The roof protects everything inside your house, so any holes need to be fixed promptly. Water leaks can cause damage to shingles and other elements of your home, including mold and rot.
It’s possible to clean gutters and apply a seal to a skylight yourself, but other repair jobs should be left to professional roofers.
Shingles are a layer of building material that covers the underlayment, sheathing, and roof trusses to protect the house from the outdoor elements. They come in a variety of materials, with each type having its own advantages and disadvantages. Some are more durable than others, and some require more maintenance than others. It’s important to keep up with the maintenance of your shingles, as the condition of your roof determines how well your home is protected from moisture and other weather conditions.
If you notice that one or more of your shingles are damaged, it’s time to perform a roof repair. These are relatively simple repairs, but they’re essential to extending the life of your roof. If left unchecked, cracked or missing shingles can cause the structure of your roof to degrade and may lead to costly water leaks.
Before you start replacing shingles, make sure that you have access to a ladder that’s secure and tall enough for you to safely get up there. You’ll also want to have a hammer, a flat pry bar, and a utility knife to help you remove old shingles and install new ones. First, locate the damaged shingle and inspect it for damage. You should also look at the surrounding shingles to see what kind of shape they’re in. If they’re curling up, you can arrest the curling by applying a shingle sealant to the corner of the damaged shingle.
Next, use a pry bar or utility knife to separate the shingle from the nail holding it down. Once you’ve separated the shingle, you can use a hammer to remove the nail. Once you have the nails removed, replace the shingle with a new one cut to size.
Once you’re done repairing the shingles, it’s time to start working on the fascia and rake boards. Depending on the condition of these boards, they might just need a fresh coat of paint, or you might need to replace them altogether. You’ll need to take care of these projects before the rain comes, as any lingering debris could wash away and create a bigger problem later on.
Often, roof leaks are caused by flashing issues. It’s not an area of the roof that most homeowners consider, especially since it is often hidden by shingles and other roofing materials. Yet, flashing is an important part of your roof and helps keep water out of areas where it shouldn’t be. It’s a thin piece of impervious material that is installed at strategic junctures like the joints and valleys of the roof as well as around chimneys, skylights, and drainpipes.
Flashing is usually made of metal (like aluminum, galvanized steel, or copper), but it can also be made of plastic or even lead. It is a narrow strip of material that is cut to fit the area where it will be installed and then wrapped around the penetration or joint in the roof. A sealant is then applied to ensure a waterproof seal. Flashing is also used where a brick wall meets the roof, at chimney parapets, and on masonry steps and gravel stops. The reason these junctures require special attention is that they are prone to expansion and contraction. This movement can cause cracks to form in the roof and walls, which allow water to enter places it shouldn’t. Flashing is designed to prevent this movement by creating a seal between the different materials.
Because of the frequent movement, flashing can wear out faster than other parts of the roof. This is why it’s important to have your flashing inspected and replaced when needed, especially in older homes.
Typically, you’ll notice signs of wear and tear in the presence of water spots or rust on your roof flashing. When this occurs, you will need to have the flashing removed and replaced. This is a process that typically requires the help of a professional roofing company, but it’s one worth taking on because it will protect your home from water damage and save you money in the long run.
Gutters are an integral part of the roof, and they help prevent water damage to the siding, foundation, and other parts of the house. Gutter systems direct rainwater away from the house and its foundation, reducing soil erosion, flooding in basements, muddy landscaping areas, and mold or mildew growth. They also keep the ground around the foundation from settling, which can weaken the structure of the home.
A gutter system consists of a series of pipes that carry rainwater from the roof to the downspout and drainpipe, or to the ground. They can be made of steel, aluminum, or vinyl and are available in many different styles and colors. There are even seamless gutters that make it impossible for water to seep through the seams.
Whether your gutters are wood, metal, or vinyl, you need to clean them regularly to remove debris. This includes leaves, twigs, pine needles, seedlings, and other plant matter, as well as any other dirt that collects in the troughs of the gutter. It’s best to wear protective clothing, including eyewear and a dust mask, when working on the roof and cleaning the gutters. It’s also a good idea to work with an assistant, particularly when you’re working off a ladder.
When the gutters are clogged, it’s important to clear them out as soon as possible. If the troughs are filled with debris, rainwater won’t drain and will begin to pool in places where it can cause moisture damage. Clogged gutters can also become weighed down, causing them to pull free from the house or fall off completely. In addition, clogged gutters increase the risk of ice damming, which can cause the snow and ice to melt, refreeze, and create a blockage at the edge of the roof.
If you need to replace a gutter, it’s often easiest to do it at the same time as replacing the roof. Otherwise, it can be difficult to reach the downspout without climbing on the roof. If you’re doing the work yourself, it helps to have a few tools, including safety goggles, a ladder, a garden trowel, and a bucket. Before you start, it’s a good idea to spread a drop cloth or tarp under the gutters to catch any debris that falls off as you work.
The soffit, along with the fascia, provide critical support for your roof. In addition to providing a finished look to the roofline, they help ventilate your attic, preventing moisture buildup and mold. They also help protect your home from rodents and pests.
While many homeowners don’t think of their soffit, this important part of the roof system is essential for attic ventilation and protection. If the soffit is damaged or not present, animals like squirrels and rodents can invade the attic of your home and cause extensive damage.
Soffits are installed underneath the eaves (the area of the house where the walls meet the roof). They can either be vented or non-ventilated. Vented soffits help ensure proper attic airflow and prevent the space from becoming overheated during the summer, which can lead to higher energy bills. They also allow cold air to flow into the attic during the winter, helping prevent ice dams from forming on your roof.
Non-vented soffits are often more popular, as they offer the same ventilation benefits as vented soffits without the cost of installing additional vents. Regardless of which style of soffit you choose, it’s important to maintain it and replace it as needed to avoid costly problems.
If you’re unsure which type of soffit is best for your home, our roofing experts can assist you in choosing the right materials. Wood soffits are less expensive but tend to rot over time, while vinyl and aluminum soffits are long-lasting options. If you prefer a more eco-friendly option, we also offer Hardie fiber cement fascia and soffits.
Soffits and fascia aren’t easily visible from the ground, which makes them easy to ignore. However, they play an important role in your home’s overall comfort and appearance. Make sure you’re keeping up with your soffit maintenance and consider calling our roof contractors to install or repair a new one.