Home Inspection Articles

The Most Vulnerable Areas on a Roof – It Pays to Keep an Eye Out!

Posted by Olivia Hunt on Sep 4, 2012 12:33:00 PM

describe the imageJust like the old saying goes “All you need is a roof over your head”. But a leaking one? No homeowner wants to experience that issue.  By taking a few minutes to check out your roof from your driveway, you can minimize the risk of leaks and water damage to your home.  

So what should homeowners look for? There are two particularly vulnerable areas on a roof:

1. Where the roof changes direction – Think of where the roof meets your chimney or a wall. On a properly installed roof, these areas are flashed. Flashed indicates that there is material (such as galvanized steel, tin or aluminum) joining dissimilar materials on your roof. 

2. Where two or more flashings intersect – for example where a chimney occurs in a valley (Usually roof rolling is used as the flashing in this case)

In addition to these two items, homeowners should look for worn, cracked, split, loose or missing components of the roof.  Also important to watch out for are things that obstruct the flow of water off sloped roofs like skylights and chimneys. Click here to see our photo of vulnerable areas on a roof.

Roofing can be damaged by foot traffic, hail, raccoons or other animals and should be regularly inspected by a professional. Localized repairs are often an option, but as a general rule, when more than 10 to 15% of the roof requires repairs, it is best to replace the roof covering.

It’s important to know that roofs do not last forever. As roofing materials grow old, they lose their ability to keep water out of the house. Asphalt and wood roofing cracks, curls and shrinks. Wood roofing rots or burns through from the sun. Shingles or tiles may fall off as the materials or fasteners deteriorate. However, by knowing the signs of potential problems, you can have a professional complete necessary repairs or replacements without the major costs associated with serious water damage.

Become an expert on home care by staying informed with tips like these on a daily basis. Sign up to our blog on the right hand side or start following us on Twitter or Facebook.

Topics: Home Reference Book, Home Inspection, Homeowner Tips