Common Roof Problems to Catch Early
Roof Leaks/Moisture: Did you know that a roof can have silent leaks for years before evidence presents itself? Most homeowners don’t pay attention to their roof until there are visible signs like water spots, peeling paint or disintegrating wallpaper.
Once thse signs present themselves, however, there is usually significant damage that has already taken place. Mold, dry rot, damage to insulation, buckling walls, etc. are all common damage caused by slow roof leaks and go undetected.
Roof Blisters: Blisters are raised portions of a roof. They are usually long and thin and are caused by a gas trapped in the roofing system. The warmth of the sun causes the gas to expand and create a bubble, pushing the plies apart. This bubble is the blister. Moisture can creep into these blisters, causing the damage outlined above in the roof leaks/moisture section.
Poor Installation: Poor installation is one of the most common causes of roof damage. Depending on which source you read, a roof should last anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Poorly installed roofs may last significantly fewer years before they start to present problems to homeowners.
Wrinkling, buckling, contraction of sheets, water damage and more can all be attributed to poor roof installation.
These are just a few common problems that should be caught early to prevent costly roof repairs. A roof inspection by a qualified professional such as the inspectors at Wages Goldstar Roofing & Gutters can spot problems before they become too expensive.
General Roofing Questions
How can a homeowner recognize when a roof has problems?
All too often, roof problems are discovered after leaking or other serious damage occurs. Periodic (twice-a-year) inspections can often uncover cracked, warped, or missing shingles, loose seams and deteriorated flashings, excessive surface granules accumulating in the gutters or downspouts, and other visible signs of roof problems. Indoors, look for cracked paint, discolored plasterboard, and peeling wallpaper as signs of damaged roof areas.
What will a new roof cost?
The price of a new roof varies widely and depends on the material selected. Keep in mind that cost is only one factor, and it must be balanced against the quality of the materials and workmanship. For each roofing material there are different grades – and corresponding prices. You need to look at the full product range and make a choice based on your budget and needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have hail damage to my roof? Can I tell from the ground?
If you’ve had hail in your area, to determine if the shingles have been damaged, a close inspection of the shingles has to be made from the roof. Usually you cannot tell from the ground.
If I think I have hail damage what should I do?
Call a reputable roofing company and ask for an inspection. If there are any discrepancies between the adjuster’s findings and the roofer’s findings you may call for a “REINSPECTION” where your adjuster meets the roofer to go over the roof together. Reinspections are very common. The insurance company must determine two things when assessing the amount of your loss:
1. Was there sufficient damage to the roof to declare it a total loss? (Usually determined by 10 verified hail hits per 100 square feet.)
2. What is the size of the roof and how many shingles will be needed to replace the roof?
What does hail do to a roof?
Shingles are designed so that the granules block the UV of the sun and protect the asphalt underlayment. As the shingles age the granules fall off over time. As the asphalt is exposed the UV, it dries out and the shingle corners start to curl up. A shingle at the extreme end of its life is bubbled in appearance and is brittle to the touch. A 20-year shingle is warranteed by the manufactureer to have a useful life, under optimal ventilation conditions, of 20 years. Hail does several things:
1. Accelerates granule loss.
2. Accelerates shingle aging.
3. Voids manufacturer’s warranties.
4. Leads to other associated problems.
Do I need to get my roof replaced right away?
The insidious nature of hail damge is that it may pose no immediate threat to the structural integrity of the roof. However, many insurance companies have a “statute of limitations” of how long a hail claim is viable. If you have experienced a loss such as hail damage it is prudent to take care of the problem in a timely manner before it leads to other associated problems.
What does hail hit look like?
A hail hit on a shingle looks like a “bruise” or a dard spot where the granules on the shingle have been knocked off and the asphalt underlayment and sometimes the fiberglass mat is exposed. New hail hits will have a shiny appearance because the asphalt has been freshly exposed and has not had time to weather to a dull color.
Why does the estimate read that there are more shingles to replace then there are to remove?
The amount of shingles to remove from your roof is the actual amount of square feet that it takes to shingle your roof. However, when putting on shingles, some shingles have to be cut to fit dimensions, ridges, hips and valleys. The insurance company adds 10% to regular ridge roofs and 15% to hip and ridge roofs to account for the loss of shingles.
My gutters and siding were damaged and the insurance company paid me for how many linear feet had to be replaced. When I called a contractor, they had a minimum fee which was far in excess of the small amount the insurance company paid me. What can I do?
Your insurance company understands minimum charges such as these and has set prices they are prepared to pay as minimum charges for all trades. They do not give you the minimum charge up front because such a large percentage of their customers never call a contractor and just pocket the money. If you call your adjuster and ask for the minimum charge for the work, they will pay it without any hesitation.
In my adjustment, my insurance company deducted some money for depreciation, what is that all about?
Different insurance companies call the amount that they hold back different things. Some call it depreciation; other companies figure it in as a dump and removal fee. What it represents is the amount of money the company will hold back until they receive a signed contract from you and a contractor for the work. When they receive a signed contract, you will receive another check for the amount they have held back.
My insurance adjuster said there was no hail damage on his first inspection, I asked the roofing company’s estimator to call him and request to walk through a reinspection with him. On the reinspection the adjuster concluded that there was hail damage and “totaled” the roof. Why such a dramatic turn around?
There are many different reasons that this happens so often. Sometimes adjusters get to a roof too soon after the actual damage and the hits haven’t had a chance to weather yet. Sometimes the adjusters are inexperienced. Sometimes they were tired after looking at so many roofs that day. Sometimes they just make mistakes. The best results for the benefit of homeowner seem to be obtained when an experienced roofer walks through the inspection with the insurance adjuster and calls to the adjuster’s attention any damage that he sees.