Roofing issues come under home maintenance. However, roofing is a special class of maintenance because failure to address roofing issues can have a catastrophic effect on a senior’s desire to stay in their home. What are these issues? How can they be addressed?
“A roof over your head,” is a classic idiom referencing a house. Perhaps ironically, many seniors don’t take roofing repairs seriously. They wait until there’s an obvious problem rather than spend a few hundred dollars a year to ensure their roofs stay in good repair. What are the roofing issues seniors need to know about? We cover those in this Section.
Roofs are critical to keeping a home dry and warm. But they are also vulnerable to storms and the elements. A damaged roof can cost $10,000 or more to repair. New roofs can run between $300 and $700 per roofing square (a roofing square is 100 feet).
Common Roofing Problems
The number one reason people have roof problems is neglected maintenance. When maintenance is neglected, every possible roof problem is aggravated.
All roofs, but especially flat roofs are susceptible to pooling water. Ice dams, divots, and bunched leaves can all create environments allowing water to pool. This makes the roof more likely to weaken and leak.
Debris from high winds, rodents, and pooling water can create holes in your roof. Holes create lots of problems. Holes can lead to water damage, rodent damage, and insect damage. This can trigger additional problems like mold, and airborne toxins and disease. Holes also increase costs to heat and cool your home.
Trees can be a roof’s worst nightmare. They provide ladders for rodents that allow rodents to reach and damage your roof. Branches can break off and damage your roof. Trees can collapse from severe weather and fall onto your roof.
Bad Roof Repairs
Fix it right. Quick and temporary solutions like patches, calking, and quick construction fixes don’t last. Damages need permanent fixes to avoid future problems.
Roofs involve lots of components and each element needs to be installed properly using the right materials. Also, every protrusion needs to be properly sealed and protected. There are many shortcuts cheap and inexperienced roofers can make. Fix it right or risk costly future roof repairs or required replacement.
Loss of Granules
Common asphalt shingles have small granules that absorb UV radiation and protect roofs from the environment. If granules begin to fall off, then the integrity of your roof begins to falter. Regularly checking for loss of granules, known as “bald spots,” can alert you if you need a reapplication of granules.
Contraction & Expansion
If you live in an area where temperatures vary a lot, your roof will contract in winter and expand in summer. This contraction and expansion can separate shingles, and cracks sealings. Properly installed shingles anticipate this contraction and expansions by leaving a little room so they can move when exposed to weather.
Roofs can leak. Regardless of the materials used, leaks happen. Water and the moisture it leaves behind create all sorts of problems like rot, mold and mildew. Carmen and I had a leak caused by squirrels. The damage the squirrels caused led to a hole in the roof that allowed water to run down the walls. This water reached the first-floor hardwoods. By the time we saw the damage, our hardwoods were destroyed, we had mold, and the boards under our floors required replacement. The insurance company said they wouldn’t pay because the damage was from a cause that occurred for over 14 days. It cost us eighty-thousand dollars to repair the damage.
Wind can cause lots of damage to roofs. Severe wind and weather can force up shingles, flashing, and tiles. It doesn’t matter what materials make up the shingles. Damaged, lost or lifted shingles need to be replaced or repaired, nailed down and resealed back onto the roof. Unrepaired roofs are susceptible to additional or aggravated damage.
Small animals like bats, mice, rats, raccoons, squirrels, and birds flock to rooftops. They may try and burrow into your roof where they nest, make babies, and store food. When they do this they make holes in your roof.
Roofs need to be installed properly so they perform well in storms and can resist extreme weather. Don’t cut corners on your roof.
Bad Attic Insulation & Ventilation
Poorly insulated or ventilated attics create stress on roofs. Attics heat up and cool down and this can cause the roof to crack. Bad ventilation can cause ice and melt cycles. This can lift flashing from its place, opening your home up for even more damage from severe weather.
Gutters are created to allow water to properly flow and drain in ways to eliminate or minimize water damage to your home. Bad gutter systems can direct water flows to problem areas or keep it from leaving your roof. In both cases this can leave to damages. Gutters need to be regularly cleaned and maintained.
Pay attention to roof maintenance. The consequences are usually far more expensive than neglecting annual maintenance costs.
Other Resources On Roofing Problems
More about common roofing problems here.
Roof repair guide here.