4 Warning Signs of a Failing Roof

failing roof

Ceiling stains, loose granules, cracked vent pipes, and damaged shingles are just four warning signs of a failing roof. If any of these problems present themselves, contact a professional, licensed roofing contractor in your area for roof repair or roof replacement. Keep in mind, though: If the roof is nearing its life expectancy – 20 years for asphalt shingles – or the damage is extensive, roof replacement is often your best bet.

Ceiling Stains

Stains on your ceilings or exterior walls are a key symptom of roof leaks. Left unchecked, even the smallest leak can compromise the roof’s integrity and ultimately, your home. Because locating the leak can be difficult – it has usually traveled by the time the stain becomes visible – it is advisable to contact a licensed roofing contractor in your area to assess the damage. The roofer will discuss all available options for repairing the leak with you at time of appointment. Routine roof maintenance is the best way to prevent potential leaks and other warning signs of a failing roof.

Damaged Shingles

Once a year, and especially following any big storms, inspect the roof for obvious signs of damage. Torn, curled, or missing shingles can usually be seen from the ground; use binoculars as needed. Damaged shingles can leave the roof deck or underlayment exposed to the elements and, therefore, should be replaced immediately to prevent the roof failing further. If the roof is relatively new and in sound shape, with only a few damaged shingles, individual shingle replacement may be a viable option. However, if the damage is extensive or the roof older, then roof replacement may be required.

Loose Granules

Granules work to protect asphalt shingles from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Over time, typically as the roof ages, granules will lose their adhesive properties and can be found in shingles and/or on the ground. Excessive granule loss, however, is cause for alarm as the roof can deteriorate at a much faster rate. This often results after prolonged exposure to hail and wind. Material quality, preventative maintenance, and local climate conditions can also influence the number of granules lost. Piles of granules, depending on the cause, may indicate a need for roof repair or replacement.

Cracked Vent Pipes

As part of the home’s plumbing system, vent pipes help to ensure the efficient drainage of fixtures such as sinks, tubs and toilets. These pipes can be all plastic, plastic and metal, or even cast-iron. Plastic pipes are susceptible to cracking, whereas, the seam around metal pipes can break. This can allow water to work its way into the house along its base. It’s a good idea to hire a local roofing contractor to inspect your vent pipes. If any of these issues are present, a new vent pipe is required, and should be professionally installed to avoid potential problems.

What Can Cause Roof Leaks?

roof leaks

Do you have to go running for a drip bucket every time it rains? Roof leaks are often a sign of a larger roofing issue. Issues resulting from natural deterioration; storm damage; clogged gutters; design flaws; ice dams; or lack of long-term care and maintenance. If roof leaks are left unchecked it could mean an investment in both time and money. Here are some of most common causes of roof leaks.

The Roof’s Age

The life expectancy of a roof is dependent on several variables, including roofing materials and the climate you live in, as well as the quality of installation and long-term care and maintenance. Longevity can also be impacted by shingle color, roof slope, and surface orientation. Most experts agree that a typical roof will last between 20 and 25 years. If the roof leaks and is older than this, you may need a new roof.

Clogged Gutters

Your gutters are meant to help water travel away from the roof and foundation. When a blockage forms – as can happen after a storm – that travel stops. Rainwater or snow runoff can then backup, which can cause leaks or attract unwanted pests, and potentially lead to bigger problem.

How to fix it: At least twice a year (during the spring and fall), get up on a ladder, and pull out any debris using your hands. Flush the gutters with water until it runs clear. You can also purchase an extendable gutter cleaning tool kit or hire someone to do this for you.

Design Problems

Occasionally, roofs leak, sag or even collapse due to improper design and/or incompatible roof materials. A standard reroof is usually required to fix design-related problems. This is exactly why you should get three estimates with any home improvement project and be wary of choosing the lowest priced bid. Always hire a licensed and insured roofer.

Ice Dam Build Up

Icicles on your roof may look charming, but remember, looks can be deceiving. Typically, they are the calm before they storm; they are a sign that your roof is forming ice dams. An ice dam is a big, hard hunk of ice that forms when snow melts, runs off your roof and refreezes near the edge of your roof.

This only occurs when you have a problem with ventilation or air sealing – two issues that can also drive up energy costs. The best way to permanently stop ice dams is to have a professional evaluate your home’s attic ventilation, air sealing, and insulation. The ENERGY STAR program recommends that you insulate attic floors to R-49.

Additionally, if your ventilation system isn’t working or isn’t properly designed for the size of your home – a professional roofer should be contacted. Professional roofers can make repairs or install additional soffit vents without too much construction.

