Have you looked at your roof lately?

For many Venice homeowners, the answer is no. But even if you did take the opportunity to inspect your roofing materials, you may miss some of the damage which could be occurring as your roof ages. The fact is, a lot of roof damage happens in secret nooks and crannies, hid away from sight.  This damage is barely visible and undetected until your property is at risk. This week, we take a look at the damage which can be causing issues you can’t even see – the damage originating under the roofing structure.

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Problems Lurking Under the Roofing Structure

While these problems and issues may be festering under the roof, they do often begin on the roof surface, however small the exterior issue may be. For instance, even a damaged corner of a tile can create a vulnerability which allows for water to seep underneath. Over time, especially given our annual heavy rainfall, this tiny intrusion can wreak major damage. So although you may not be able to visually spot the point of vulnerability, the damage under the roofing structure may be getting worse by the day. Here’s what to look for.

  • Damage to Framing: If you can get up into your attic, look at the wood framing of your roof for damage. This may be evidenced by wet wood, dark spots or stains, or even areas where a critter has eaten away at the structure. While there may not be visible damage to the exterior materials, a small leak can do extensive damage over time. Wood can get moldy, deteriorate, rot, and grow weak.
  • Damage to Insulation: While most of the country is concerned about insulation keeping warm air in at this time of year, Floridians are more concerned with making sure that our homes stay cool. Insulation is important for energy efficiency and keeping our air conditioners from working overtime – so eroding insulation can be a real problem. However, if your insulation is matted, compacted, damp or contaminated, it points to a problem with the roof structure. Either there is a roof leak, or a gap in the roof structure which is allowing animals to infiltrate. Not only is your energy efficiency affected, but animal droppings and mold can cause illness.
  • Framing Getting Weak: Many older Sarasota homes were built with asphalt shingle roofs. When it came time to replace the roof, the more popular clay tile was often installed without reinforcing the roof. Roof decking, already many decades old, may sag under the added weight of clay tile (or stone). If you are replacing a shingle roof or own a home which had a shingle roof replaced by a heavier material, check the integrity of the roofing structure.
  • Moisture in the Walls: Unfortunately, many people are not aware of a roof leak until they damage is manifesting under the roof. You may see dark stains, wet patches, or even water drops showing up on walls and ceilings, which unfortunately means that the water has already intruded through roofing materials, insulation and dry wall. You may need to check the entire home for moisture and mold, and may need to replace interior materials – even if the roof only has a slight imperfection. Because water will follow a path of least resistance, these leaks can show up in completely different areas of the home. In other words, the leak may not be directly overhead.

The best way to protect your home from damage under the roof is a comprehensive roof inspection. However, getting into the habit of inspecting areas of the attic, framing, insulation, and interior walls will also allow you to arrest problems in their tracks before they become major issues. If you need a professional opinion, call Kingdom Roofing. Don’t wait another day.