Understanding Your Home Roof Repair
Realizing you may need to have a repair done on your home’s roof is not something you’re likely to be happy about. But you probably know you shouldn’t ignore it either. Understanding the basics of residential roof repairs can help you feel more prepared when you speak to a roofing contractor so you can ask the right questions and be familiar with the roofing industry terms. We have prepared this article to help you do just that.
When it comes to home improvement projects, fixing your roof isn’t something that’s likely to be high on your list of things you want to do. While it certainly is rewarding and reassuring to know you have a solid, non-leaking roof over your family’s heads, it doesn’t have the same kind of “wow” factor as building a deck, a new fence or building a swimming pool.
Nonetheless, if you suspect there is something not quite right with your roof, it is definitely not something you should not ignore.
One thing that is pretty much guaranteed regarding your roof is that if it is damaged now, over time it will get worse until you address and fix the issue. If you see a bit of a water leak on your ceiling now when it rains, you can expect that you will see more and more of it as time, and rain, goes on.
The reason it’s important to understand this is that no matter how big or small of a repair you need now, waiting is only going to mean you’ll need a bigger, more significant and more expensive repair in the future. It’s better to deal with a roof problem sooner than later.
This is also important to note that if you’re dealing with insurance to cover the cost of the repair, the adjuster will be able to tell if you’ve waited longer than you should, which could impact how much of the repair they’re willing to cover.
If there’s any chance you might be selling your home in the near future, having a good, sound roof will make a significant difference in the price you can get compared to if potential buyers need to bring roofers in once they buy. In fact, oftentimes a buyer won’t even consider making an offer if there’s an issue with the roof for fear that more will be discovered later. So, once again, dealing with roofing issues sooner than later is the way to go.
A well maintained roof should last 20 to 30 years, or even more. And when the time comes to replace a roof (and that time will come, because no roof lasts forever), a roof replacement on a neglected roof is going to be more complicated and more expensive than one that has been regularly inspected and maintained. That’s because over time, more than just the roof surface material can be damaged once moisture is getting in. Support beams may start rotting that would need to be replaced or mold can develop that needs to be removed. As you can no doubt imagine, all this will add a considerable amount to the final cost of a new roof. Once again, regular maintenance, inspections and early action will serve you and your roof in the long term. A roof repair is far more affordable than a complete roof replacement!
If you suspect something is wrong with your roof, there are things you can do yourself to get a better understanding of it, or you can always hire a professional roof inspection.
DIY Roof Inspection
If you have a flat roof like many homes in Arizona, it may be easy enough for you to walk it and look for issues. But if you have any kind of pitched roof, whether it has tiles or asphalt shingles, you may be putting yourself in danger by going out onto it.
In such a case, you might want to get something like binoculars to be able to look very carefully at the roof from the ground, or maybe lean a ladder up against the house and climb to the top without actually walking on it. This is especially true if you have a tile roof because if you don’t know where to step, there’s a good chance you could crack some tiles. And if a tile breaks beneath your feet, that could put you in danger of falling from the roof as well.
Furthermore, you may not know exactly what to look for as far as damage. In some cases, there may not be actual visible damage, but a skilled eye can see that something is worn out and near the end of its useful lifespan. Just because it isn’t an issue today doesn’t mean it doesn’t show signs of becoming an issue in the very near future.
Talk to a professional roofer if you have any doubts
Tackling DIY projects is noble, but there are times when you don't want to risk missing something important that could cause significant damage and expenses down the road. If you're not super confident in your abilities to find and fix issues with your roof, it's worth contacting a professional roofer to at least have a look and consult with you about what to do next.
If you do it yourself and you see something that looks wrong, you may still need to get in contact with a roofer to find out if it’s OK, or how long it might last. When you do this, are you sure you have all the terminology to convey your question to the roofer? Will you have all the information they will need to give you a complete answer to your questions? If not, they may not be able to adequately answer your question anyway.
