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  • Andre Gibson

Ask The Expert! February 2024 Edition

Hello Beltsville, Let it snow!  Winter has finally arrived and it is time to make sure our homes are ready for the onslaught.  When it comes to keeping our homes safe and secure, the importance of a strong and sturdy roof cannot be emphasized enough. A roof is not just a mere covering over our heads; it plays a crucial role in protecting us and our valued belongings from the outside elements. A quality-installed roof adds to the structural integrity of a house and is considered by many to be first in the line of defense against the wiles of Mother Nature. Many homeowners overlook the importance of having a strong and sturdy roof, failing to recognize that it plays a critical role in protecting their homes and ensuring their safety and comfort.

In this article, we will create the argument and delve into why having a strong roof is not only advisable but necessary for any dwelling. First and foremost, a strong roof protects against the ever-changing weather conditions. Whether from scorching heatwaves to torrential rainstorms, fierce winds, and heavy snowfall, our roofs serve as the ultimate shield for our homes from the elements, acting as a barrier between weather disasters of the outside world and the peace and comfort in our homes.

Just for a moment, imagine being caught in a thunderstorm without a solid roof over your head. The rain pouring in, the wind howling through the cracks, and the fear of collapse looming over your head. It is not only inconvenient, but it can also be extremely dangerous. A weak or damaged roof can lead to leaks, allowing water to seep into the home, causing structural damage, and fostering the growth of mold and mildew. Over time, this can result in costly repairs and potentially hazardous living conditions. A strong roof ensures we stay safe and dry during unfavorable weather events. Additionally, a sturdy roof safeguards our homes from potential damage caused by external factors. From falling tree branches to hailstorms, or anything that threatens our homes' integrity. In earthquake-prone areas it serves as a vital protective measure against the tremors, providing stability and preventing catastrophic outcomes.

Not only does a strong roof protect us from external threats, but it also plays a significant role in energy efficiency and insulation. In terms of cost savings, a sturdy roof contributes to energy efficiency and climate control within the house. A well-insulated roof helps to keep the indoor temperature stable, preventing excessive heat from infiltrating during the summer and retaining warmth during the winter.

As a result, homeowners can save on their energy bills and reduce their carbon footprint. Furthermore, a strong roof with proper ventilation prevents excessive moisture buildup, which can lead to condensation problems, damage to the structure, and the proliferation of mold. This improves indoor air quality and promotes a healthier living environment, especially for those with respiratory conditions. Another aspect to consider is the aesthetic value and curb appeal that a strong roof brings to a house. A well-maintained and visually appealing roof greatly enhances the overall look of a property, increasing its value and making it more attractive to potential buyers. When the time comes to sell your home, having a strong roof ensures that it passes inspections and is a selling point for potential buyers, avoiding any issues that could arise from a neglected or inadequate roof.

The National Association of Home Inspectors recommend an Annual Roof Inspections no matter the age of your home or roof.  Protect your roof from things not covered under warranty such as acts of nature and animal damage.  An annual roof inspection is inexpensive and can save you thousands over the cost of a full replacement.  A quality inspection will come with photos and often a gutter inspection and gutter cleaning.  Consider having your roof inspected when you check your smoke detector batteries or change the oil in your vehicle. 

 

Common Roof Issues:

 

Roof Leaks

A leaking roof is one of the most common roofing problems that homeowners face. It can happen due to a number of different reasons, but regardless of why it’s happening, it’s frustrating. Untreated roof leaks can cause expensive damage and, if left for too long, structural problems. There are a number of reasons why your roof might be leaking so it’s important to make sure and keep an eye out for water damage regularly. Signs of water damage or leaks can usually be seen near your chimney, around the flashing, near gutters and skylights, in valleys, or close to vents. Some of the most common causes of a roof leak include cracked flashing, broken shingles, or structural damage to tiles or slate. If you notice any signs of a roof leak, call a professional for a comprehensive inspection.

 

Standing Water

Another roof issue that happens from water is standing water, or pooled water. This can happen when your roof starts to sink in certain areas but is most common on flat roofs. It’s important that water drains off to avoid serious problems. Standing water creates consistent moisture, which leads to problems like mold, mildew, algae, and rot. Over time, the water can seep into your support system and cause structural damage that can pose dangerous threats to your home’s overall stability.

 

Damaged Shingles

Damaged shingles are arguably the most common roofing problem that homeowners see and experience. Shingles can be damaged from heavy storms, debris, sun exposure, or even just the passing of time. While damaged shingles don’t seem like they would be a pressing matter, they expose your roof and make it more susceptible to damage. The longer damaged shingles go unfixed, the more likely you’ll experience problems that go deeper than the surface.

 

Damaged Flashing

The flashing around your roof helps to keep those protruding or awkward areas sealed and protected from water damage or leaks. It’s installed on areas around your chimney, any sky lights, the venting pipes, or heating and cooling systems that are located on the roof. It needs to be properly attached and secured, otherwise you’ll experience problems from the start. When flashing gets damaged, the seams that seal your roof and any protruding structure open up and can cause a number of different problems. If you notice any damaged flashing, call a professional like the ones at Champion today 301-277-7200.

