How Water Leaks Can Destroy Your Roof

From an aesthetic point of view, the roof of a house is its crowning glory. But, a roof is also one of the most important factors when it comes to a building’s structural security.

If a roof is in a bad condition then it can have significantly negative impacts on other areas. Which is why it is crucial to keep on top of roof maintenance. Failing to do so, won’t just affect your bank balance, it could have dire consequences for your health and safety.

Because roofs are exposed to the elements, water damage is a common issues. Here are 4 major problems that can arise from water leaks in your roofs.

Internal damage:

The first thing that could happen when your roof leaks is the contents stored in your attic may be destroyed. But, it can also get a lot worse than that too. A hidden or untreated leak will continue down the house to its foundation, damaging ceilings, floors and walls on the way. If you have just moved into a new house, check for signs of leaking. The previous tenants may have been less than vigilant!    

In extreme circumstances, the entire roof could be weakened to such an extent that it caves in. The cost of this to repair would run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

Wet insulation:

If insulation becomes wet it loses its thermal resistance. If the water damage is caught quickly it is possible for it to dry out - but this depends on its location. For example, wet insulation inside a closed wall cavity might not dry at all, or at least not fast enough to prevent other problems.

Wet insulation can also cause corrosion on roof fasteners and lead to the rusting of steel. Again, this could compromise the entire structure of the building over time.

Mold and mildew:

Trapped water is a breeding ground for mold and mildew. This can lead to dire consequences for the building and its occupants. Mold is both toxic and tenacious and can penetrate walls and ceilings. Not only is it unsightly but it can be very difficult to eliminate.

Even more serious is the effect it can have on human health. Mold and damp causes respiratory problems and allergic reactions. Short term it can cause eye, throat and skin irritation but prolonged exposure to mold can lower the body’s white blood cells and weaken the entire immune system.

Fire:  

It will come as no surprise that roof leaks and electrics are never a good mix. Water flowing down walls and ceilings can settle in light fixtures, sockets and switches which can destroy the integrity of your wiring infrastructure.  

Unsealed fuse-boards are also susceptible to electrical fires - especially if they are located in the attic. Even a small amount of moisture in a fuse board can cause a flash-over. The very nature of a wooden frame roof means that it can quickly and easily catch fire from a flash-over. Apart from the safety risks, you could be liable to a full electrical reinstall which will affect your certification and insurance.

Avoiding water damage is just one of the reasons you should be careful about maintaining the condition of your roof. It’s also one of the first thing you should check when moving into a new home. If you suspect you have any issues, contact reliable roofing specialists immediately.  

 

Thanks to our friends at Bellhops for their help in creating this post

DIY Roofing vs Hiring a Professional

Do It Yourself -

Pros: 

  1. If it is a simple fix, such as applying some sealant over a small leak, doing it yourself can be quicker than trying to schedule a professional to check out the issue.
  2. If you built your own home or recently replaced your roof, you might already have leftover shingles, so you save on product costs.
  3.  You’ll also save the cost of hiring someone.
  4. You have the chance to impress your wife or good-looking neighbor by being so handy.

Cons:

  1. If you don't know what you're doing, you can turn a small problem into a much larger issue - a small leak can turn into a structural issue if it isn't taken care of the correct way.
  2. You could cost yourself a lot of extra money by making small mistakes. For example, purchasing the wrong type of shingle, nailing the shingles incorrectly, or improperly installing flashing. 
  3. It's dangerous! Falling off of a roof has the potential to cost you thousands of dollars in medical bills, or even your life! 
  4. Your have the chance to embarrass yourself in front of your wife or good-looking neighbor when doing it yourself doesn't exactly go the way you expected it to. 

