Weather in the Charlotte/Gastonia area can be erratic and damaging to roofs and other home components. Rain, sleet, snow, and hail come at random intervals, in season and out. Many Charlotte area homeowners can bear first-hand witness to the dangers of high winds, downed trees, and hail the size of golf balls. They have seen dimpled shingles and dented copper. They know what happens when the wind rips away a roof crown.
But how many people really pay attention to the less obvious sources of roof failure?
This article addresses the obvious roof problems, but it also provides advice concerning the overlooked issues such as poor maintenance routines, basic exposure to long-term weather patterns, airborne chemicals, and the things that kids throw into the sky. Shoddy craftsmanship during an initial roof installation can also cause problems. Incorrectly installed Flashing may result in a slow leak that takes months or even years to become self-evident. Eaves and overhangs are also points of difficulty. These are the places where leaks sometimes go unnoticed for long periods of time.
Roof Damage That Springs From Immediate Conditions
Homeowners in the vicinity of Charlotte, Gastonia, and the surrounding areas can expect an extended share of high winds, hail storms, flying debris, and fallen tree limbs. These problem sources can generate an immediate situation of roof failure, or an impending condition of roof failure. Winds can rip away the cover ridge, chimney caps, roof vents, flashing, and/or shingles. Broken tree limbs or some other type of airborne debris can strike the roof with sufficient force to puncture shingles, felt, and even the wood beneath. Any of these damage types can permit an instantaneous leakage of rainwater.
However, the same things that cause on the spot emergencies can also cause long-term, unseen water damage. For example: A tree limb may not create an immediate leak. Yet if the limb is not promptly removed and the area of impact properly treated, the future effects may demand extensive roof care.
Whenever a heavy storm passes through the Charlotte area, you should take the time to examine your roof. Even if there are no obvious leaks, certain roof components may yet be missing or damaged. Furthermore, you should check to ensure that no foreign object is blocking the roof valleys or the gutter tracks. Here are some basic methods of checking:
- Examine the roof, either from a distance that enables a full view of the housetop, or by a physical presence on the roof.
- Look around your yard for any roof components that may have blown to the ground.
- Question neighbors. They may have noticed something during the storm that affects the condition of your home.
- If it seems reasonable, check the attic space for any signs of leakage.
- If necessary, or for the assurance of adequate preventative measures, contact a Charlotte, Gastonia, or Kannapolis roofing specialists.
Roof Damage Related to Poor Maintenance
Too many homeowners ignore the obvious. Periodic roof inspections are critical to home maintenance. Be quick to repair problem or damaged areas. Stopped up gutters cause foundation damage as well as roof and wall damage. Applying leaf guards to rain gutters is one of the easiest fixes available. If you are unable to handle the installation yourself, hire a pro. The cost of maintenance is much less than the cost of major repairs. Here is a list of other primary maintenance issues:
- Trees growing too near the home should be trimmed or removed
- Although common in regions of high humidity, any sign of algae, fungus, or mold should be investigated.
Roof Failure Due To Inferior Craftsmanship
Flashing is designed to establish a watertight boundary between roof components, including roof sections, roof projections, and the joints of roof and external walls. Sometimes flashing gets damaged due to wind or hail or other force. Sometimes a contractor fails to install flashing. And sometimes a “craftsman” blotches the installation. Educate yourself concerning your home. Learn which areas of your roof require flashing, and then make flashing inspection a part of your routine home maintenance process.
Of course, flashing is not the only roof element that may involve inferior craftsmanship. Shingles do not always last as long as they should. A shady contractor may get a bargain deal from a local salvage yard. Whether building a new home, or replacing an old roof, make certain that you know from whence the materials were purchased.
When purchasing roofing materials, homeowners typically seek durable products, aesthetic appeal, and quality installation at a reasonable cost. The options in material choices are many, ranging from cheap but popular asbestos to the unique beauty of copper shingles. Asbestos is typically low cost and easy to apply yet some roofers believe that metal roofing is a better choice. Several forces drive this conclusion. Metal roofs provide:
- Efficient heat deference
- A fire retardant nature
- Low maintenance
- Energy efficiency
- Materials that can be painted
- Resistance to mildew and algae.
Other roofing choices include:
- Clay tile
- Concrete tile
- Hot mop roofing
- Wood Shakes.
Certain evidences indicate that many of the high-end roofing materials are failing to live up to the stated warranties. If you are thinking of utilizing one of the new man-made products, take care to investigate the issue. Ask your Charlotte area roofer to confirm the track record of your chosen materials.
Roof Repairs and New Roof Installs
Although the correction of minor roof issues is not beyond the capabilities of many Charlotte homeowners, it may be wise to consult with a roofing specialist before moving ahead with the work. A structurally sound roof installation is critical to the stability of your home. Utilizing the right materials in the right way will protect your home and reduce the risk of future water problems.