The Denver Homeowner’s Guide to Common Roofing Problems
Pests, water, hail, wind, and algae can all damage your roof. To ensure its longevity, trust Refined Exteriors to repair any problems right away.
Roof Issues, Solutions, and Preventative Measures
Your roof plays a critical role in your home. Roofs provide structural support, protect you and your family from the elements, and insulate your home to keep interior temperatures comfortable. That is why it is so crucial that it is secure. Unfortunately, storms, pests, or improper installation can seriously compromise your roof. And if you don’t identify and address signs of roof damage as soon as they appear, you could be in for a major headache, structurally and financially!
This Homeowner’s Guide to Common Roofing Problems from Refined Exteriors will tell you how to spot signs of roof damage and the preventative measures you should take to avoid future troubles.
A leaking roof allows water into your home, causing your roof to rot and is one of the biggest culprits of damage to the interior of your home. What started as a tiny drip can quickly escalate into a serious problem unless you address it right away. Knowing the signs of water damage from a leaking roof inside and outside of your home can help protect your property from expensive repairs down the road. These are the signs to look for:
- Sagging on the roof itself
- Water stains or mold on your interior walls or ceiling
- Dripping water anywhere inside your home
- Damp or rusted pipes
- Sagging ceilings
- Mold or a bad smell inside your home
- Cracked or blistered shingles
A small leak might not seem like a huge deal. However, if you don’t address these problems as soon as they appear, you’ll wind up compromising the structural integrity of your roof and your entire home. Here’s what can happen if you neglect to remediate water damage on your roof:
- Complete roof collapse
- Moisture damage to your home’s interior
- Illness-causing and allergy-exacerbating mold could compromise your family’s health
- Your home will be vulnerable to termites or other pests
- Damage to your flooring
- Electrical problems
Hail Damaged Roofs
Denver, Colorado is part of “Hail Alley,” the area stretching from Wyoming to Texas that receives more hailstorms – about seven to nine a year – and more severe ones, compared to other regions in the U.S. Here in the Denver area, we usually see pea-sized to marble-sized hail, but severe thunderstorms may cause it to be even larger.
How badly your roof is impacted by hail depends on a few variables including the age of your roof, what it is made of, its slope, how well it was installed, and the severity of the hail. Here is how hail can damage your roof:
- Dents on the shingles flashing, or gutters
- The bond between granules and asphalt may deteriorate, causing granules to loosen and fall
- Loose granules cause shingles to become brittle and crack
- Shingles get soft or bruised, allowing water to infiltrate
Here is what can happen if you don’t repair hail damage to your roof:
- Ultraviolet light can weaken the exposed area of your roof
- Asphalt becomes fragile and shingles become brittle and will crack in cold weather, allowing water to permeate the roof and cause leaks
- Your attic and other areas of your home will be susceptible to moisture damage
Immediately after a hailstorm, be sure to hire a professional roofing contractor to assess your roof to determine if it needs any repairs. Time is of the essence when addressing roof damage. Don’t wait to have your roof inspected and save yourself a possible headache later.
Roof Storm Damage
Storms that produce high winds — especially in the winter — are common here in Colorado. That is due to high-pressure systems that generate damaging winds, sometimes at speeds as high as 100 mph, down the leeward slope of the mountains. Here are some of the ways storms and wind can harm your roof:
- Lifted or curled shingles
- Cracked, dented, or broken shingles
- Missing shingles
- Interior leaks
If you don’t address storm damage, you are inviting water to infiltrate your home, causing interior leaks. In addition, your roof won’t be able to protect your home from future storms or other threats.
Before severe weather strikes, ask an experienced roofing contractor to check your roof for any vulnerabilities. These are additional steps you can take to minimize roof damage:
- Trim any tree branches that hang over your roof
- Clean your gutters and remediate any repairs as needed
- Check your insurance policy so you know what kind of coverage you can expect in the event of damage
- If necessary, reseal around vents, skylights, and chimneys
You should also ask an expert to examine your home immediately after a storm and inquire about repairs or a total roof replacement if warranted. Don’t let the idea of having your roof replaced intimidate you. The right roofing contractor (like Denver’s Refined Exteriors) can tackle the job quickly with little disruption to your life. If you wait and your failing roof causes damage to your home’s interior, you could be displaced for quite some time.
Nobody likes uninvited guests, especially when they wreak havoc on your roof. Mice, rats, termites, squirrels, carpenter ants, bats, and woodpeckers may decide your roof is a cozy place to hang out or a great place for a free meal.
