The roof is arguably the most important aspect of your home.  Not only is it a critical component of your home’s overall curb appeal, the roof is the first line of defense in keeping water out of and away from your home.  Simple roofing mistakes can have costly consequences to the interior and structure of your home.

Flashing Not Fastened Properly During Installation

When installed properly, flashing prevents water from seeping into your home from the rooftop.  Commonly made of metal or galvanized steel, flashing is found around roof vents, chimneys, windows, dormers and along any valleys in the roof. Properly installed flashing will have the U-shape facing toward the valley and be securely fastened along the edges. Flashing should be layered under the shingles, rather than on top of them, to prevent water seepage and consequent damage. According to the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, counter-flashing installed along hard surfaces, such as stone or brick chimneys, will often be installed and fastened incorrectly. Check these areas closely for any gaps in the installation or sealant that could allow water access.

Pressure Washing the Shingles

We are very conscious of how our roof looks – we see it every time we pull in the driveway – and the itch to clean it can be strong when it appears dirty.  Bringing a pressure washer to the roof with the intention of washing away some dirt can do far more harm than good. Blasting streams of highly pressurized water at composition roof shingles will remove more than dirt.  Roof shingles are comprised of water-resistant materials including asphalt granules that protect your home from leaks. Pressure washing the roof will remove dirt and strip these granules from the shingles, leaving your home unprotected.  If you strongly feel that your roof needs a cleaning, your best course of action would be to contact a professional roofer to discuss options you may have to improve the appearance of your roof.

Improper or Inadequately Ventilated Roof 

A properly ventilated roof will allow moisture caused by temperature differences in the inside and outside air to escape from the attic areas of your home.  Improper ventilation can trap this moisture causing mold and algae growth throughout your home’s structure.  Improper ventilation can also encourage ice dams to form causing further damage in areas with snowy winters.  Proper roofing ventilation can extend the life of your roof, saving you money over the long run.

Not Planning for Ice Dams

If your home is located in a cold climate, you should plan for the formation of ice dams during the winter months. An ice dam is a layer of ice that forms along the eave line of a roof.  Generally when you see icicles hanging from the edge of a roof, there is an ice dam behind it.  Ice dams are formed when the temperature of a roof is uneven, generally warmer at the top and colder along the eaves. Snow will melt on the warmer portions of the roof and form sheets of ice at the colder edges called ice dams. These ice dams force water under the shingles, if the roof is not insulated enough.  Guard against water damage from this ice formation by making sure to regularly clean out your gutters.

Not Diverting Water from Drains Away from the Base of Your House

If you keep water out of and away from your home, you will significantly increase the life of the building.  Foundation erosion, basement flooding, and soil deterioration all occur due to improper water drainage.   According to the Environmental Protection Agency, an extended rain spout of at least five feet should be sufficient to drain water from your rooftop and eaves and away from your home. Draining water away from your home will prevent foundation erosion and resulting mold caused by constant dampness due to rain and snow melt.

Utah Roofing Repair

Your home is more than your castle; it is your single most important financial investment. Simple preventative steps today, such as checking for properly functioning flashing and water diversion, can greatly reduce the chances of water damage and costly headaches down the road.