Your roof is one of the most important parts of your house, but while it may appear to be sturdy, it is also prone to a lot of problems that you should never try to fix on your own. Fortunately, almost all of these problems can be solved by a qualified roofing contractor. Here are five of the more common roofing problems that often require the work of a professional.
We’re putting this at the top of the list because it’s probably the easiest one to spot on your own. All you need to do to know if you have missing shingles is to take a good look at your roof and your gutters (a pair of binoculars will do for this job; climbing onto your roof can be dangerous). If you notice that your shingles are cracked, peeling, or missing altogether in a few places, you’ll need to call a roofing contractor to replace them. If you’re having trouble getting a good look at your shingles, look in your gutters. If you notice tiny black granules in your gutters, your shingles probably took a beating and may need to be replaced.
It’s not that hard to replace missing shingles on a roof, but you’re still better off having a roofing contractor take care of it. The shingles need to be installed correctly so they will last, and they need to be installed by someone who has the training to climb onto a roof and stay there without getting hurt.
Flashing is installed near your chimney or parts of your HVAC system. It’s normally made from aluminum, copper, or sheet metal, and it is vital if you want to prevent leaks or drafts in your roof. It can also be damaged fairly easily and may need to be repaired occasionally. A good roofing contractor can replace damaged flashing so any gaps between your roof and your vents will be properly sealed.
Keep in mind that damaged flashing is a little harder to detect than missing or damaged shingles, so you might need a contractor to take a look at your roof before you know you have a problem. Your flashing often needs to be replaced at the same time as your shingles, so it’s always best to have a contractor at least check to see if both of these problems need to be fixed at once.
Structural damage can be anything that seriously damages your roof, from a falling tree branch to damage from a severe storm. Serious damage to your roof can extend to the rest of your home very quickly, so you don’t want to wait before having this repaired. A good roofing contractor can usually fix a damaged roof, although you might need to have it replaced altogether. Your roofer will be able to tell you what needs to be done to get your home back in good condition.
The gutters are sometimes overlooked by homeowners, but they are a crucial part of your roofing system. Without gutters, you could have standing water on your roof and around your home’s foundation, a problem that could result in serious water damage and flooding if it isn’t fixed.
Gutters can become clogged with debris in storms or freeze over completely in the winter. Both of these scenarios are problematic, but they can be fixed. Clogged gutters only need to be cleared out without much trouble. On the other hand, frozen gutters might require a little more work if an ice dam has formed. Your roofing contractor can use chemical ice melts or heated cables to remove the dam, but only if they act quickly enough to avoid a leak.
Gutters can also be torn away from your roof during a severe storm. While this can happen without causing much damage to the rest of your roof, the gutters will still need to be reattached or replaced. A roofing contractor will be able to install new gutters to keep your roof safe from water damage.
A leak is one of the biggest signs that you have roofing problems. It is also something that you should never ignore. A leak that isn’t fixed can do thousands of dollars worth of water damage to your home, and it will only get worse over time. A leak can be caused by any number of things, and it will be up to your contractor to find out what is causing your leaky roof. Once the culprit is found and dealt with, the leak itself can be fixed.
Hiring a Roofing Contractor
A roofing contractor will be able to handle practically any problem your roof might have, but this doesn’t mean that you can hire just anybody for the job. Before you hire a roofing contractor, take the time to do some research. Read online reviews, ask for recommendations, and compare prices. Make sure that any roofing contractor you do hire is fully licensed and insured. Almost all legitimate contractors will be, but it never hurts to ask. They usually provide this information upfront though.
Finally, don’t attempt any roofing jobs on your own, even if it’s something relatively simple. There are just too many things that can go wrong, and you could make a small problem even worse. If there is any doubt in your mind that you need a roofing contractor, start looking for one in your area before you try to fix anything else.