Updated on August 12th, 2021 at 11:57 am

Roof Troubleshooting 101: The Most Common Roof Problems, And How to Tackle Them

Roof problems, which are often perceived as unforeseen and sudden, often lead to endless frustration and significant expenses. As with many things, tackling the problem early on, before it becomes serious, is the best way to maintain roofing in great condition whilst saving a lot of time and money. Today, we are going to have a look at the top areas to inspect if a roofing issue is suspected, or – better yet – as a part or regular scheduled maintenance.

Before we start, it’s important to note that the issues identified below aren’t a comprehensive list of everything and anything that can potentially go wrong with a roof. Nevertheless, these are the most common problems that lead to the most repeated damage scenarios – and therefore, worth investigating first.

How Does Harsh Weather Conditions Impact Your Roof?

Repeated exposure to harsh weather conditions is one of the worst offenders when it comes to causing significant roof damage. Roof material inevitably deteriorates due to direct exposure to weather fluctuations – even something as trivial as air pollution can cause roofing material decay. In different climates, signs of weathering may vary. For instance, roofs constructed in humid, warm climates are very prone to excessive algae growth. In contrast, extremely cold temperatures may cause cracks in some materials. Generally, organic materials are much more prone to climate-related issues compared to inorganic counterparts, which is something to consider when planning a project.

Improper Maintenance Of Your Roof Can Affect Its Lifespan

We did say before that regular maintenance is important – however, this is not the case when it’s done incorrectly. For instance, if an area isn’t cleaned properly when a part of a roof is about to be installed or replaced, this may cause problems with adhesion, which ultimately means more problems (and repairs) in the future. Another widespread maintenance problem is skimping on regular check-ups and workmanship costs. Signs of such problems include missing roof parts, algae growth due to excess moisture, and structural deformities which can progress into more prominent issues over time.

A Poorly Designed Roof Can Cause Damage Over Time

Sometimes, the problems start even before the roof is installed, although detecting them may be problematic. We are talking about poor roofing design – one of the hardest issues to correct, potentially requiring major redesigns and replacements. Some signs of poorly designed roofing include awkward roof sloping, sagging spots, rotting due to trapped moisture, and deformed/missing shingles.

Is Your Roof Blistering Or Have You Suffered Hail Damage?

Although certain degree of blistering over time is not necessarily an issue, any significant blistering spots require prompt investigation. For instance, sometimes roofing blisters due to asphalt being heated to improper temperature which causes inadequate attachment of certain types of roof systems. This problem often comes with a side of premature aging, as well as slipping of felts.

Malfunctioning Vents and Improper Roof Ventilation Can Can Roof Roof Damage

Damaged vents usually need to be replaced, so keep that in mind if you notice cracks on plastic vents, or broken seams on metal varieties. Sometimes total replacement can be avoided though, and the problem simply lies in a few pulled or missing nails – if that’s the case, the wisest thing to do is to replace those with rubber-washered screws which are a much more durable and lasting solution for roofing.

Poor Chimney Flashing And Flashing Leaks Can Cause Internal Damage

If you’re noticing significant rotting of the roof sheathing, a likely culprit is improper chimney flashing. Good flashings for the chimneys are a combination of flashing that runs up the chimney sides, as well as counterflashing that fits onto specially cut grooves. Installing those parts is a somewhat frustrating procedure which is why it’s sometimes performed sloppily and improperly – however, it’s extremely important to ensure quality chimney flashing is done. Otherwise, after a heavy rain the area around the chimney and downhill from it will get flooded, which is a definite recipe for serious rotting and decay.

Damaged Vent Flashing Can Cause Chimney Leaks

Speaking of various types of flashing, vent flashing failure is also a very common problem. There are many different types of vent flashing, including but not limited to rubber seals and all-metal solutions. Any failure of the vent system can cause problems, so if you notice any structural changes, consider replacing the flashing as soon as possible.

Water Ponding On Your Roof Is Never A Good Thing

Usually a combination of several issues, incidental water ponding results in excess water accumulation throughout certain parts of roofing, which is an open invitation to algae and rotting to plague the roof. The fact that UV-rays compounded by ponding water can cause significant damage to some materials doesn’t make this any better. Worse still, any issues related to ponding aren’t often covered by a warranty. The solution is simple: make sure you’ve considered the movement of water, adding sufficient slopes and/or crickets!

Damage From Foot Traffic Can Occur Easily From Walking On Your Roof

Certain types of roofing, such as SPF roof systems, can be easily affected by high foot traffic, resulting in penetrations, leaks and missing parts. In addition, these issues can cause premature roof aging and warranty void. To avoid this, it is extremely important to be mindful of foot traffic on the roof – it should be strictly limited to planned maintenance or emergency repairs. Otherwise, there is no need to jump around the roof, as the consequences may be costly.

The Roof Replacement Pros is proud to serve Maryland and has roofing crews currently in Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Frederick, Baltimore, Thurmont, Silver Spring, Montgomery Village, Olney, and Columbia. One of these locations can certainly help you with any roofing problems or issues you may be having. Contact one of the offices above today and schedule your free estimate.