Especially on the North Shore of Boston, roofs are vulnerable to wind, rain, snow, ice, and damage from overhanging trees. Most roofs need repairs because of these 5 problems:
1. Improper or failed flashing. Some estimates state that 90% or more of roof leaks start with flashing problems. Flashing is the material used to seal and waterproof the roof. The areas around gutters, chimneys or skylights, and the places where two roof lines meet are prime areas where improper flashing can cause water damage.
2. Improper insulation. Where the attic is improperly insulated, hot air meets cold air and that leads to condensation and mold in the summer or to the formation of ice dams in the winter. If you have insulation in the attic, but it is compressed or water stained, it is no longer working properly; replace it. Houses built before 1990 may have vermiculite insulation in the attic. This pebble-like insulation contains asbestos and needs to be professionally removed.
3. Gutters and drains that aren’t working right. If your gutters and drains aren’t cleaned properly, they may accumulate enough wet debris to stop working. In the summer, that wet debris encourages the start of mold that can work its way under your roof. In the winter, pooled water in gutters creates icicles that are dangerous to people and pets and weigh enough to damage the gutter and edge of the roof. When a debris-filled gutter or drain gets too heavy, it will actually pull away from the roof, causing more damage.
4. Missing, broken, or buckling shingles. Most often, weather damage is the cause of missing or broken shingles, but shingles can also be damaged when a chimney or skylight is repaired. Buckling shingles are a sign of improper ventilation. Make sure that anyone who works on your roof—whether they are correcting a problem with gutters or installing a skylight or checking out a leak—knows how to avoid and recognize damage to shingles. For example, discolored shingles are a symptom of a roof leak and curling shingles may be due to improper ventilation or improperly installed fasteners.
5. Overhanging trees. On the North Shore of Boston, we have many beautiful wooded areas and many homes that are nestled within them. However, if they are nestling too close, then overhanging limbs can damage the roof’s surface by repeatedly scraping it. Wind, ice storms, and blizzards can hurl limbs onto the home’s roof and cause considerable damage. It’s best to trim trees so that limbs stay at least 6 feet away from the house.
When roofs begin leaking, homeowners on the North Shore of Boston call WORKS. We know how to fix improper flashing, improper insulation, problems with gutters and drains, and missing or broken shingles. Even more important, we know how to build and replace roofs to prevent those problems in the first place. Contact us today.