At some point, your home’s roof will deteriorate and require repair or replacement. This is because your roof, more than any other part of your house, is exposed to constant abuse by the sun, rain, and other elements. Working in tandem, these forces will eventually take a toll on your roof.
As a result, it is important that you, as a homeowner, are well acquainted with the most common types of roofing problems, so that you can identify them early on, before they become irreparable or cause damage to the interior of your San Jose area home. Below are listed some of roofing troubles that most frequently afflict houses and homeowners.
Not all roofs are made of shingles, but the vast majority of them are. For those that are, damage directly to the shingles is more common—and potentially more dangerous—than any other problem that can occur on your roof. By design, shingles are made to be very thin and malleable, which allows them to form an overlapping protective layer on your roof. Unfortunately, their malleability also makes them break easily, for instance if your roof is struck by a falling branch or hail, or experiences high wind. Shingles can also deteriorate over time, and simply break apart from degradation.
When your shingles break, the protective layer between your home's interior and the elements disappears. Depending on how severe the break is, there can be literally nothing preventing water from seeping into your attic, or under other shingles, where it will form mildew and exacerbate the problem. That’s why you should address broken shingles as soon as they are noticed.
Cracked Head Walls
For those not familiar with roofing lingo, the “head wall” is where your roof adjoins a flat wall. This is common in larger homes, or in split-level homes with tiered roofs. Over time, it is very easy for your head walls to break or crack, opening up spaces for water to leak into your insulation or attic.
The trouble with these cracks is not only that they can be very destructive, but also that they are very hard to notice. Unless you are inspecting them directly, you likely will not notice anything wrong until the damage is already done. This is why many roofing companies recommend a full inspection at least once a year.
In much the same way that cracks can form at head walls, the space where your roof meets your chimney is susceptible to breakage and cracking. Even worse, some inexperienced roofers may unintentionally leave gaps between your shingles and chimney, which makes your home very vulnerable to leaks.
Depending on the layout of your roof, water runoff may be funneled into very specific areas. Over time, this excess runoff will cause streaks and damage on your roof, and create “valleys” which are especially susceptible to leaking. The only solution to this is frequently re-shingling the affected areas.
None of these issues is likely to be a fast or easy fix, but addressing them should be regarded as an investment. An ounce of prevention now could spare you a huge expense in the future.