6 Most Common Roofing Problems

Have you inspected your roof recently? For many people, roofing issues aren’t even on the radar until a problem has gotten too big to ignore. If you’re a homeowner, it’s likely that you’ll deal with roofing problems at some point. Your roof protects your home and your family, so it’s crucial to prioritize roof maintenance! Pinnacle Roofing is looking at the six most common roofing problems here in the Mid-South and how to fix them. 

#1 Roof Leaks

Leaks are probably the most common roofing issues we see here in Memphis, and they can have several causes. From broken shingles to cracked flashings, here are some of the leading causes of roof leaks:

Chimney wear and tear

There are several reasons a chimney may leak; it could be the metal flashing that goes under the shingles around the chimney or the mortar joints if you have a brick chimney. Either way, this will cause water leaks in your home and damage the walls and ceilings. 

Debris stuck in the gutters

Some roofs have valleys, spaces where roof areas meet in a V-shape. When a valley stops in the middle of a roof, a gutter will run into it to keep the water flowing downward. If no flashing is applied to this area, leaks may happen in severe rain. Fixing this leak is as simple as loosening the shingles and applying three pieces of flashing to the site. 

Improperly driven nails

If a nail isn’t properly driven into the shingles or if it’s sideways, it can cause the head of the nail to work its way back out of the shingle. When this happens, the space left between the nailhead and the shingle will allow water to leak through. To repair this leak, a roofer will need to break the seal on the shingle, lift the shingle, remove the nail, and move it. 

Pipe boot failure

When a boot around a pipe fails, it can cause a leak. A boot is a flashing that goes around the base of the pipes coming out of your roof to waterproof them. The main job of a pipe boot is to prevent water from following the pipes down your roof and into your home. If you have a leak around a pipe boot, you’ll see signs in whatever room the pipe is located. The easiest way to repair this roofing leak is to install a rubber collar over the old cracked pipe.

#2 Damaged Flashing

Flashing is a roofing material made from plastic or sheet metal and is used to protect creases on fixtures like skylights and chimneys. Flashing is also used to preserve the venting pipes under roofing materials. If the flashing cracks, your fixtures will be vulnerable to moisture or water damage. 

Regularly inspect any areas of your roof with flashing to detect any cracks early. If you do find any cracked flashing, you should replace it right away. You may also need to remove some surrounding materials, including the shingles. If the leak is severe, a Pinnacle Roofing contractor can help you determine the full extent of the damage and how it needs to be repaired. 

#3 Stagnant or Pooling Water

If your gutters get clogged, the debris may cause water to collect and pool, which can damage your roof. Pooling water isn’t typically an imminent threat; it should be addressed if water is standing on your roof for more than 48 hours. Here are some common causes of stagnant or pooling water:

Compressed or saturated roof insulation

Compressed or saturated roofing insulation materials are a very common cause of pooling water. This can be due to added weight from HVAC or construction materials or other heavy equipment placed on the roof. Insulation may also become heavy or saturated over time.

Inadequate or obstructed roof drainage systems

If the drainage system on your roof is inadequate or obstructed, water is more likely to pool on your roof since there is no slope for the water to drain naturally. While this may seem like a significant problem that requires an entire roofing renovation, it’s a pretty quick fix! There are three main ways to correct this issue: scuppers, which are collector heads that lead to downspouts; installing a sloping gutter system that guides water away from your roof; or installing roof drains. 

Issues with roofing structure, design, and deflection

If the design of your roof is flat, it could cause standing water. This issue can be a little trickier to fix since regular maintenance won’t be enough. When a roof is designed poorly, pooling water can be due to the structure as a whole or by the parts of the roof that start to sag under pressure. 

#4 Tree Damage

One of the most common roofing problems homeowners face is damage caused by falling limbs. You may think that only large branches cause harm, but that isn’t the case! When smaller branches fall onto your roof and cause friction for a long time, they can cause more severe damage and even erode the top layer of your roof. 

The best solution for this problem is being proactive! Keeping any nearby branches trimmed back away from your roof will prevent them from causing damage. Pay close attention to limbs that look weak or broken since they could be a potential threat to your roof. 

#5 Freezing Damage

Roofing problems are more common in the cold, so if your roof is regularly exposed to snow and ice or if you experience major winter weather storms, your roof has a lower life expectancy. When snow or ice is built-up on your roof, it has to melt eventually. That water typically doesn’t drain away quickly enough and can penetrate under the roof and cause damage. 

Even worse, that melted water can refreeze under the surface of your roof, expanding and causing larger spaces between your shingles. This will allow more water to get through, resulting in even more damage. Regular roof maintenance is the best way to prevent damage from snow, ice, and other weather conditions. 

#6 Damaged Roofing Materials 

This can consist of just about anything: shingles, tiles, nails, sealants, flashings, gutters, and more. Nature and time will contribute to the deterioration of any roof, so regular maintenance is the best thing you can do to keep yours in shape. Catching any issues (or potential issues) can help you get ahead of things and save you a lot of time and money when it comes to repairs. Scheduling a maintenance check with a Pinnacle Roofing contractor will guarantee that you catch these issues early on!

6 Most Common Roofing Problems

Schedule a Maintenance Check with Pinnacle Roofing

Has it been a while since you’ve considered the health of your roof? If so, Pinnacle Roofing is here for you! Contact our Memphis office to schedule a roofing maintenance check and guarantee the longevity of your roof. We look forward to working together!