Roof repair is a major home improvement project, but it doesn’t have to be professional. The average homeowner can easily handle minor leaks, broken shingles, and other damage with a few simple tools and supplies. Start by finding the source of a leak. Look for stains on ceilings and follow the water trail to its source. But if you want better results, don’t hesitate to call professional Roofing Contractors West Chester PA.
Shingles are the outer layer of your roof that protects the underlying structural components from weather and debris. A visual inspection with a ladder will reveal the condition of your shingles, including areas where they are missing or askew. Missing shingles, especially around chimneys or vents, can cause water to leak into the home; but this is usually an easy repair. Missing shingles are often due to the shingle’s sealant breaking, but a lack of attic ventilation or excessive heat can also cause them.
Shingle deterioration can also be caused by mold, mildew and moss. A visual inspection will identify these issues, and the homeowner can take steps to remove or prevent their growth. If the shingles are cracked or curled, a roof replacement may be needed, but this can be done in small sections.
You can replace shingles in small areas of your roof, but this requires precision and should only be attempted by a savvy DIY homeowner or a professional. It is crucial to match the new shingles in style, color and material to the existing ones for a consistent appearance.
Inspect a shingle’s edge for a line of dark asphalt sealant, which is used to secure the shingle in place and should be broken by sliding a flat pry bar carefully under it. This is best done in cool weather, when the sealant is softer. Once the shingle is freed, it can be removed and its nails can be re-nailed to the overlying shingles.
Occasionally, you might find a shingle that has been blown away by a wind storm. In this case, you can easily re-attach it by spreading a thin bead of roof cement (available at any home improvement store) along the glue strip and firmly pressing the new shingle in place. If you notice any exposed nail heads, cover them with additional roof sealant. It is a good idea to regularly clear cobwebs from soffits and roof vents, recaulk any areas where the caulking gas has failed or shrunk, and inspect flashing for rust. Keeping up with these simple tasks will prolong the life of your roofing system and help keep your home safe and dry.
Flashing is a thin sheet of impervious material (usually metal) installed at junctures in a roof assembly, usually around chimneys, vent pipes, walls that abut the roof, and window and door openings. It decreases water penetration into a structure, which helps prevent mold and wood rot. It is also a crucial element in the construction of a weather resistant envelope.
It is typically made from a material like copper, galvanized steel, lead, or aluminum, and rolled into sheets. During installation, it is embedded under the shingles at critical points in the roof assembly, such as in valleys and at corners. There are different types of flashing, depending on how it is used and where it is located. For example, base flashing consists of two pieces of metal that are designed to move over each other as the roof expands and contracts. It is often found near chimneys and skylights. Other types of flashing include step flashing, which is typically used at intersections of roof planes and slopes, gutter apron flashing, and sill flashing, which is often found at the bottom of wall openings, such as windows or doors.
While roof flashing is tough, it does show wear and tear over time, especially in coastal neighborhoods, due to the salt in the air. It can also be damaged by snow and ice, wind, acid rain, severe heat, and heavy rainfall. These conditions can degrade the flashing, and it is essential that a qualified roofer inspects it on a regular basis.
A common source of leaks is from holes in the flashing, often caused by corrosion or rust. If the damage is small, a roofing contractor can use roofing cement to fill the hole. For larger holes, it may be necessary to replace the flashing entirely. It is usually recommended that flashing be replaced at the same time as a new roof, since it helps prevent leaks and other problems.
A professional roofer will be able to determine whether a flashing can be salvaged, or if it needs to be replaced. It is important to have your flashing inspected regularly, in order to catch any problems early, before they turn into leaks and other costly issues.
Gutter systems help keep your house and landscape safe from water damage. Rainwater falling directly from the roof can make your lawn and garden muddy, discolor your siding and rot your fascia boards. When gutters function well, they prevent rain from spilling over the sides of the gutters and pooling around the foundation of your house. Gutters also help to prevent ground saturation that can erode soil and weaken foundations.
If a section of the gutter is missing, or if it’s loose and sagging, you can repair it by adding gutter hangers. These are metal brackets that attach to the face of the gutter and through the gutter apron or downspout lip to hold it securely to the wall. You can buy gutter hangers at most home centers. The best ones are those with the screw heads built into the bracket (shown here). They cost a little more but are much easier to install than regular spike-type hangers.
Inspect the gutters for clogs and holes, and patch them as needed. Clogged gutters cause water to pour behind the gutters, which can leak into your roof and soffit. This can rot the fascia and soffit boards, causing expensive damage.
Leaks in gutters often start at rusty spots or open seams. Clean the area and scrub off any rust, then wire-brush it to remove dirt and loosen any remaining tar or caulk. If the gutter is rusted through, you can replace it with galvanized steel or aluminum gutters. If the damaged gutter is aluminum, you can re-seal leaky seams with a special gutter caulking compound. If you’re replacing a section of gutter, get the same type. It should match the existing color.
The bottom of a downspout can also corrode, or you may discover a hole in it. Replace the downspout or connect a gutter diverter to direct the flow of water away from your foundation.
Without gutters, squirrels can chew through the fascia boards and soffit and enter your attic. Installing a system of gutters can keep squirrels, mice and birds from damaging your home.
The soffit is an integral part of the roof structure that keeps water and pests out. It helps wick moisture away from the house, and prevents damage to the siding, windows, doors, and concrete. It also protects the fascia from rot, and provides ventilation to the attic space. It’s important to keep the soffit in good condition to avoid costly repairs.
If you notice that your soffit is missing, it’s time for a repair. Holes may be caused by rot, animals or bad weather. You should always have a professional check it out before it gets any worse. A soffit can also become cracked or curled, which is another sign that it needs repair.
A soffit can be made from wood, vinyl or aluminum. You should choose a material that is durable and can withstand your climate. Wood soffits are a great choice, but over time they can rot and require regular maintenance. You can also use a plastic composite soffit or James Hardie fiber cement soffits. These are easier to install and are more durable than a wood soffit.
Fascia and soffit are two critical components of the roof system, working together to support shingles, gutters and keep water out. They help prevent ice dams in winter, and release heat from the attic during summer. In addition, they keep pests like mice and squirrels out of the attic, and bees and wasps out of your home.
You should also pay attention to the condition of your fascia and soffit boards when you’re inspecting your roof for leaks or other problems. If they’re damaged, you should call a roofer to perform a thorough inspection.
If you’re able to repair your soffit, you should be able to do so with a few tools. A reciprocating saw will allow you to remove any rotten rafter tails and a tape measure will ensure that the replacement rafters are cut to exact measurements. You’ll also need clamps to secure the soffit panel in place, as well as galvanized nails and a drill.
If you’re replacing the soffit or fascia, make sure that you hire a professional roofer to ensure that it is done properly. They will be able to determine the best material for your needs and give you an accurate quote. They will also be able to inspect the rest of the roof to see if there are any other areas that need repair or replacement.