For all these reasons, you might want to consider calling in a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof for you.
Hiring a Professional to Inspect Your Roof
When you have a licensed, bonded and insured roof contractor to do your roof inspection, you know that they will be fully knowledgeable about the type of roof you have, the way it was installed and the kind of things to look for that might indicate problems.
Inspector On Your Side
Just because an inspector may do roof repair work, don’t assume they’ll necessarily tell you that you need major repairs. If you’ve done your research to find a roofing company that has a good reputation and solid reviews, they are probably busy enough that they don’t need to invent work. And since all roofs eventually need work done to them, being honest is the best way to get consistent work today and into the future.
Common Roofing Problems
Missing or Cracked Tiles or Shingles
Considering asphalt shingles are probably the most popular roofing material used in the United States and there are a lot of homes in the Tucson area that make use of it, it's also one of the roofing types that are most likely to show up with problems. One of the more easily spotted issues is if you have broken or missing roof shingles or tiles. It’s like a piece of a puzzle that’s missing and it sticks out like a sore thumb! But what about if the same piece is just cracked or out of place? It won’t be as obvious, but it may still let enough moisture underneath it to cause your roof a lot of problems.
With water being the biggest potential problem for your roof, you need to do everything you can to keep it at bay. Flashing is thin metal that gets installed under tiles and shingles along roof valleys and joints where water is likely to travel. They create a seal to carry water away and if they’re cracked, it’ll be difficult to see from the surface, but before long you’ll see it from the inside when moisture starts to leak into your ceiling. Cracked or otherwise damaged flashing needs immediate attention.
Damaged Vent Booting
Your roof has vents that can look like pipes sticking up out of your roof. They are there to expel moisture and have seals around their base, between the pipe and the roof. Over time, the material used to create this seal can decay and crack. This is the kind of sign to look for that may lead to moisture getting into the house rather than expelling it like it’s designed to do.
The same kind of seal can be found around skylights. Improperly installed or repaired skylights are notorious for causing problems. A trained eye can determine if this is a problem for your roof or not.
Hi. My name is Russ Ackerman. I'm a Certified Master Inspector through InterNACHI. I'm here to do a roof inspection. Today we're going to cover a typical inspection of a roof from the exterior. My roof inspection starts from the ground. As I'm as I'm inspecting the exterior of the home, I'll usually start by documenting attic ventilation which might not otherwise be visible from the roof that would include gable and soffit vents. So I'm going to walk around the house now and try to look for those and here in the side of the house we can see we have a gable bent so I'm going to take a picture and document that on my report when I set up my ladder I typically look for a place where I got a nice flat surface to set the ladder anytime you're setting up the ladders I always want to look for wasps nests that might be around always looking for overhead power lines as well as you get up in the ladder we're always going to tie off our butt ladders with a bungee cord as you see up there I always want to keep your ladder tied once we get up at the gutter line I usually want to check for any drip edge flashing that might be here this one does not have any because the gutter is serving as the drip flashing or gently pull up on the shingles I can see that there's underlayment going over the flashing make this sure to bond it down it's not the wind is not going to take and pull it up once we're on the roof here I'm going to continue looking for attic ventilation so I'm going to be looking for a roof vents will go overlooked for that here we can see we have roof vents for the Attic so I'm going to talking about that take a picture of that make sure all the nails are sealed down as well next we take some overview shots of the roof I always like to make my pictures look great so if I have a mountain view versus another house I'm going to take the mountain view so I'll go over here and take a couple photos and I'll take some photos some more overview shots and I'll get one overview of justice ingles in general and then as we were looking over the conditional roof I am seeing some granule laws I'll go over look for exposed nails the flashings this is all sealed up good you come over here we have some exposed nails at the ridge line here so I make sure those are all set and sealed they're popping out get over here you can see one exposed nail some granule law so the Hale kind of hits sometimes it shows up on the ridge shingles versus the rest of the roof plane and as we get to the valleys I want to check to make sure they're properly bonded and we want to these