Hiring a Professional - 

Pros: 

  1.  You don’t have to get up on the roof. That saves you a lot just in peace of mind.
  2. When you hire a professional, you know the job’s going to be done right, and done well.
  3. A roofer will also be able to tell you if there’s anything else going on with your roof that you need to know about. Many professionals offer a free inspection so you know exactly what’s happening with your roof, why it needs to be fixed, and how much it will cost.
  4. If you’re replacing your entire roof, hiring a professional usually means there is a manufacturers warranty available, such as the GAF Golden Pledge Lifetime Warranty, if it is installed by a certified professional. This can save you a lot of headaches in the future.
  5. If the roofing company does something wrong, they will be able to fix it for you with the worry of having to pay for it! 
  6. Your wife or good-looking neighbor will look at your perfect new roof and be impressed. 

Cons:

  1.  If it’s a simple task, it might cost more to have a professional do it than to just fix it yourself. The added cost won’t always outweigh the benefits.
  2. There’s also the hassle of making sure you can get a professional out to your home when it’s convenient for you, both when they do the inspection, and later when they come back to finish the repairs.
  3. Finally, if you have a repair you need done right away, you might have to wait to get a trusted professional to do it. 

 

https://wernerroofing.com/blog/diy-roofing-hiring-a-professional/ 

Repairing vs Replacing Your Roof

Countless Americans will gaze upon their roofs this year, see signs of damage, and wrestle over whether or not to patch up the section that’s in need of repair or simply replace their entire roof. Perhaps you are one of these people.

Certainly, there are pros and cons to each approach. To help you make the best decision, here is a list of questions you should answer first:

  • What time constraints are you under? If there aren’t any, you can choose either option. But if you need to fix a leaky roof by next weekend or you’re leaving on vacation in a couple weeks, you may not have time to wait for a contractor to schedule a roof replacement.
  • How old is your roof? If it’s relatively new or even in the middle of its life cycle, a repair might be okay. But if it has a 20-year warranty and it’s 18 years old, replacing the whole roof may be the way to go.
  • How big of an area is currently in need of repair? If you only need to fix one or two small areas, you can probably have a roof repair man out there that day to fix the problem. If it’s more than, say, 30 percent of your roof, you might strongly consider a roof replacement.
  • What’s the additional cost to replace your entire roof? For example, it might cost you $4,000 to repair the front side of your roof — but replacing the whole roof might only run you $6800. In this case, a roof replacement is a better value. You can also consider going through insurance. If your roof is damaged enough to get approved, the insurance company will pay for the roof replacement while you are only responsible for your deductible. 
  • How important is it that your roof remains the exact same color? Any new shingles will not precisely match the same hue as your existing ones because of weathering from the elements. If your roof is highly visible and you don’t want mismatched shingles, you’d better replace the whole roof.
  • Do you have any moisture damage to your roof deck? If the underside and supports of your roof show significant moisture damage, shingling over them won’t solve the problem. Roof replacements can include fixing these areas, so that’s likely your best option.
  • Do you need to replace your gutters as well? If it’s time to install new gutters, it may be more convenient for a contractor to just rip off the old guttering, lay down a new roof, and put on a new gutter system all at once.
http://www.harryhelmet.com/when-your-roof-needs-fixing-should-you-repair-or-replace/

How to Know When It is Time to Replace Your Roof

The 7 Warning Signs You Need to Look Out For

Most homeowners figure they need a new roof after they spot a leak in their ceiling. This leak could be due to many different roofing problems. But, what factors really determine whether a roof repair will solve the problem or the house needs a roof replacement?

Here are some tips to help you determine if you need a new roof:

  1. Roof Age - Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years. However, there are many factors that can make your deteriorate significantly faster, including poor quality workmanship and improper ventilation. Chances are, if your roof is over 20 years old, you need to look into getting it replaced. 

  2. Shingles Curling and Buckling - Shingles that are curled or buckling are another sign that you may need a new roof. Look at the slopes of your home that get direct sunlight and if you notice the shingles are curling and losing granules, it could mean the shingles are past their life expectancy. There could also be a possibility that the roof is defective.

  3. Roof Valleys - If your roof shingles are falling apart or missing in this area, it's a definite sign you need a new roof. Valleys are one of the most important areas of your roof. Snow and rain flow through valleys and into gutters. If the valley is compromised, you could be susceptible to roof leaks.

