Diagnosing Your Roof
It is impossible to know exactly what is wrong with your roof without a proper inspection.
When you schedule a roof inspection with Castle Roofing, one of our experienced roof specialists will perform a thorough diagnosis of the condition of your roofing system.
You can start the process right here, by taking a look and seeing if any of these common roof symptoms look familiar to you:
Sometimes, water just causes problems before you can prevent it from happening. A water stain on the ceiling of your home is a sign that you have a leak in your roof and you need to take action to get it fixed. A water stain on your ceiling can stain the drywall and look like brown or coffee colored circles Some people just ignore the stain and realize what a big deal this is. Left ignored, water will continue to damage your roof deck or plywood. Another interior sign of a leak is water around a light can or fixture.
It behooves a homeowner to locate the source of a water stain the minute it is noticed. The cost of the repair could be a fraction of the cost of what it would be if not handled immediately. Instead of a smaller fix on the roof and painting of the drywall, you could have to completely change out your whole roof and possibly have to replace and install new drywall on your home’s interior. You then could need to have your room painted so that the ceiling and the walls match in color.
Evidence of water intrusion can also be observed in your attic. If your plywood has water stains in your attic, you have a leak. You need to have your roof inspected to find the source of the problem, and you will also need to make sure your plywood is intact. If not, you will need to replace it as well.
Nail Holes in Shingle
Nail holes are not visible from the ground and sometimes only a trained eye can see them when standing on the roof. When replacing shingles with holes in them, it may not be feasible to match the weathering of the rest of your roof since the shingles installed will be new. In some cases, the only way to ensure that your roof looks uniform is to replace the roof completely.
The biggest sign of water intrusion is rotten wood. When your home has rotten wood, it means that water is working its way into your home. When a roof fails, it is because it has a path for water to get inside unobstructed. Anytime you see rotten wood on your home, it needs to get addressed, repaired, and you should look at where the source of the rot and water damage is coming from so that it could be repaired as well.
Many times, when homeowners get a price to repair or replace their roof, they don’t take the time to understand the intricacies of the work and the skill that the installers must have to pinpoint and diagnose issues as they work. This is why it is important to understand the scope of work and the track record that a company has in solving complex roof problems.
Penetrations & Water Intrusion
Anything that penetrates a roof is a potential pathway for water to get into your home. The chimney is the most popular. A chimney must be flashed properly and water must be diverted from hitting it directly if at all possible. If measures are not taken to waterproof this very large vertical penetration, water can just pour into your home during a light rain or even worse on a very wet day.
The first sign that most people see is a ceiling stain in a n area near a chimney. Rather than wait for that to occur, an inspection of your roof could possibly reveal that your flashing needs to be replaced.
If you have a leak around your chimney and decide it’s time to replace your roof, you must make sure that this leak is going to be fixed by ensuring that your chimney being re-flashed is part of your bid.
Also, sometimes situations exist where a house does not have a cricket (small ridge that diverts water) on the chimney. When you get your house re-roofed or your chimney worked on, it is a convenient time to install a cricket to ensure that water has a lesser impact on the intersection of the chimney and the roof.
Other items that penetrate your home are:
- Skylights – if not flashed properly, they may need to be re-flashed if leaking
- Plumbing vent pipes – sometimes plumbing boots that are used to seal around a plumbing pipe become old, crack over time, or need to be re-nailed, resealed, or replaced.
- HVAC vents – sometimes the seals around these vents leak and need to be repaired
- Roof Vents – if water can get under shingles and over to a roof vent, the area needs to be taken apart so that it cannot enter through this penetration.
- Ridge vents – sometimes a ridge vent might come loose. Underneath the ridge vent is a 1 1/2 ” gap that is supposed to let air flow from your attic. If there is a path for water to get under the ridge vent, water will come into your attic immediately. Nailing down or replacing this ridge vent may be necessary.
When your gutters are clogged on not attached properly, this could cause leaks. Gutters filled with debris will soak up water and act as a sponge. Eventually, this will clog your gutters and the water will overflow.
