If you clean your gutters on a seasonal schedule and check roof flashings regularly, you might scratch your head when you still deal with issues like roof leaks and missing shingles. Unfortunately, other culprits of roofing damage exist — and one of those villains might be you. Here are two surprising ways people unintentionally damage their own roofs and how you can avoid issues in the long run.
1. Attempting Their Own Repairs
The instant you spot an indoor leak or a missing shingle or two, you might be more than willing to pull out your ladder, roll up your sleeves, and go to work on correcting the issue. Since wind, rain, and even pest infestations can wreak havoc on a bare patch of roof quickly, you might assume that a novice repair now is better than a professional fix in a few days — but you might be wrong.
Contrary to popular belief, roofing can be complicated to install, and every manufacturer has recommended guidelines for how to place shingles without creating a water leak risk. Adding mismatched shingles to cover a bare spot could cause water to roll off your roof in an unpredictable way, and in some parts of the country, placing new shingles over an existing roof is even unlawful, as that action can create a risk of collapse.
Additionally, you need exceptional care when working on a roof, since simple mistakes could push other shingles out of place, bend flashing, or tear roofing materials that you need to create a watertight barrier.
To prevent damage, never attempt to perform your own roofing repairs, and instead, always turn to a professional contractor. In addition to being able to understand which repairs are needed and choose the right products to patch the area, professionals also understand how to proceed safely and efficiently, speeding the resolution timeline. Also, using a reputable company you can rest assured they know the local codes and can follow up if there are any additional issues.
2. Letting Landscaping Grow Out Of Control
During the summer, the right landscaping can do a lot to boost your home’s curb appeal. Tall trees can add a great deal of personality and shade to your property, and climbing plants like ivy can make your home look like it should be on the cover of a children’s book. Unfortunately, letting landscaping grow without abandon can be detrimental to your roof health.
Trees too close to your home can eventually grow branches that reach over the eaves of your home, which can create dropping leaves that clog gutters and downspouts, leading to water damming and other issues. During bad weather, damaged limbs can even be knocked off trees, allowing the tree limbs to fall onto your roof and damage shingles, underlayments, gutters and more.
Climbing plants can be just as harmful, since they can eventually make their way into gutters and onto the roof itself. In addition to allowing water to pool on the surface of your roof, climbing plants like ivy can also allow tendrils to unfurl below shingles, pushing the shingles up and making it easier for water to penetrate the surface.
As a general rule of thumb, focus on keeping landscaping directly around your home to a minimum. Experts recommend planting large trees at least 20 feet from the base of your home, and medium-sized trees at least 15 feet away from your house to protect your structure.
Whether you have recently spotted some shingles that don’t look quite right, or a stain on your ceiling that could signify a roof leak, give a professional roofer a call as soon as you can.
3. Installing Holiday decorations directly on the roof surface.
Often times homeowners want to decorate their homes for different holidays not realizing they are causing their own damage. Stapling lights to the shingles, or nailing Santa and his sleigh to the surface surface pokes holes allowing water to infiltrate the surface, then when it freezes it expands it thus leading to leakage that will not be covered by your insurance because you caused it.
Here at Golden Spike Roofing, our team has more than 75 years of combined experience helping homeowners with everything from leak detection and small repairs to full re-roofs, inspections, and ongoing maintenance. Communicate with our team today to find out how we can provide you with the solutions you need for your home.