a roofer laying tiles on a roof

Ten Common Roofing Problems

Your roof is your homes first line of defence against the weather. If there is a problem with your roof, then your entire home is at risk from potential water damage. There are other risks as well, including the possibility of birds or bugs exploiting the gap in your defences, and making a home in your roof. Either way, a problem with your roof can lead to a costly fix.

Here are ten of the most common roofing problems that we know can lead to serious problems if not identified and fixed early.

1. Faulty Installation

Poorly installed roofs are much more likely to see problems sooner rather than later.

Incorrect tile placement can allow water to enter through the spaces and cause leaks and damage to your roof and roof space. Nails placed in the wrong place, or too few used to hold down the tiles, can result in tiles slipping and breaking, particularly during bad weather. Guttering installed incorrectly can misdirect water to areas where it can cause damage. 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.

To avoid these problems always make sure you have your roof installed by reputable roofing contractors.  Look for assurances such as CheckaTrade reviews, Which Trusted Trader and Competent Roofer accreditation.

2. Moisture & Water Damage

Moisture 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 ineffective against adverse weather such as rain, snow, or sleet.

3. Damage from Trees

Overhanging trees can be a big problem for your roof. Not only is there the danger that a strong wind will blow it over, but 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. If you have a tree with limbs that hang over your roof, you should get a professional tree surgeon to clip back overhanging branches.

4. Pooling Water

Pooling water is a sign that your roof is not performing efficiently. A roof in proper working order will transport rain water away from your home, and into drainage pipes. If your roof is not transporting water away and it starts to pool, it will increase the load that your roof has to bear. When left alone, pooling water can cause the load to exceed the overall threshold of your roof and possibly lead to a collapse.

If you are currently suffering from this problem, it is advisable that you call in a professional roofing company to carry out a thorough assessment of why pooling water is occurring.

5. Improperly Installed Flashing

Your roof flashing is the sealant that protects areas of your roof that are susceptible to weather damage. They are exceptionally efficient at protecting joints from water damage, and maintaining water tightness in your roof. Without flashing, water can effectively pour straight into your home, which can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage. If you do not have flashing installed, or it is installed by an amateur, then your roof’s effectiveness will be compromised.

6. Punctures & Penetrations

Extreme weather conditions (such as wind or hail) can puncture and penetrate your roofing material, creating 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.

7. 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.

8. Membrane Shrinkage

Below your 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.

9. 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.

10. Lack of Proper Maintenance

If there is one sure-fire way to ensure that your roof will have problems at some point in the future, it is by neglecting to maintain it. Many major problems start out small, and can be easily fixed with a simple roof servicing, or by noticing the problem early on.

It is important to do a regular routine inspection of your roof 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.

The number one way to prevent roofing problems from seriously affecting your home is by having a professional roofing contractor perform a full assessment of your roof. This will highlight any small problems your roof may have and fix them before they really do some damage to your home.

For more information about how a full roof service can help, or if you would like to book a roof service, please contact Keay Roofing Services on 01753 359267 or send us an enquiry.

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