Many homeowners never think about their roof until it begins to spring in leaks. Since the roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, problems with your roof will lead to many issues with the rest of the house. Pay careful attention to your roof’s condition to prevent water damage. Regular maintenance and fixing leaks when they are small is more affordable than a total roof replacement.
Composition of Shingles
Asphalt shingles are composed of the following:
- Fiberglass: Shingle manufacturers use a continuous sheet of thin fiberglass as the foundation for the rest of the materials.
- Asphalt: Asphalt is the water-resistant ingredient in roofing shingles. It is “oxidized” by blowing air through hot asphalt to increase viscosity. A fine mineral powder is often mixed with the asphalt to improve weather resistance and enable the shingle’s fire resistance.
- Granules: Stone granules come in various colors to give long-lasting color to the shingles. Some shingles come with algae-resistant granules to inhibit discoloration triggered by blue-green algae. Special reflective granules may be used to reflect more of the sun’s heat energy.
- Sealant: Sealants are designed to bond the shingles together on the roof. The sealant is thermally-activated so it doesn’t activate until the desired temperature ranges. This also allows them to hold their bond during installation and other roof stresses, such as windy days.
- Laminate: If the roofing shingles are multi-layered (as most are these days), a laminate is used to adhere the layers together during manufacturing.
- Backsurfacing: A fine mineral powder used to help prevent shingles from sticking together in the package.
- Release Film: A release film is on the back of shingles to help prevent the shingles from sticking together during storage. This film isn’t designed to remove.
What Causes Shingles to Break
The roof is designed to protect your home from the elements, but it can leak for many reasons. Here are a few reasons your shingles could break:
- Severe weather, such as strong winds, heavy rains, hailstorms, etc., can all damage shingles over time or in an instant.
- The heat from the sun can cause shingles to expand and the nails securing them to move. The sun’s UV rays can make shingles dry and brittle and more easily damaged by harsh weather.
- Trees close to the house also pose problems. A heavy branch falling on the roof can damage shingles. Leaves can clog the gutters and downspouts, forcing water under the shingles and into your home. Low-hanging tree branches can also scrape the granules from shingles, leading to early replacement.
- Poor attic ventilation causes heat to quickly build up in the attic. This causes the shingles to bake from inside and outside and leads to premature deterioration.
It’s essential to schedule an inspection when you notice a leak. If left unattended, a small leak can cause significant damage to your home down the road.
Spotting Roofing Problems
The best way to discover roofing problems early is to schedule periodic roofing inspections with a reputable contractor. Skilled roofers understand how roofing systems work and know where to look and repair to prevent roof leaks from forming or worsening. Professional inspections can also prolong your roof’s lifespan, appearance, and performance by resolving minor issues before they escalate into major problems.
Common roofing problems include:
- Broken or missing shingles
- Granules in your gutters or yard
- Damaged flashing
- Roof or plumbing vents
- Mounting holes from a satellite dish or antenna
- Chimney flashing
- Old or damaged roofing material
- Clogged gutters
Your roofer will conduct a thorough inspection of your roof, identify the exact cause of the leak, and make the necessary fixes.
How Roofing Contractors Find and Repair Leaks
Expert roofing contractors can repair your roof quickly, accurately, and safely. They have the equipment, skills, and training needed to climb steep roofs and work safely. You’ll want to hire a local roofing contractor with experience, certifications, and appropriate insurance coverage. A local contractor knows the best materials, the correct roofing techniques, and building codes for your area’s specific climate.
Inspecting the Roof for Damage and Leaks
Your roofer will first perform a thorough inspection of your roof to spot any roofing problems. The roofer will identify the source of the leak, which isn’t always precisely where the stain or water damage has manifested. An experienced roofer will do some detective work to track the leak to the actual source. Sometimes, your roofer might use an infrared moisture detector or spray the roof with water to detect the source of the leak. Once the source of the leak is identified, your roofer can repair the leak.
Dealing With Roofing Problems
Depending on the specific roofing problem, your roofing contractor will use different approaches to repair your roof. Damaged flashing can be replaced. Damaged vent boots can be removed and replaced. Missing or broken shingles can be more involved to repair, depending on how many are damaged. Your roofer will go over all of the available options.
If there is a roof puncture or damaged roof decking, the repair process becomes considerably more complex. For punctures, your roofer might have to replace a whole section of sheathing, underlayment, and shingles.
Schedule Prompt Roof Repairs
For many homeowners, having a damaged roof is never a good thing, but understanding what to expect in a roof repair can put your mind at ease. At Quantum Roofing, we have years of experience installing, repairing, and replacing roofs in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. We can inspect your roof and recommend the necessary solution. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!