Home Improvement

Roof Repair – How to Keep Your Shingles Protecting Your Home For Years to Come

It doesn’t take a genius to figure that nobody wants to be repairing the roof on their house during howling gale-force winds or a torrential downpour. Having an emergency repair done immediately reduces the risk of further damage and minimizes the disruption and expense of repairs or replacement.

Regular preventative repairs, such as inspecting for water stains, leaks, and loose shingles, are easy to perform. They can keep your home in good condition and protect its value. Contact Roof Repair Columbus GA now!

Shingles are the most visible part of your roof and provide the first line of defense against water leaks and other weather damage. Between sudden and severe storms, extended cool weather, and sun exposure, your shingles take quite a beating each year. Even though they are built to withstand these conditions, their lifespan will eventually be reduced. With some basic maintenance, however, you can help ensure that your shingles will continue protecting your home for years to come.

Signs of shingle damage include missing shingles, granule piles on the ground, and cracking or curling of the shingle edge. These signs of damage can lead to leaks, which in turn can cause a host of other problems with your roof and home. If you notice these symptoms, it is important to have the repairs completed as soon as possible to avoid further damage.

To repair a damaged shingle, start by gathering your tools and supplies. You will need a pry bar, hammer, utility knife, replacement shingles, and roofing nails. You will also want to have a few rolls of shingle adhesive or cement on hand.

Begin by loosening the shingles above the damaged shingle. To do this, slide a flat pry bar under the shingles directly above the damaged area. Carefully pry the shingle up and away, being careful not to break or damage it. The sealant strip connecting the shingle to the roof deck should easily shear off with the pry bar.

Once the sealant strip has been removed, you can remove the shingle itself. Be careful not to tear or damage the underlying shingle, as this can expose your attic and cause rot. After you have removed the damaged shingle, carefully replace it with the new one.

Before completing the repair, you should check for other areas of loose shingle. This will give you the opportunity to secure other shingles before they are damaged and will save you time and effort down the road. Taking the time to rescue loose or weathered shingles on a regular basis can prolong the life of your roof and help protect your home from moisture damage and costly repairs.

Flashing

Flashing is a weather-resistant material that professional roofers use to seal vulnerable areas where different materials or surfaces meet. Without it, rainwater or melting snow can penetrate the roof, causing water damage and mold. In the case of roofs, flashing is a strip of metal that covers the seam between the underlayment and the shingles to prevent leaks.

Flashing can be made from a number of different materials, but galvanized steel is the most common. It’s resistant to moisture and is rolled into place over the seam, sealing the area. While it’s not necessary to have a completely waterproof roof, flashing is important for protecting the structure and preventing issues like rot and mold growth.

In addition to preventing leaks, flashing is used to cover gaps and cracks in the roof structure. These include areas where the roof meets walls or dormers, and in valleys or other creases in the roof. It’s also used around protrusions such as chimneys, vents and skylights.

To properly install flashing, it’s important to make sure it’s the correct size. If the flashing is too small, it won’t seal correctly and may allow water to seep into the roof. For this reason, it’s typically installed using a cutting snip or set of shears to ensure that the proper size is cut.

Depending on the type of flashing, there are different installation procedures. Corner flashing is often used for joints at corners where a wall meets the roof, and it usually looks like a triangle or an L-shaped piece of metal. To install this type of flashing, a nail hole is drilled through the roof and the base of the L-shaped flashing piece is bent over the top of the shingle. A caulking compound is then applied around the bottom of the flashing piece, and a second layer of caulking is applied to the top surface of the shingle.

Another type of flashing is called step flashing, and it’s commonly used in areas where the roof intersects with vertical surfaces such as dormers or walls. This flashing is made from small, L-shaped pieces of metal that are installed in a “stepped” pattern and overlap each other to create a watertight barrier. It’s also often used around pipes that run through the roof, such as plumbing vents or wood and pellet stove vents.

Gutters

Gutters play a critical role in managing rainwater. They channel water away from the roof to prevent structural problems for your home’s foundation, basement or crawl space and help keep mud and mildew at bay, which can be both unpleasant and hazardous to your health. Without gutters, water puddles on the roof can seep under shingles and cause leaks. Water leaks also can cause water damage to the siding and paint of your house, resulting in costly repair bills.

A properly functioning gutter system will also protect your landscaping and prevent soil erosion. If your gutters are clogged, the water that would normally flow down them can collect and pool in your yard instead, destroying plants and causing your home’s foundation to shift and crack over time. Gutters also keep the water from seeping down the sides of your house, which can rot the siding and peel the paint.

Leaks in gutters are often the result of rust or old caulking that has failed. If you spot a leaking gutter, remove any loose debris and scrape away as much of the rusted metal as possible. Then, using a gutter patch kit or sheet-metal roofing cement, spread a thin layer of the material around the hole and press a wire screening patch over it to cover any holes. After it dries, bend the edges of the patch back over the gutter lips and coat the entire patch with another thin layer of roof cement.

If your gutters are in good shape but sag or are pulling away from the fascia, you can tighten them by adjusting their sleeve-and-spike supports or resecuring their fascia brackets. You can also add additional support by reattaching the metal step flashing behind the gutter and nailing it to the fascia or soffit, if necessary. If your gutters are leaking because of ice dams, you can improve their efficiency by installing roof-edge heating cables that melt snow and ice, preventing ice dam formation and allowing rain to flow off the roof.

When you’re cleaning your gutters, use a tall, stabilized ladder and work carefully to avoid falling, if possible. Work only in the areas you can reach safely, and wear gloves to avoid touching any rotten twigs or branches. Once you’re finished, take your hose to flush out any remaining gunk in the gutters and downspouts.

Soffit

The soffit is a panel on the underside of your roof’s overhang that’s usually constructed from aluminum, vinyl or wood. It adds to the overall look of your roof while helping maintain ventilation and preventing moisture build-up in your attic. The soffit also supports your gutter system and serves as an anchor point for roof elements such as downspouts.

Regular inspections of the soffit should be done to look for signs of damage, such as rot or mold. Additionally, if you see dark patches or discoloration on the underside of your roof overhangs, it could indicate that your soffit is leaking and needs repair.

Often, minor rot can be repaired with wood filler or epoxy. However, extensive rot may require replacement of the entire soffit section. A professional roofer should be able to determine the best course of action. If the soffit was originally ventilated, it’s important that the new soffit be designed to allow for similar airflow.

A damaged soffit is also an unwelcome entrance for birds, squirrels, small rodents, bees and wasps, and other pests who love to nest in the attic area of your home. These creatures can cause serious damage to your roof and other components in your attic, not to mention contaminate the living space below. Inspect the soffit for gnaw marks, droppings, or any other evidence of infestation and be sure to have it promptly repaired to prevent further damage.

Your fascia is a vertical finishing edge connected to the area where your gutter attaches to the roof, and it can also be found attached to rafters or trusses. The fascia protects the joists and rafters from water damage, helps with the insulation of your attic, and serves as a support for gutter installations.

Fascia boards should be inspected for signs of damage such as wood rot, cracking, and deterioration of paint. It’s also important to check the condition of the underlying wood and to ensure there is sufficient space for airflow and proper drainage.