Common Roofing Problems

Problems with a roof can result from different factors, some of which simply occur over time and others that are easily prevented by correct initial installation or through basic, ongoing maintenance. Left unrepaired, small roofing problems can escalate into bigger, more expensive roof repairs. Some roofing problems are common and easily identifiable, and stopping them will prevent future leaks or increased damage.

Lack of Maintenance

A common cause of earlier-than-necessary roofing problems and failure is a general lack of maintenance on roofs, especially on roofs that have a low pitch, or slope. Some problems, such as ponding water and damaged shingles, are easily identifiable, even by homeowners who are not educated in roofing. Performing routine roof inspections can identify problems early.

Damage from Satellite Mounts

Damage to the roof and possible leaks occur from satellite dishes mounted on the roof. Satellite dishes are often mounted beside chimneys or near roof valleys to protect the dish from windy weather, but these spots are often the weakest areas of a roof. The connecting roof materials and sealant in these areas may be damaged by adding a satellite dish, allowing an entry point for water to leak through. Also, the shingles around the base of the installed satellite dish may deteriorate and, if left unrepaired, will lead to roof leaks. A better option is to mount the dish on the siding of the chimney, on a base designed to connect to the chimney surface while supporting the weight of the dish.

Damage from Tree Branches

Overhanging tree branches that touch the roof surface can scrape the granular surface of shingles and even lift shingle edges up. Eventually, the damaged and deteriorated shingles will lead to leaks inside the structure, possibly causing interior damage. The tree leaves, which hold moisture, can lead to the formation of mildew underneath the branch, and block the runoff of water from the roof. Also, tree branches too close to the roof may break because of high winds and cause roof damage.

Flashing Leaks

Flashing is material, often metal or materials such as plastic or rubber, that is installed to prevent water from seeping between the intersection of where two opposing roof surfaces come together. The flashing material can deteriorate over time and cause leaks. The areas of a roof that are usually protected by flashing include chimneys, roof valleys, vent pipes, skylights and vertical walls, such as on dormers.

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About the Author

Christopher John has been a freelance journalist since 2003. He has written for regional newspapers such as "The Metro Forum" and the "West Tennessee Examiner." John has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Memphis State University.