A home’s roof is on the front line, protecting the house from the elements. Over time, the roof itself will succumb to the elements and you will need to repair or replace it. When the rainy season hits, Columbus homeowners may have some nasty surprises if they haven’t had their roofs inspected and repaired beforehand.
Roof leaks are more than just a minor nuisance. When water makes its way past the protective cover of the roof, it can destroy insulation, grow black mold, damage the walls and ceiling, and rot the wood framing of the house. Putting off the cost of a needed roof repair usually adds the cost of repairing the damage that the leak caused to the total financial outlay.
Watch for Common Leaks
- Aging roof: Like everything else, roofing material ages. Temperature fluctuations from the changing seasons cause expansion and contraction. Eventually, the material becomes brittle and then cracks. Cupping and curling shingles are other commons sign of age. This happens when the top of the shingle shrinks, and the bottom of the shingle expands. Moisture in the attic can cause the underside of the shingle to swell and expand. Shrinkage of the top side of the shingle is a natural part of the aging process.
- Shingles missing: Shingles don’t last forever. Eventually, they may succumb to the ravaging of the sun and the rain and can fall off the roof completely. After a heavy storm, pieces of shingles or entire shingles may litter the garden or yard. A missing shingle is like an open-door invitation to the rain to enter the house.
- Holes: Holes develop for a variety of reasons. Storms can cause damage that results in a hole. Gnawing raccoons and squirrels may damage the roof. Removing old antenna mountings can leave behind holes as well.
- Gutter clogs: Clogged gutters impede the flow of water. When the water has nowhere else to go, it can pool on the roof and erode it.
- Skylights: The rubber gasket around the skylight is there to seal out water. Over time, the gasket may become dry and brittle. If this happens, it no longer provides a barrier to water.
- Chimneys: Mortar holds brick chimneys together. Over time, the mortar may start to disintegrate and crumble away. The area around the chimney where it meets the roof is a common spot for leaks to form.
Homeowners can do some minor things to maintain the integrity of their roofs for as long as possible, including regularly making sure that the gutters are clean and trimming the trees around the house, so they don’t touch the roof. No matter how vigilant you are, no roof will last forever. Best practice is to have a roofing professional inspected on a regular basis. Inspections will catch little issues, so you can repair them before they become bigger, more costly issues down the road.