Roofs are an essential part of a house. If you're noticing something wrong with yours, it's time to look into getting some unexpected roof repairs in order before your entire home is severely damaged.
When dealing with any damage to your roof, speed is essential to get the situation under control before it gets any worse. Even something as innocent as a shingle being blown off or warping from ice will cause plenty of damage if you wait too long to address it.
Read on to learn more about roof damage and how to handle it quickly and efficiently.
Types of Roof Damage
You'll have to deal with a few different types of roof damage, and the most common include leaks, damaged vents and shingles, and a cracked chimney.
Leaks are a significant problem that can lead to water damage, costing you thousands to fix if you leave it for too long. If you notice that there is lingering moisture in your home, there's a big chance that it's coming from your roof. It might take some time to track down the exact location, but once you find the leak you'll be able to address it immediately.
Damaged vents are another common problem that homeowners often have to handle. If there's anything wrong with your roof ventilation, you can run into some serious issues during the spring when the weather starts warming up.
Without the proper ventilation, the contrasting temperatures from hot days to cooler nights can promote deterioration, speeding up damage in your roof. It's essential to address these issues before they cause any damage so that you can keep your home safe.
Over time, cracks will start to show up in your chimney. It is especially true for homes that don't get used very often or live under icy weather conditions. If this is the case with you, you could be putting yourself at risk for some severe problems, such as fires or heat damage, if you don't fix these issues immediately.
If shingles are missing on your property or some of them are damaged over time, you must get them replaced immediately to protect the rest of your roof. If you notice something like this happening, act quickly to ensure that further damage doesn't occur.
These are just some of the most common problems that will arise when it comes to your roof. If any of these things sound familiar, it's time for you to address them right away, so you don't have to worry about something worse happening in the future.
Causes of Roof Damage
Some different culprits can lead to roof damage, and you need to be able to recognize them so you know what type of repairs your home will need over time. Once you understand the primary cause of this damage, it'll be easy for professionals to help you get the situation under control.
Shingles are prone to aging when they're installed on the exterior of your home's roof. Elements like wind and rain can wear them down or warp them over time. If you notice shingles popping up all over your property, it's a good idea to address the problem before it gets any worse.
Water and Cold Weather
Hail damage can be a severe issue during the winter months, leading to significant problems if you don't fix it immediately. Even something as basic as slipping on an icy sidewalk could result in some damage. It's essential to take care of this as soon as possible to get the situation under control before it gets any worse.
Wind and Storms
Wind and storms are other considerable problems for things like shingles - they can blow off or warp in ways that make your home susceptible to water damage. Storms can also knock over trees or power lines, which can be dangerous. If you notice something wrong with the way your roof looks, the time to address it is immediately.
The installation process should include proper flashing that ensures that water can't penetrate your home when installing a new roof. If this doesn't happen, it's easy for things like ice and wind to cause damage from underneath. This situation will require an entirely different type of repair than anything else on the list.
High Levels of Heat
Roofs are very susceptible to high heat, as they are completely exposed to the elements. If shingles are exposed for too long or if there's a problem with your attic, you could have a significant fire on your hands if you don't get the shingles repaired quickly.
Lack of Roof Repair
If you have never had any work done on your roof, it's easy for things to start breaking down over time. It is especially true if the shingles are older and need to be replaced. If this is the case, you could be putting yourself at risk for damage that could potentially cost a lot to fix.
Can You Repair Roof Damage?
Even though it might seem like a good idea to let things go and take care of non-urgent roof damage at a later time, you should never do this. DIY roof maintenance can be done regularly to avoid future issues, but heavy damage from storms or other problems may require a professional.
Solution for a Small Leak
If you notice a small leak on your roof, you might be able to fix things yourself using a piece of tar paper. If the damage is minor, all it will take is a little bit of waterproof material and some solid adhesive to make sure that moisture can't get in. When you're ready to start, make sure that the patch is very smooth and covers the entire area where the leak is present.
To get your roof repaired properly, you will need to hire a professional that knows how to take care of things and find the source of the problem. It might require them climbing onto your roof. But it’s absolutely worth it.
Repair Damaged Shingles
If the damage is not yet too severe, repairing a couple of damaged shingles after a long winter or heavy storm can be done quickly by the home owner. Partially ripped off shingles can be reapplied with some roofing cement. If the shingles are completely missing, you'll have to replace them with the same color and material as your existing shingles.
Climbing on to your roof could be a dangerous task, so ensuring that you are taking the proper safety measures such as using a steady ladder, wearing slip resistant shoes, and having a spotter, is necessary.
What Should I Do if I Have Roof Damage?
If you have noticed any issues with your roof, whether it's leaks, damage to the vents, missing shingles, or anything else, you need to get them repaired immediately.
Take the following steps before allowing your roof to get even more damaged to ensure an easy and hassle-free repair:
Assess and Document the Damage
Take a look at your roof and assess the extent of the damage. Try to take as many photos as possible (from different angles and with adequate lighting) to show what needs fixing. This will allow you to work effectively with a contractor on any upcoming issues, and helps provide evidence for your insurance company if anything goes wrong.
Get in Contact with Your Insurance Provider
If you haven't already, contact your insurance provider and tell them what is happening with your roof. They will let you know what coverage is available under your policy and if the roof damage will cost you money (or not).
If you have a deductible, make sure you know if insurance will cover it before moving forward with any repairs (since this money will come from you).
Hire a Roofer
In many situations, it makes sense to hire a roofer to care for your roof replacement for you. They will be able to inspect the damage and determine what should be done about it before further damage occurs, so you can get things handled right away.
Get at least three estimates for the work you need so you can decide on the best company. Look the companies up online and find out if they have good reviews from past customers.
Schedule Your Repairs
When you choose a contractor, schedule time with them to have all of the needed changes made. Scheduling will ensure that they complete the work promptly, and you can have peace of mind.
After you have had your roof repaired, you will want to take the proper steps to maintain things. Maintenance will keep everything in good condition and prevent future damage so you don't have to worry about dealing with roof issues anytime soon.
Some recommended maintenance steps include:
- Regularly inspecting your roof
- Removing all branches, leaves, and other debris from the roof
- Keeping your gutters clean so water can flow properly
- Ensuring that any vents are clear, so air flow is possible
- Not allowing anyone to walk on the top unless it's critical to do so
The measures will help prevent any further damage from occurring, so you won't have to worry about calling a contractor again anytime soon.
Having a clean and maintained roof can help you save money in the long term. Your roof is one of the most critical parts of your home, because it keeps everything safe from bad weather, sun damage, and other problems that can make your life difficult if they aren't taken care of properly.
If you follow the steps listed above, you should keep your roof in good shape and not run into any problems when it comes to repairs. Providing regular maintenance and keeping up with any seasonal damage will keep your roof in good shape to avoid extensive and costly repairs in the future.
Louis is a community manager for Baltic Roofing where they help the greater Chicago community with everything from high-quality roof replacements to skylight repairs. He is an expert on all things roofing and home improvement. Outside of work, he’s a huge Cubs fan and enjoys spending time with his dog, Roscoe.