shingles sealed against cross wash so the water doesn't wash over and under so I'll give a little Cub going down the valley just to make sure they sealed and these are pretty good these are sealed pretty well also in order to document other flashing around that roof besides a drip edge flashing and gutters any roof penetrations I always want to document those look making sure they're properly installed make us your nails are sealed take pictures of everything document everything because this is a area that the client is not going to follow you up on the roof your HVAC vent over here as well check again for flashing issues exposed nails want to make sure there's no cracks in the bed here which might allow water that's actually drain and back into the furnace you come around here you can see some nails popping up the flashing is popping up you got a big gap here on make sure this one have a roofer come in here seal these nails seal that flashing back down same with the skylight here as well got the flashing popping up wanna have that secured and nailed here you can see over the sunroom in the back of the house there there's still asphalt shingles but it's definitely newer it's been installed recently the owner actually said it was 1/2 years old I put it on my report one to five years old so we're to check that out first thing I noticed is some flashing screws issues where this addition is going against the original roof kind of hard to see here but I'll take some pictures there's a metal flashing and then they just have it covered with tar paper which is a indication this things might have had leaking problems at at one point this plastic is improperly installed on top of the singles should be like a counter flashing installed here so I did take a couple pictures and document that we recommend evaluation repair by a qualified roofer potential leaking point here that's an issue continuing with flashing down here you can see on the lower roof they have actually a piece of wood glued to the chimney or caulked to the chimney working as a counter flash and that's improper install but the counter flashing should be going into the motor joints of the chimney which it's not this is a potential issue it's something I would recommend the sellers to caulk or the buyers to have them check the seals make sure this is sealed annually or replace by a qualified roofer also at the bottom of this flashing that we're looking at right now you can see we're missing a kick-out flashing where the flashing ends at the gutter line there that's going to allow water to just pour down along the side of the chimney we want to have a proper kick-out flashing installed there as well on this roof surface you can see that there's a broken there's a low sluice missing tab here on the roof and I recommend having that checked out replaced by a qualified roofer and then we'll check out the last portion of the roof which is this rolled asphalt valley towards the front of the house we'll go check that out right now here we have a little rolled asphalt in this valley here you can see there's a lot of granule loss there's a lot of cracking this foot this portion of the roof is at or near the end of its lifespan I'm going to recommend having this evaluated replaced by a qualified roofer here we have tree branches in contact with a roof surface and several I always recommend trimming trees at least 10 feet away from the roof surface that's not always possible but we just don't want them when they're blown in the wind we don't want to be causing abrasion against the shingles against the fascia so we're going to recommend having these trim back over here we have more tree branches close to the roof surface going to recommend trimming those back and on the back of the house as well you see tree branches in contact with the North corner of the home then we're going to look at the skylights we're looking for proper flashing at the head wall flashing the counter flashing the apron flashing everything looks pretty good here again we made note earlier that the flashing was curling up at the corners here on both these corners would recommend having be sealed secured down also if you look at all three skylights there's condensation moisture between the glass and all three of them these are all failed window seals I'm going to recommend replacing all three of these skylights right here and down here you can see it's all fogged up that's just going to continue to fog up more and it's going to be you won't even be able to see all of them eventually and here you can see the moisture it's in between the panes of glass once you get inside the house we're not going to do that today but once we get inside the house you're going to want to check closely for any moisture stains on the insides of these skylights if they're already you want to confirm it with a moisture meter make sure it's not an active leak either way you would put in your report that evidence of past leaking recommend repaired by a qualified roofer last thing on the roof is the plumbing weather boots I want to make sure that weather boots are intact they're not all cracked up a lot of times it will be on older homes allowing water penetration in the