


Damaged Shingles


Damaged shingles are an all-too-common roofing problem that can often lead to more significant issues if left unaddressed. Shingles can be damaged by various external factors, including high winds, hail, and falling tree branches.



Here are some of the most common shingle roofing problems to watch out for:



  • – Cracked or broken shingles: Cracked or broken shingles are common on older roofs and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as age, extreme weather conditions, and improper installation. Cracked or broken shingles can allow water to seep into the roof, leading to leaks and other problems.
  • – Missing shingles: Missing shingles are another common roofing problem caused by high winds, hail, or even animals. Missing shingles can expose the roof to the elements, leading to water damage and other issues.
  • – Buckling or curling shingles: Buckling or curling shingles are a sign that the shingles are not correctly adhered to the roof. Several factors, including improper installation, age, and extreme weather conditions can cause this. Buckling or curling shingles can allow water to seep into the roof, leading to leaks and other issues.



If you notice any damaged shingles on your roof, it’s essential to address them as soon as possible. You can sometimes fix damaged shingles yourself, but if the damage is extensive, you may need to call a professional.


Standing Water


Standing water is another common issue that can lead to significant roofing problems. To prolong your roof’s life, removing standing water as quickly as possible is important.



Homeowners should be very wary of standing water if they have a flat roof, as they are far more likely to accumulate standing water, especially if there is a blockage in a gutter downspout. If you have a flat roof, it is essential to have it inspected for any areas where water can pool.



If you find standing water on your roof, the first step is to remove it as quickly as possible. If the water has pooled due to debris in your gutters, you’ll want to clear all debris from your gutters and downspouts. Also, ensure that your gutters are pitched correctly and that no kinks or bends could cause water to pool.



If properly maintained gutters are not preventing water from pooling on your roof, the problem may be more serious. If the slope of your roof is even slightly off, water may pool in certain areas of your roof, which can lead to premature roof failure. Consult a qualified roofing contractor to troubleshoot the issue and restore your roof to proper working condition.


Ventilation Issues


Ventilation is an integral part of a roofing system. When a roof is adequately ventilated, it allows air to circulate and helps to keep the attic cool and dry. This helps to prevent moisture from building up in the attic, which can lead to mold, mildew, and rot. If a roof is not adequately ventilated, it can also cause the shingles to deteriorate prematurely, which leads to costly repairs.



There are several ways to address ventilation issues. One is to install a ridge vent, which is a type of vent that runs along the peak of the roof. Another option is to install soffit vents, which are vents that are located on the underside of the roof. 


Identifying and Addressing Common Roofing Problems


Properly identifying and addressing common roofing problems is a key component of establishing curb appeal and ensuring the structural integrity of all aspects of your home. For further insight on how to address common roofing problems, explore the resources at the National Roof Certification & Inspection Association for the latest in the roofing industry!


Paul Watrous