  4. Missing Shingles - This is another sign that you may need to look into replacing your roof. If there are multiple places in which the shingles have been detached, it is most likely time to call a roofing contractor. 

  5. Chimney Flashing - This is another area to be concerned about. If your flashing consists of roof cement or tar, it may need to be replaced with a long-term, water-tight fitting, which would be a metal flashing system.

  6. Shingle Granules in the Gutters - Look in your gutters to see whether they are loaded up with shingle granules. Roofs tend to lose more granules toward the end of their life cycle. Inconsistent or darker color on some parts of the roof is another sign the granules have worn away.

  7. Daylight through the Roof Boards - You notice a spongy feel or trampoline bounce when walking on the roof, which means the underlying decking is weakened from moisture. Check your attic to see if there is any daylight coming through the roof boards. Also check for moisture in the insulation.

How to Find the Roofing Contractor That's Right For You

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The biggest obstacle homeowners face when looking to fix or replace their roof is choosing the right person to do the job. After a damaging storm, they need to quickly get back to normal and perform the necessary roofing repairs. But that doesn’t mean they should just choose the first contractor who knocks on their door! Finding a contractor who is trustworthy, honest, and professional may sound difficult, but follow these tips to determine if your contractor is reputable and can be trusted to protect your home!  

  1. Get local referrals.

    There is less chance of potential issues or scams when you choose a contractor from your community. They are more familiar with local rules and code regulations and have a relationship with area crews and suppliers. They also have most likely did work for someone you know, so you will be able to get an honest evaluation of  their work quality and skills. 
  2. Look for manufacturer designations

    Manufacturer designations are considered a badge of honor because the contractor must pass certain minimum requirements to be factory-certified (although, some manufacturers have more stringent requirements than others). For example, GAF strictly enforces their top designation by only allowing 2% of roofing contractors per market to be recognized as Master Elite® Contractors. CertainTeed, Tamko, and other manufacturers also have high designations that can aide in the decision making process.

  3. Look at Google Reviews. 

    Reputable roofing contractors will have numerous positive reviews on Google, and a high star rating. These reviews can be extremely helpful in determining the quality of customer service provided, however, don't let this be your sole determining factor. One negative review from a disgruntled customer doesn't always accurately represent the company. 
  4. Get an extensive warranty. 

    Not all contractors can offer manufacturer warranties that include coverage of the contractor’s workmanship. If a contractor installs the roof incorrectly, it may take months or years for the damage to show up—and insurance won’t pay for it. If the contractor won’t fix it (or worse, has gone out of business), your only recourse is to pay for their mistake yourself. For example, A GAF Master Elite® Contractor can offer one of the longest workmanship warranties on the market—the Golden Pledge®Warranty.
  5. Research Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings. 

    Some contractors blow in right after a storm looking for work, so it’s important to look them up on the BBB website and make sure they have a good score. Stay away from contractors who do not exist on BBB.org.
  6.  Be concerned about safety.

    A contractor without a training or safety program may not be the best person for your job. There are certain standards laid out by OSHA that roofing contractors must follow in order to stay in business and avoid hefty fines. If your contractor doesn't follow these safety rules, they may not be completely qualified for the job. 
  7. Check for proper licensing and insurance. 

    The contractor should have insurance for all employees and subcontractors and be able to provide a copy of their insurance certificate for validation. Not having adequate insurance could potentially lead to litigation between a contractor and homeowner if a roofing employee sustains an injury at the home. Most states require licensing for contractors, but that does not stop unlicensed contractors from attempting to do the roofing work. In states where licenses are required, make sure your contractor provides you with a copy of their license and confirm their status online. 
  8. Know your material choices. 

    A contractor who does not offer you different shingle options is not looking out for your best interest. The style and color of the shingles you install can affect the resale value of your home. If the insurance company is paying for a new roof, it may be the perfect time to make a change and upgrade to a more unique style that suits your taste.
http://blog.gaf.com/10-tips-to-help-homeowners-choose-the-right-roofing-contractor/