No matter where you live, weather and the elements will eventually take their toll on your roof. There are damages so glaring that they present an emergency situation to the homeowner. There are also damages so hidden and slight, that only trained professionals will be able to spot them and the damage they cause may not be seen for months or even years.
Every dwelling has a roof, and every roof is susceptible to various types of damage. Know what types of damage can commonly occur, and know what to look for so that you can spot the damage they cause as early as possible. Finally, know when the job is more than a quick fix and when to call a trusted professional.
What Kinds of Roofing Damage Can Occur?
There is a wide variety of different types of damage that can occur to your roof. In most cases, homeowners will only encounter a handful of different types, often those that can be identified by untrained eyes. More specific types and many types of damage that cannot be seen with the naked eye can only be effectively diagnosed by licensed roofing professionals.
General moisture penetration is one of the most common damage types that is seen by professionals. Your roofing materials are essential in maintaining a moisture barrier between your home and the elements, and many other problems can occur as a result of water making its way in.
Moisture entering unchecked can lead to a number of very serious situations, many of which can make the home uninhabitable for a time until they are repaired and remediated. Mold is one of the most well-known dangers of moisture, but it is also one of the earliest symptoms that are present.
If the leaks that cause the mold are not fixed, that same moisture can lead to mildew, rot, and decay of the actual structure.
Punctures are physical holes in the roofing materials at any level. The holes may be small pinholes from hail damage, or they may be ripped and missing shingles and cracked decking from a bad storm. These will always require physical repair of the damage.
In some cases, these can be fixed by simply replacing a few shingles or resealing something that wasn’t installed quite right during DIY. Other situations, however, may require a more extensive repair that can include replacing the plywood that sheaths your roof.
Cracked roofing materials are often the result of relatively severe weather. With some materials, like clay or terracotta tile shingles, the impact of a tree branch could have a significant effect on the shingling. This can also impact the structure of the roofing underneath the shingles.
If the various layers of roofing materials underneath the shingles are breached, it will allow moisture to infiltrate them. Repairing this type of damage may take some significant effort, and will usually be best handled by an experienced local roofer.
Depending on the type and location of the structure, there may be a flat roof. Flat roofs are often seen on commercial buildings, and they rely heavily on drainage to keep the roof of the commercial building sound. They also present their own waterproofing challenges.
In some cases, the roofing may settle and create small indents where water gathers, or ‘ponds’. When ponding occurs, it can contribute to an accelerated deterioration of the roofing underneath the pond. This can eventually result in a potential emergency situation.
If moisture is making its way through your shingles and other roofing materials unnoticed, you may eventually have an extremely serious problem on your hands. This water has to go somewhere, and in most situations, it goes directly into the wood that the leak is near. This can build up over time to represent a significant danger to the physical structure of your roof and ultimately your home or business.
While a few missing shingles can be replaced easily enough in many cases, damage that has gone unnoticed for longer periods will frequently require more extensive repairs. This can include not only the roofing materials but in cases with extreme damage, the roofing trusses may need to be replaced along with internal structural components. This can bring the cost well into the tens of thousands.
How to Tell If You Have Roofing Damage
Knowing there are a wide variety of roofing damages possible and identifying any damage that may have been caused can be two very different challenges. Now that you know what types of damages are the most common, below are some things to look for that may indicate you have roofing damage.
Obvious Physical Damage
This is a great way to look for damage immediately after a strong weather event. After a storm, head outside and visually inspect your roof and roofing materials for damage. Just a general walkaround of the visible areas of your roof, looking for any obvious changes.
One or two missing shingles may seem to many people like a mostly cosmetic issue, but shingles are your primary defense against getting water in your home. If you have even one missing shingle you should have that replaced as soon as possible, it can save you thousands.
Stains & Discoloration
This is one of the most common signs of slow leaks that allow moisture to get to the drywall or plaster. The primary symptom is discoloration of wall or ceiling materials in living areas. This can also look like staining of the surfaces, or even seeing them begin to sag.
Staining or discoloration may also be indicative of a mold problem. Rarely can mold be remediated by the homeowner, in most cases it requires a licensed and insured professional.
What To Do If You Experience Roofing Damage
If you have recently noticed a stain on your walls that may be water damage, or if you know that you need a professional and experienced local roofer, reach out today for your estimate. Don’t delay another moment to fix your roof- have the peace of mind that a premier roofing company can give you.