The roof of a home or other building is among the most vulnerable parts of the construction. Exposed to the wind, rain, snow and sun, the roof takes the brunt of the elements throughout its life and has a hard time of things. Not only is it vulnerable, but it’s also one of the most important parts of the home.
The roof not only provides shelter from the weather outside, but it also offers insulation. The roof keeps the cold out in the winter months as well as keeping the heat in. This is why a well-maintained roof should be a priority. One problem with roof damage is that no matter how minor it is, it will get worse over time – and can quite quickly become a very expensive problem.
In this article we look at the many aspects of roof damage, how it can happen and what the results may be, as well as explaining why a professional roofing contractor is a sensible choice for repairs or replacement. We’ll start by talking about how your roof can be damaged.
Many thousands of home owners in the USA experience damage of some kind to the roof of their homes. Commercial and industrial buildings also suffer damage. The severity of storms in some parts of the USA make damage to the external areas of a building almost inevitable at times, with the roof being the most likely to suffer. However, fixing a damaged roof is not a job for the layman. Roofs are specialist areas of the home that need the right attention for the right type, and damage can occur in a wide variety of ways and means, as well as to different parts of the roof. Let’s talk about some of these.
- Shingles: the shingles of a roof form the outer cover, and are easily dislodged by high winds, or by heavy rain, snow and ice. This leaves the roof itself unprotected. The result is that rainwater – which would normally run off the roof into the gutters – can seep into the attic space. The result of this can be damp spreading through the walls, rotting of the timbers that hold the roof up, and more. We recommend an inspection after a storm or snowfall to look for obvious damaged or missing shingles, and replacement should be implemented right away.
- Gutters: the guttering and downpipes on your home are as important as the roof structure itself. Gutters are designed to catch the water that runs off the roof and deliver it to the downpipes, which then disperse it below ground in the drainage system. However, gutters and downpipes can become blocked with debris, resulting in water not being able to drain as required. The result from this will be water running down the external walls, causing damage and damp, and also damaging the roof shingles.
The above are the two main areas of potential damage to your roof, and you should be able to spot a problem with broken gutters and downpipes or the pooling of water on the roof easily by walking around the property and having a quick look.
One further problem occurs in locations where there is heavy snowfall in the winter months. This is the problem that comes with snow and ice. Snow is heavy and if left on the roof can cause the shingles to warp. Furthermore, the problem of ice forming underneath the snow and then melting is also prevalent and can result in very serious damage. It is strongly recommended you clear snow from your roof as quickly as possible, in order to minimise the potential damage.
So, what should you do if you spot damage to your roof, gutters or downpipes, or if you suspect there may be a problem? The answer is not to get a ladder and do it yourself as this can be dangerous, but to call in the professional roofing contractors who will be able to survey the problem and give you a genuine assessment as to what needs to be done. They may suggest suitable repairs but, in some cases, you may need to have a new roof installed.
Replace or Repair
The chances of storm damage to roofs in America are high as quite severe storms are commonplace in many parts of the continent. It is important to have such damage attended to as soon as possible, for reasons mentioned above. It will also be sensible to have your roof checked every now and again by professionals, particularly if you happen to live in an older property.
A roof does not have a finite lifespan and may need replacement – shingle roofs can last 30 years, for example, and it may be the case that replacement is a more cost-effective approach than repairing an ageing roof. A reputable roof repair and replacement company will advise you as to the suitability of repairing the roof or otherwise. So, how to choose the right roof repair company? Let’s close by looking at some factors to consider.
Choosing the Professionals
There are many companies providing roofing services, so it is essential you find one that has expertise in the right field. We also recommend you find one local to you for reasons of cost and convenience. Ask around friends, family and colleagues and search online for roofing contractors near you and you will find plenty of suggestions.
It’s worth asking a few of them to have a look and give you a price for the work that is necessary as this will give you a choice of prices, and always ask for examples of prior work and also look for customer testimonies.
Most of all, check your roof after a storm and on a regular basis, and ensure that any damage you see or suspect is examined by a professional as soon as possible. Keeping an eye on your roof and getting repairs done early can save you serious money in the long run.