 

Shrinkage

Shrinkage can affect all types of roofing materials but happens more frequently on roofs that have roof coverings such as synthetic rubber membranes. It occurs due to added pressure from materials shrinking and pulling from all directions.  Signs of roof shrinkage are often cracking or tears in areas such as flashing or shingles. Shrinkage can usually be prevented with a good, professional installation and regular inspections and maintenance.

 

Clogged Gutters

While it doesn’t seem like it’d be a problem that can harm your roof, clogged gutters have the potential to cause expensive damage over time. The longer a gutter is clogged, the more water is backlogged into your roofing system and home. The more water that seeps in, the more likely you’ll experience leaks or rot that can cause structural damage. Getting your gutters cleaned is a necessary maintenance job. You can also install screens on your gutters to reduce the amount of debris that accumulates.

 

Storm Damage

If you experience a strong storm in your area, it’s important to have a professional roof inspector come out and check for damage. Storm damage can create unseen problems and should be taken care of as soon as possible to avoid more expensive repairs or uncomfortable living situations.

 

Trees or Shrubbery

If you have overhanging trees or shrubbery, they can slowly cause degradation on your roof and lead to shingle or flashing problems. Luckily, this is preventable. Trim large trees or shrubbery so that they’re not touching your roof to avoid abrasion.

 

Ventilation Issues

Your roof is an integral part of your home’s ventilation system. When ventilation isn’t working properly, it can lead to problems outside and inside your home. Poor ventilation causes moisture to accumulate in your attic and raises the internal temperature of your home. Over time, this can lead to damage to your sheathing, shingle deterioration, insulation problems, structural damage to rafters, and high energy costs. In the winter, it can contribute to ice dams, which are both structural issues and safety issues. A roofing inspection can tell you whether or not your roof ventilation is up to standards, but if you notice any problems always call.

 

Snow and Ice Damage

As we mentioned, poor ventilation can lead to ice dams in the winter. This is when snow accumulates and goes through the freeze/thaw cycle. Water will eventually end up under your shingles and when the temperatures drop again, it will re-freeze. Over time, this will push your flashing or shingles up, exposing your roof underneath. The more it’s exposed, the stronger this cycle becomes. Eventually, it can lead to a large sheath of ice and icicles that reach over a foot long. While you might think this looks pretty, it’s dangerous and wreaks havoc on your structural support.

 

Pest Problems

Dealing with unwanted pests is a common annoyance among homeowners, but when they cause problem to your roof it can lead to dangerous situations. Pests get inside of chimneys and create nests. Then, when it comes time to use your chimney, the nests create obstructions that make it difficult, if not impossible, for dangerous byproducts to leave your home. Carbon monoxide and smoke will billow inside and can be fatal when over exposed.

 

Lack of Maintenance 

Your roof needs to be maintained over time. When it’s not, it can lead to small unnoticed problems that grow into large, expensive ones. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize what they need to do for proper maintenance. The best way to ensure your roof is getting the TLC it needs is through roof inspections. Make sure that you schedule at least one roofing inspection per year to ensure your home is properly maintained. If you live in an area that regularly experiences strong storms, you’ll need to get more inspections. Talk to a roofing contractor near you to learn more about how to best maintain your roof. 

 

Improper Repairs

If you need repairs, always use a trusted roofing professional that has the proper certifications. Improper repairs lead to even more expensive situations and create unsafe environments for you and your family. If you need any roofing repairs, always use a trusted roofing professional like the ones at Champion Home Improvements, LLC.

 

Poor Installation

Finally, one of the most frustrating causes of common roofing problems is improper or poor installation from the beginning. If you have inexperienced or unskilled workers installing your roof, it’s going to lead to a myriad of different problems down the line. While you might save a few dollars upfront with a cheaper company, you can easily end up paying more in repairs down the line. It’s worth it to spend a few extra dollars and ensure that your new roof is installed properly the first time around.

 

The best way to avoid common roofing problems is to have your roof installed by professionals with years of experience. It’s also important to undergo ongoing maintenance and fix any problems that arise in a timely manner. If you notice any problems or want to schedule an inspection, contact the roofing professionals at Champion. Our team of professionals have the experience you want and need when addressing common roofing problems and can help you keep your roof looking and performing its best for years to come. At Champion, we believe there’s a perfect balance between hands-on, personable treatment, quality of work, and speed of delivery. We always take the time to understand your needs and communicate effectively from the first quote to the last nail being placed. To learn more about our roofing options or to get a quote from us today within 48 hours, contact us at 301-277-7200 or visit us at http://www.mychampionhome.com.

In conclusion, a strong and secure roof provides peace of mind to homeowners, knowing that their most valuable asset is adequately protected.  Look up!  Give your roof a quick visual inspection today.  Give me a call if you have any questions about your home needs. David Champion 301-277-7200

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