Attic again well makes your nails are sealed up if you find these all bleeped up with tar that's indication that they've been leaking and they need to be replaced by a qualified roofer these are in good shape though the chimney is normally part of my exterior inspection but because there are roof flashing who stuff we'll do a quickie on here we did notice it's a 60-inch wide chimney so we want to make sure we have some kind of cricket or flashing at the head of the chimneys keep water from pouring against it which it does a couple things I'm noting here is the flashing improperly installed here should be inserted into the motor joints there should be a groove cut inserted into the motor joints these are just slapped up against the chimney cocked that's going to wear out eventually cause leakage that's something I'm going to recommend sealing annually until we have proper flashing installed also we'll notice there's a lot of loose missing mortar at the joints these are water penetration these are potential water entry points as rain can get down inside the chimney chase you'll see a lot of that here and all over the side of the chimney here as well there's a lots of gaps in the mortar I'm going to recommend having that tuck pointed sealed up properly getting the side of the chimney again you've got a piece of wood kind of like we head down below you know a piece of wood caulk to the chimney serving as a counter flashing this is not a proper installation we do have proper step flashing underneath but we going to recommend having proper counter flashing installed otherwise this is going to need sealing annually to prevent water entry and as we continued with our roof inspection over the main house we did notice one nail pop on the on the roof here it wasn't set properly it was actually it was actually set where it was supposed to be just wasn't sunk down all the way so I don't have that secured make sure this is sealed down so we don't have nailed poking through the top of the shingle later on and this concludes our inspection of the exterior portion of the roof thank you for watching
Whether you have a TPO or EPDM synthetic rubber roofing membrane on your rooftop, or even a shake or shingle roof, at some point you may need to contact a local roofer to do some repairs. DC Roofing can help you whether you need silicone sealant, a new refelctive coating to help bring down your energy bills, or need someone to see if the felt paper under your tile roof is in good shape. Call us and we'll give you an honest assessment of the condition of you roof.
Hiring the Right Roofing Contractor
Whether the repair on your roof is large or small, or even if you’re just getting a roof inspection to know whether you need a repair or not, feeling confident about hiring the right roofing company for the job is critical. Not only for getting the job done right, but for your peace of mind as well as for your budget.
License, Insurance, Bond
The first thing you want to ensure is that the roofer you speak with is licensed, bonded and insured. Roofing is a dangerous job and if anyone were to get hurt while working on your roof, you want to be sure there aren’t any issues that would come back to you, as the homeowner.
Also, a contractor who has taken the time to get licensed and all the other things that go with it has something to lose if they do shoddy work. A friend of a friend who has “done roofing” before could potentially do a poor job, or even incomplete work, and who would you have to complain to? If you have an issue with a licensed roofer, you can always take it up with the ROC - the Registrar of Contractors in Arizona. So when you are ready to consider a roofer, make sure you ask them for their ROC number.
A good roofing contractor will have a history of satisfied customers. They should have no problem giving you a list of people they have done work for in the past so you can check with them as to their level of satisfaction. You can ask them things like
- Was it easy to get ahold of someone if you had questions
- Did they arrive on time and do the work that was agreed to in a satisfactory amount of time
- Did they remain on budget
- Did they leave the work site in good condition
- Was the crew professional and polite
Fortunately, a lot of companies now have reviews posted online where it’s easy to read about others’ experiences. But just because you don’t see reviews doesn’t mean the company isn’t worth your consideration. Some companies are too new to have accumulated many customer testimonials. But if you ask the owner, they should be happy to provide you with contact information for people that have experienced the work they have done in the past.
When it comes to find a high quality local business, homeowners in Arizona want to be sure they hire a team where service, materials and workmanship are top notch, while keeping the price affordable. DC Roofing of Arizona is here for you, covering all the areas in and around Tucson and beyond.
From minor storm damage to major roof repairs or complete re-roof from single family homes to commercial buildings, DC Roofing is your hassle free full service licensed, bonded and insured roofing contractor for all your roofing needs.