Roofing Basics: Leaks in Your Roof Can Bring the Entire House Down
Let me tell you an unarguable truth about your roof: no matter how well you take care of it, it will eventually need repairs or replacement. That’s just the way things are. Good roofs are built to last, but daily wear and tear is an immutable fact, as are extreme weather conditions and high winds. All these together contribute towards your roof’s eventual demise.
Taking good care of your roof will make it last longer. With meticulous maintenance, your roof could last the entire length of its warranted life — 20 to 25 years or more (some even upwards of 50 years), depending on your roofing material. As an authority on roofing, I’d encourage you to do simple maintenance tasks yourself. However, for more thorough cleaning, inspection, and repair jobs, I’d strongly recommend that you call in the pros. You should DIY only if you really know what you’re doing, because even a simple undertaking can turn out to be more complicated than it at first may seem.
When your roof begins to break down, you can bet that it will start to spring leaks. These are the areas on your roof where those leaks are most likely to occur:
Your chimney has four kinds of flashing fixed on it, which makes it an area that’s highly prone to leaks. Hairline cracks in the flashing can allow an unexpectedly huge volume of water to seep through, destroying layers directly underneath.
Flashing is made of thin metal sheets meant to provide a waterproof barrier for your roofing’s joints. This material may corrode over time, and cause water to leak through. Simply securing the old flashing could put you at risk of missing moisture damage beneath the roof’s exterior layer.
Gutters are designed to guide water away from your roof and exterior walls. Blocked gutters can cause water to pool, which can result in a spillover or cause it to get through cracks. Water can also seep through the soffit or fascia. Water damage can spread through your ceiling to your walls and all the way down to your foundation, weakening your home’s entire structure in the process.
Your Field of Roof
Field of Roof refers to the entire surface area that makes up the roof itself. It can be made of shingles, wood, slate, metal tiles, or other materials. Some of these materials can be brittle or can be prone to breakage when made to take on some weight, as they would if someone steps onto the roof to do a bit of maintenance.
Water can easily get through valleys or areas wherever two roof planes meet, if they’re not sealed properly. Telltale signs are moist spots on the seams of the roof.
Roof leaks can be deceptive. Even those that seem small and insignificant can damage your home irreparably. As a homeowner, you should always make sure that you’re aware of the true condition of your roof. Twice-a-year inspections (more often, if your area is prone to particularly extreme weather) should be part of your maintenance routine. Cleaning your roofing and conducting timely repairs should also top your list of priorities.
When it’s time to get your roof replaced, study your list of options carefully. There’s a wide selection of materials available these days, among them:
- Asphalt shingles
- Wood shingles
- Laminated shingles
- Composition roofing
- Metal roofing
- Stone-coated roofing
- Slate and rubber composite
Each has its benefits and drawbacks, so when picking a material, think about its life cycle, cost, durability and style.
Author Bio: Matthew Housh works at Arry’s Roofing, a family-owned and operated company that provide all types of services for your roofing needs. He’s not just a highly skilled roofer; he’s passionate about sharing his knowledge through his blogs. You can read more from him here: http://www.arrysroofing.com/blog/.