When water overflows from a gutter, it can overflow towards the plywood on your roof deck, the fascia it hangs from or the soffit, or it can splash onto the walls of your home which could leak if the water splashes onto windows, porous brick or stucco, doorways, or other paths into your home. The best solution is to keep your gutters clean. If you see symptoms of water damaging the wood that your gutter rests on, you need to get it repaired as soon as possible.
Gutters can also overflow if they are not attached properly. When gutters become detached, the water does not flow to the downspouts as they should. As a result, the water can spill out in areas that will leak into your home just as they do when they are clogged.
Debris on Roof
When leaves and debris are left on a roof for long periods of time, they act as a sponge. Water begins to collect and soak in those areas and they can saturate your plywood/roof deck. The cost of fixing this problem will depend on how long water has been allowed to damage your home.
If you have leaves cluttering up your roof, you need to get them off of there right away. If they have been there for a while and water is entering your home underneath those areas, you will need to tear that area out, make sure that you have a solid deck underneath, install flashing or moisture barrier, and then install new shingles. With a repair, you will see the area that got redone because the new shingles are not weathered like the old ones that are taken out.
If you do not want to see the color variation from the aged versus not aged shingles, then you will need to replace your entire roof.
When the topic of hail damage comes up, most people don’t know what it is and believe that there is nothing wrong with their roof. There is a reason why insurance companies will pay to replace a roof when severe weather or tornadoes bring hail with it.
Before getting into what hail does to a roof, it’s important to understand the anatomy of a shingle. A shingle’s basic components are:
1. Fiberglass mat
2. Granules (help keep your home cool and reflect sunlight)
3. Asphalt (holds everything together)
Once a hail stone impacts a roof, the granules are knocked away. Over time and hot weather, the sun can melt away the asphalt that is exposed and essentially leave a hole in your shingle. A roof is compromised when it has a hole in it.
Left unattended, your plywood or roof deck can rot. This is how leaks begin. It is always a good idea to get a free roof inspection from Castle Roofing after a hail storm. If you have storm damage we can help you understand the process of getting a claim filed with your insurance company and document the damage and scope of work needed to fix the problem and get your roof back in the shape it was in before the storm.
When high winds exist, they can damage your home. Wind can damage your roof in several ways. The obvious damage is when you see a shingle blown off. Most people are not aware of the damage that wind can do to each shingle individually during a wind storm. Wind can blow a shingle to the point that the adhesive strip underneath the shingle breaks.
Once your shingles are not adhering to each other after a wind storm your roof is compromised. This is another way for water to damage your plywood and roof deck underneath the shingles. Then, this is how leaks begin. It is always a good idea to get a free roof inspection from Castle Roofing after a wind storm. If you have storm damage we can help you understand the process of getting a claim filed with your insurance company and document the damage and scope of work needed to fix the problem and get your roof back in the shape it was in before the storm.
Sometimes during a wind storm, situations may exist where shingles come off of your roof when they really shouldn’t. There is an overwhelming number of roofs in the southeast that are high nailed. Every shingle has a nail strip. This is the area where the nails must be driven into when they are installed. The nail line is in an area of the shingle where it will penetrate the underlying layer of shingles.
When an installer does not aim properly and nails the shingle down too high, it’s possible that the nail will go right through the shingle because of how they lay on top of each other. A high nailed shingle could potentially have nothing fastening it into the roof. Your insurance company may or may not approve replacement of a roof in this situation. The shingle manufacturer will definitely not warrant a roof that is high nailed.
When a tree branch falls on your roof, it can puncture it and leave a hole that is visible. When a branch or even worse a tree falls on your house, you will need to call us to get the tree removed, secure your property with a tarp, and provide you assistance with the claim process for getting your roof repaired or replaced. It is always a good idea to keep your trees trimmed so that branches don’t fall onto your roof during a storm. Also, if tree branches are too close to your roof, rodents, squirrels, and other animals can potentially get into your home.
If you have a tree that is too close to your home, it may be a good idea to have the tree removed to prevent damage or even injury during a storm.