How to Spot and Fix Roof Damage

Posted by Justin Havre on Monday, December 11th, 2017 at 9:20am.

What You Need to Know About Roof DamageShort of getting out a ladder every few months to physically inspect the roof, homeowners often miss roof damage until they notice puddles appearing where they shouldn't. Much of spotting damage lies in understanding how the roof works to keep their Panorama Hills home protected from the elements. Learn the common pitfalls for homeowners, and what can be done to keep the roof in better shape.

Sneaky Leaks

When water leaks, it's normally the attic or upstairs crawl space that suffers the damage. Considering this part of the house isn't always the most popular place to visit, it can take a while for homeowners to spot. If a homeowner can access the top of the roof, they should look for curling on the shingles, tears in the flashing (the material over the joints), or crumbling of the cement. If staying indoors, look for peeling paint or wallpaper or mysterious stains.

Professionals tell homeowners that using cement or caulk is not recommended. Water damage to a home is not only dangerous to the structural integrity of the home, it's also extremely expensive to fix. A leak is a major defect that usually requires a skilled contractor. When it comes to long-term solutions, it's far less expensive to replace the damaged portion with the help of a pro than to perform a patch-up on your own.

Damaged Soffit

The soffit on the roof can be found underneath the eaves or rafters, and it's usually made of a strong material like aluminum, cement, and or steel. Even the toughest soffit though will eventually start to show wear and tear. Any holes in the soffit will expose the home to some very unwelcome guests, such as insects looking for a winter home. Even birds can sometimes build their nests if the damage is large enough.

The best way to protect soffit is to make sure that the ventilation is as efficient as it can be—especially if the home is in a snowy or rainy region. Snow can become trapped inside the soffit or vents in the roof before it melts and causes water damage or even rot. Even embers can become trapped and cause a fire. If a homeowner notices either direct damage or the wrong kind of visitors in their attic, it's time to replace the soffit. Homeowners can do this on their own, but it can be a hazardous task. The fascia, soffit, rafters, and shingle mold will all need to be removed and then replaced.

Gutter Trouble

If the gutters of a home are clogged, most homeowners can spot the damage fairly easily and handle this job on their own. Check around the house and note any areas where the gutter seems to be sagging or detaching from the home, and look for unnatural puddles or leakage around the seams of the gutter. Caulk for the gutters is usually highly effective to close any gaps a homeowner might spot when they're cleaning out any accumulated dirt or muck. If the gutter is too old or worn though, it may need to be replaced.

The better drainage you have for the home, the less likely it is that it will experience water damage in the first place. In addition, homeowners should check their ventilation before the winter. Gutters form the dreaded ice dams due to poor ventilation, which creates a safety hazard for pedestrians (e.g., the mailman, etc.) as well as the residents of the home.

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