The roof is one of the most expensive parts of any house, so taking care of it is essential. To avoid the need for expensive roof repair, having a good maintenance plan in place can reduce the chance of damage in the main problematic areas on a roof. Homeowners who pay attention to these areas and observe them regularly will get a full service life from their roofs. To keep roofs in the best condition possible, look for problems in these common areas and arrange for roofing repair if damage is discovered.
Fascia and Soffit
The roof fascia and soffit are two prime areas that suffer from water damage over time; they are two areas most overlooked when this damage begins. The fascia is the vertical board that acts as an end cap for roof rafters, sealing the inner roof space and joining it to the edge of the roof. The soffit is the underside of that area, which usually contains small breathing holes to help keep attic spaces from building up too much heat or moisture. Fascia not protected from water running off the roof eventually begins to rot, allowing water into the roof structure. Soffit vents can become dirty or blocked, preventing them from functioning properly. Damage to each also invites insects and animals to take up residence in the roof structure itself.
Flashing and Roof Valleys
Flashing is the metal or rubber layers applied around vents, pipes, and anything else that comes through the roof that covers the edges and prevents water from entering. Valleys are places where roofing materials join or change direction due to the architecture of the roof structure, commonly covered by extra shingles or sometimes more flashing. These are some of the most common places for roof leaks to start, so keeping flashing and valleys in good condition is essential to avoid the need for roof repair.
Although gutters themselves are not a part of the roof, they can cause a number of serious roofing problems. When gutters are not kept clean and overflow as a result, two things happen:
- Water flows up under the edge of the roof, sometimes to the point where it is completely submerged. This attributes to roof rot, saturation of the under layers of the roof, and ice damming in cold weather. All of this eventually leads to leaks and other serious damage.
- Overflowing gutters cause water to spill against the fascia, increasing the likelihood that it will decay from moisture and require the attention of roofing repair services.
Shingles are an efficient and affordable roofing material when applied correctly and cared for. Yet when not applied correctly or not properly maintained, shingles can be a common source of roofing problems. Improper installation can result in moisture problems underneath the shingles that cause buckling, curling, and loosening. Shingles that are not kept clean will frequently mold or decay, inviting leaks. They also suffer secondary damage due to the above-mentioned gutter and fascia concerns, resulting in water damage, rotting, ice damming that loosens shingles on the roof, and many other conditions. Age also plays a part in potential problems with shingles, as they become brittle and cracked over time or lose their protective asphalt coatings.
By understanding where the most prominent areas on a roof are that tend to experience the most damage, homeowners can reduce roofing problems and a need for roofing repair services by paying close attention to these areas. Routine inspection and regular maintenance to ensure gutters are clear and that the other areas referenced above are not suffering from damage is essential for good roof care. Should any issues be discovered, timely roof repair will prevent small concerns from becoming major roof problems!