As experienced roofing contractors know, the most popular time for residential roofing inspections, maintenance and repairs in Northern Virginia is after winter is over. While it is reasonable to examine and prepare roofs during wintertime, it is also wise to reevaluate them after that harsh season is over. Here are a few common roofing problems that may have cropped up during the winter months that you may want to address now.
Leaky Rooftops & Trapped Moisture
Take it from an experienced roofing contractor – it’s easy to miss leaks in the winter until rainy weather becomes the norm in spring. At that point, leaks may become easily apparent, although their source is not always quite as obvious. Check the attic, ceilings and walls at the first sign of water damage and request an inspection from an experienced roofing professional. Trapped moisture or leaks can accumulate to cause mold or mildew, and if left unchecked, can cause structural damage necessitating significant residential roof repairs or replacement.
There can be several different sources of leaks and trapped moisture. Roofing sealant may deteriorate or ultimately fail due to extreme temperature changes in winter, which can cause them to expand and contract quickly until they crack or warp. Improper attic ventilation and air circulation can cause snow dams to build up on your roof, trapping water from melting snow at the edge, which can then seep up under your shingles. Unchecked water damage can be especially severe and costly, to both the appearance and durability of your roof, home and can have adverse health effects for vulnerable family members. It’s important to call a roofing professional at the first sign of any water damage or leaks.
Missing, Torn or Blistering Shingles and Damaged Flashing
Hail, fallen tree limbs, debris, high winds, and/or poor ventilation can damage your roof’s shingles, causing them to tear, crumble or even go missing. Damaged or missing shingles only lead to more problems (think pests, mold and mildew, leaks, water damage and higher heating and air conditioning costs), so take advantage of the better weather during springtime, summer and fall to get these items repaired.
Flashing protects the intersection, joints and edges of your roof where your roof meets the siding, chimney, pipes, skylights and more. If it deteriorates, rusts or comes loose, the area underneath and the shingles bordering the edge of the flashing become susceptible to water damage, and potentially cause curling or missing shingles.
Repairing winter damage to residential shingle roofs is also important during the spring season due to the possibility that existing damage exacerbates in the warmer months of summer. Spring rains can worsen leaks, growing mold, mildew and algae will thrive in the warmth and humidity and lastly, UV rays can further reduce the lifespan of damaged shingles.
Spring residential roof inspections can catch issues such as damaged flashing or shingles, and timely repairs can avoid extreme cases of severely rotting or missing shingles, delaying the need for roof replacement.
During the winter, pests may have burrowed their way into your attic to avoid cold temperatures. Unfortunately, this damage can be somewhat easy to miss. After scratching and tearing a way inside your roof, they often build nests and will likely reproduce. Squirrels, birds and rodents are all likely culprits.
If you hear pests in the attic or inside the walls, notice holes from outside your home near the eaves or insulation from chewed up spots or see droppings in the attic, call pest control professionals to eliminate the infestation. It is also wise to reach out to them if you smell animals and/or decay and cannot locate the source of the smell. Afterward, call a trusted residential roofing company to repair the damage and reduce the potential for entry into your roof.
A backed-up or clogged gutter needs attention in the form of clearing away debris, including leaves, dirt and twigs, using gloves and/or a small shovel and a bucket. This is a task that some homeowners who don’t mind climbing a tall ladder can complete themselves, though extreme caution is advised. Once complete, special hose settings or tools designed to flush out gutters can finish the cleaning. This task is also one offered by gutter cleaning companies, at a reasonable price.
Keeping gutters clean is important to prevent structural damage to your gutters and ultimately to your roof. Clogged gutters contribute to the creation of ice dams, which are known to cause leaks. During excessive rains during the summer months, clogged gutters with trapped water can damage the flashing at the end of the roof, causing leaks underneath the siding. In addition, water that flows off the edges of the gutter will pool at the edge of your home and can cause structural damage as opposed to draining off through the downspout and away from your home as designed.
Nearly 24% of homeowners say they do not have regular roof inspections completed for their home. This oversight can be costly by reducing the lifespan of your residential roof. Keep your roof in its best condition – and keep residential roof repair costs reasonably low – with regular inspections and maintenance. Contact Select Construction, a trusted, reputable roofing contractor in Northern Virginia with any concerns or questions you may have about your home’s roof!