Roof Replacement – What You Need to Know
Whether you plan to replace your roof or want to ensure it adds value to your home, you must choose the right contractor. Make sure you get multiple quotes and compare prices, materials, and experience.
Roof Replacement West Chester is a great option as a short-term solution, but it cannot fix major water damage or increase energy efficiency. It can also add extra weight to your home’s frame, which may cause structural problems in the future.
- Damaged Shingles
A home’s roof is a vital barrier, protecting the inside from moisture infiltration. But like any protector, it can be damaged by severe weather or simply age. If you notice shingles missing, cracking, or curling, it’s a sign that your roof needs replacement. A new layer of shingles can prevent further damage and ensure your home is well-insulated.
Missing or damaged shingles can be easy to spot. However, there are other signs that your roof needs repair or replacement. Water stains on the ceiling or walls indicate a roof leak. You may also notice mold or mildew growth on the surface of your roof. If left unchecked, these problems can compromise the integrity of your roof and deteriorate the structure of your home.
Sometimes, a few missing or damaged shingles can be replaced by a DIY homeowner with the right tools. You’ll want to loosen the shingles above the damaged area. A pry bar or crowbar works perfectly for this task. Using the flat end of your pry bar, work around the edge of each shingle to gently lift it and expose the nails underneath.
Once the surrounding shingles are loosened, you can easily remove the damaged shingle. Replace the shingle with a new one that matches the color and size of the existing ones. During the process, nail the new shingle into place with the existing nails through the nail strip.
Consulting a roofing professional might be a good idea if you’re uncomfortable climbing on your roof. Replacing shingles is more complex than it looks, and knowing where to nail them is important so they don’t cause leaks or fail during the next storm.
It’s also crucial to inspect the plywood decking of your roof to see if any areas need to be replaced. This board provides a foundation for the shingles and is vital to your roof’s overall health. Damaged or rotting plywood can leave your roof vulnerable to moisture and further structural damage.
If you have a leaky roof, it’s important to fix it immediately. Left unattended, a small leak can lead to bigger problems like rotted framing and sheathing, destroyed insulation, and sagging ceilings. Ignoring the problem can even cause expensive mold growth. The best way to prevent this is to have regular roof maintenance performed by professionals.
Check easy-to-access points inside your home after a rainstorm or any other event that precipitates a leak. Look in the attic, crawl spaces, and utility closets for puddles and water spots that can indicate the source of a leak. Also, check for discolored drywall or plaster in rooms affected by the leak. You can also head onto the roof (safely, of course) and look for areas that feel soft or spongy under your weight.
Leaks can come from many sources, including damaged shingles and flashing cracking. The type of leak you have will determine what needs to be done. For example, if you have a metal pipe leak, the problem can be remedied by replacing the rain cap or storm collar. However, if the leak comes from the base of the metal flashing, the flashing likely needs to be removed and replaced.
Regardless of the source, a leak should be repaired quickly to minimize damage and save money on energy bills. A wet vac and dehumidifier can help remove excess moisture.
While you’re waiting for repairs, take steps to protect your belongings. To avoid water damage, use plastic sheets or tarps to cover furniture and other items that can’t be moved. You can also put buckets or containers around the leaking area to catch and empty the water regularly.
In addition, it’s wise to move things like outdoor furniture, ceramic landscaping features, and outdoor plants so that they won’t be knocked over by debris falling off the roof during reroofing. And if you have any trees that are encroaching on the roof, it’s a good idea to trim them back, too.
- Damaged Flashing
Flashing is a thin sheet of metal or other material, such as roof cement or tar, that covers the seams where penetrations in your roof meet. These include chimneys, skylights, roof vents, dormer windows, valleys, and the eaves, ridges, and rake edges of your roof. It helps direct rainwater away from these roof areas to avoid water damage in your home.
Your flashing may look rusty or corroded, or it may have holes, or it could be missing entirely. Regardless of the cause of this damage, it is important to have a professional roofing contractor examine and repair the problem quickly to reduce the risk of leaking or moisture problems in your home.
If left unattended, a failure of the flashing can lead to major structural damage and expensive repairs for your home. This is particularly common in areas where snow and ice accumulate, as the melting ice can seep behind the flashing and into the roof system. This can result in the weakened support materials caving in at the smallest touch, exposing your home to water damage and mold growth.
Flashing failure is often caused by inclement weather and physical damage, such as a tree branch hitting the roof. Flashing can also be damaged by improper roof ventilation, which allows heat to rise in the attic and melt snow or ice. When this ice is permitted to refreeze in the cold gutters, it creates an ice dam, which can damage or even rip off the flashing.
The most common signs of a roof flashing problem are leaks, which can be easily traced to the damaged area. You might also notice shingles lifting around the area of the flashing, or you may be able to see the flashing itself through the attic window.
A roofing contractor will inspect your flashing and, if necessary, replace it as part of the roof replacement process. The shingles and felt paper or moisture barrier will also be replaced simultaneously, ensuring that your roof is in good condition for years to come.
- Poor Insulation
Homeowners tend to focus on shingles during roof replacement and may overlook the need for better attic insulation. However, homeowners should be aware that inadequate insulation can negatively affect their homes and their health.
Insulation is vital in maintaining energy efficiency, preventing heat gain or loss, and ensuring comfortable indoor temperatures. Insufficient insulation can cause HVAC systems to work harder to maintain desired temperatures and may result in high utility bills. It can also increase indoor moisture, contributing to mold growth and wood rot in walls, floors, and ceilings. In some cases, poor insulation can even affect a home’s insurability.
The good news is that adding insulation during a roof replacement can be a cost-effective way to improve a home’s energy efficiency. A roofing specialist can recommend the best option for your home based on the recommended R-values, size of attic openings, and other factors. In addition, insulation retention baffles can be installed to help keep loose-fill attic insulation from blowing off the roof during a reroofing project.
Inadequate attic insulation often causes drafty rooms. This is because there is no sufficient barrier between the warm air inside the living space and the cooler outside air. Sometimes, this is a simple problem that can be solved by adding more batting. However, in other cases, the underlying issue is a poorly ventilated attic or improper installation.
In cold climates, improper attic ventilation and insulation can lead to ice dams. This occurs when heat from the living space rises through the attic and melts snow on the roof. The water then refreezes at the colder eaves, damaging shingles, underlayment, drywall, and insulation. Insulation can help to prevent this by reducing the amount of water that seeps into the living spaces below.
Another benefit of proper insulation is improved indoor air quality. Air that leaks through a poorly insulated attic can carry harmful dust and allergens throughout the house. This can lead to health problems for the entire household. In addition, it can allow mold to grow and sporulate, which can be a serious health concern for anyone with respiratory issues.