There are many ways pests can wreck your roof. If mold rots your roof, it will encourage termites to burrow underneath it and loosen shingles. Bird nests in your roof vents will block air flow from your attic, causing moisture damage, and carpenter bees may tunnel through your home’s structure and build hives, inviting birds to snack on their larvae. Here are some signs that pests are ravaging your roof:
- Chewed electrical wires
- Roof vent damage
- Gutter problems
- Holes in your shingles
- Increased bee activity around your home
- Destruction of fascia boards and other elements around your roofline
- Moisture damage
- Attic damage
- Curled or ripped shingles
In addition to causing structural damage, pests can threaten the health and safety of you and your family. Maintaining your roofing by repairing any holes as soon as they form will help keep pests away from your home’s exterior and out of your home. Trees and branches that hang over your roof can serve as a handy bridge for pests to hop onto your roof. Trimming them will impede their access and encourage them to find a more appropriate home.
Algae are organisms with no roots, stems, or leaves. They acquire energy from the sun by using photosynthetic pigments. The wind carries algae spores which may cause them to settle on surfaces including – you guessed it – your roof.
Algae thrive in moist environments. Overhanging branches, warmer temperatures, rising humidity, any type of standing water including clogged gutters, a porous roofing material, or poor ventilation can all cause these annoying organisms to grow on your roof. Black or brown streaks are a telltale sign that algae are proliferating on your roof.
In addition to being unsightly, algae can negatively impact your roof’s health in many ways, including:
- Cause it to absorb more heat, which means your air conditioner will need to work harder and your energy bills will skyrocket
- Weaken asphalt roof shingles and their structural integrity
- Create permanent stains
Will Insurance Cover Roof Damage?
Repairing or completely replacing a damaged roof is a significant investment. Fortunately, in many cases, your insurance will cover these expenses. However, if your roof is deteriorating due to plain old age or because you haven’t properly cared for it, your insurance won’t cover the cost of a new roof.
Every policy is different, but there are certain instances when you can expect your homeowner’s insurance to pay for roof repairs or a replacement.
- Fire or lightning
- Damage caused by a vehicle or aircraft
- Weight from ice
Here in Colorado where storms with high winds and hail are not uncommon, you’ll want to check that your insurance covers both of these possible events.
So how do you file a claim? The first step is to document the damage. That includes taking photos from every angle, including the ground, the first or second level of your home, and above the roof. You may need to enlist the help of a professional who can safely obtain all of the photos.
Next, hire an expert from a professional roofing company to assess and provide a comprehensive report of the damage. Both the photos and the report will be crucial to demonstrating why it needs repairs or a replacement.
As soon as you have completed the first steps, contact your insurance company. An adjuster will visit your home to estimate how much it will cost to repair or replace your roof. You’ll also need to pay your deductible before your insurance covers the costs.
When choosing a roofing contractor, consider selecting one that has experience working with insurance companies. This will create a smoother process.
Why Roof Maintenance Is Important
Your roof is a major investment! If it’s in good shape, it adds value to your home and enhances its curb appeal. If it’s in bad shape, it’s a liability, detracting from your home’s appearance, jeopardizing its structure, and possibly even endangering your family. That is precisely why it is so crucial that you maintain your roof properly. If you neglect to take care of your roof, it will also cost you far more in the long run.
Here’s how to properly maintain and prolong the life of your roof:
- Make sure it is properly installed
- Trim all branches that hang over your roof and remove any debris immediately
- Remove mildew using a mixture of 50/50 water and bleach to prevent rot
- Replace missing, cracked, or warped shingles
- Check your flashing and caulking regularly to ensure they are functioning properly to prevent water permeation
- Clean the gutters
- Clear ice dam ridges
- Act quickly to repair any damage
- Once a year, hire a professional roofer to perform an inspection
Avoid Further Damage to Your Home with a Properly Installed Roof
At Refined Exteriors, we are experts in roofing installation, repair, and replacement. As a local Denver area roofing company, we understand how frustrating it is when your roof is damaged or wasn’t installed properly in the first place.
We use industry-leading materials and never take shortcuts. When you partner with us, you’ll have confidence that your roof will last as long as possible. Want to get a better feel for the quality of our craftsmanship? Take a look at some of our local featured projects!
Recent Articles on Denver Area Roofing Problems:
- Prevent Roof Wind Damage with New Wind-Resistant Synthetic Shingles
- Signs Your Roof Has Poor Ventilation (and How to Fix It)
- 6 Signs of Roof Damage from Squirrels and How to Prevent it
- Problems Algae Can Cause for Your Roof and How to Prevent It
- Questions to Ask a Roofer When You Have Storm Damage
- How to Know If Your Asphalt Shingles Are Damaged