Premature roofing failures are every homeowner's worst nightmare. While all roofs will eventually fail and require replacement, the high cost of roofing means that most people want their roofs to last for as long as possible. Unfortunately, nature will often do its best to challenge the longevity of your roof, with driving winds and heavy rains potentially creating many problems for this critical part of your home.
The good news is that roofing damage rarely requires an entirely new roof. However, unaddressed issues can often lead to more severe failures, so ignoring roofing problems is a recipe for disaster. If your roof is suffering from any of these three relatively minor problems, it's a good idea to resolve them as soon as possible to avoid more costly issues in the future.
1. Warped Shingles
Like other parts of your home exposed to extreme heating and cooling cycles, shingles will tend to warp and deform over time. Warping is more common as your shingles age, but it can occur in relatively new shingles due to installation issues or problems with attic ventilation. From the ground, you might notice your shingles curling at the edges or otherwise appearing distorted.
Even minor warping can impact the ability of your roof to shed water, providing gaps where moisture can seep under the shingles and affect your roof decking. Given enough time, this seepage can damage your decking or cause the shingles to warp further. Once you notice one or more shingles warping, it's a good idea to get in touch with a roofer immediately to repair them and restore your roof.
2. Ice Dams
Ice dams are common, but many homeowners ignore them because they don't understand how much damage they can cause. Ice dams generally form due to attic ventilation problems. As heat escapes from your home, snow will melt near the top of your roof. Since outside temperatures may still be very cold, the water will refreeze before it reaches the edge of your roof, creating dams and icicles along the edge.
If you see ice forming along the edge of your roof in the winter, that's a good indication you have an ice dam problem. Ice dams cause water to back up on your roof, allowing it to find small gaps where it can get under shingles and cause severe damage. Ice dams are a roofing problem that you should address as soon as possible to avoid more expensive damage from water infiltration.
3. Worn or Damaged Flashing
Flashing protects gaps in your roof (typically around chimneys, vents, and similar features) from water damage. Like your shingles, your flashing isn't truly watertight. Instead, flashing directs water safely down your roof, preventing it from entering small gaps where it can cause damage. However, worn or damaged flashing can redirect water in dangerous ways, allowing it to enter your home and cause leaks.
If you can see visibly dented, worn, or damaged flashing, you should have a roofing expert repair it as soon as possible. Taking care of this relatively minor and cheap problem can prevent substantial water damage to your home.
Contact a roof repair contractor for more information.