Lack of Regular Maintenance

Be honest: How often do your look at your roof? If you’re anything like most homeowners, you run in and out of the house, only glancing up at the roofline as you back out of the driveway or when your kid’s frisbee gets stuck up there. Regularly inspecting your roof, however, can prevent costly repairs down the road.

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends you do a roof inspection at least two times a year – spring and fall. You may also want to inspect your roof after big storms. Grab a flashlight and make a trip to the attic to look for the following signs.

  • Natural light showing through the roof
  • Places where the roof deck is sagging
  • Signs of water damage or leaks
  • Trails of dark spots

Once you’ve inspected the roof’s interior, it’s time to move outdoors to look for damaged flashing; missing or buckling shingles; algae growth; an excessive amount of shingle granules in the gutters; and any other signs of damage. These all require immediate repair by a professional roofer.

Out with the Old and In with the New Roof

 

Year after year, Americans resolve to exercise more often, manage their time better and/or pad their savings accounts. New Year’s resolutions are certainly a great way to make a positive change (or two) in your life!

Another good New Year’s resolution? Vowing to make some home improvements – whether minor or major – in the coming year. One place to start is your roof; especially if any of following conditions apply to your existing roofing system:

  • Moss growth
  • Dark streaks or stains
  • Missing or cracked shingles
  • Bald spots where granules are missing
  • Curled shingle edges or cupped shingle tabs
  • Your roof is at least 20 years old; while many shingles today are produced for durability, certain factors can lead to premature roof failure, including (but not limited to) inadequate ventilation and storm damage.

A new roof, professionally installed in either the fall or spring – barring emergency replacement – can help add curb appeal and will increase the perceived value of your home. This may be especially helpful if you intend to sell your Colorado residence in the foreseeable future. Additionally, return on investment (ROI) is right up there with major remodeling projects. such as renovating a kitchen or bath.

Would you like to receive more information on the different types of roofing materials available and the benefits of each? Contact the experts at Jenesis Roofing and receive a free roofing estimate. You can call us at (303) 789-1505 or find us at www.jenesisroofing.com.

Note: This post has been updated for 2018; the original blog can be found here.

Winter is Coming: Prepare Your Roof Now

 

protect your roof

Winter is one of the toughest seasons – especially for roofs. Protect your roof from snow, ice, and dips in temperature using the following advice.

Inspect Your Roof

Doing a roof inspection on your own is easy. According to GAF, the United States’ largest roofing manufacturer, you should check your roofing system twice per year. In the fall, you’re checking to make sure the roof is ready for the added weight of snow and ice, as well as BIG temperature swings between day and night. Those temperature variations can cause roofing materials to expand and contract, stressing the materials.

There are five key things to look for while doing a roof inspection from the attic:

  1. Water leaks or staining
  2. Outside light coming through
  3. Sagging decking (between rafters)
  4. Proper ventilation – make sure vents are clear
  5. Measure and calculate adequate attic insulation levels

If you don’t have an attic, an outdoor visual inspection is the next best thing. You can do this from the safety of your yard without the risk of going up on a ladder. However, for a more comprehensive roof inspection, consult with a professional roofer.

Clean Your Gutters

Your gutters are an integral part of your roofing system. Made up of a series of interconnected troughs, they help channel water away from the house, but only if properly maintained. A clogged gutter, on the other hand, can result in backed up/stagnant water that can cause water damage and/or attract unwanted pests. If you haven’t already, you should clean your gutters before fall transitions to winter.

Prevent Ice Dams

Ice dams form as heat rises from a home, causing accumulated snow to melt, which travels down the roof until it reaches the eave line and gutters where it refreezes due to colder temps. Ice dams have destructive effects, including drenched insulation, rotting joists, the formation of mold, and collapsed rain gutters.

Proper insulation and ventilation of the attic space helps to keep heat from reaching the roof, thus preventing snow melt in the first place. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, adding insulation to an unheated attic will have the greatest impact on energy consumption, saving you money on heating and cooling bills.

Replace Your Roof

While built for durability, the life expectancy of your roof depends on several additional factors, including design, installation quality and the material used to cover it. Local weather can also influence lifespan – and potentially cause premature roof failure. Lack of long-term care and maintenance or if your roof is not properly ventilated can accelerate the aging of most materials.

Potential signs that you roof needs to be replaced:

  • Moss
  • Dark streaks
  • Cracked shingles
  • Curling or cupping shingle edges
  • Bald spots where granules are missing
  • Your neighbors are having new roofs installed
  • Your roof is more than 20 years old – few roofs last longer than this

We want to hear from you. What are some ways you prepare for winter?

Roof Replacement Tips

roof replacement

Like having a warm, cozy, leak-free home?

Then a solid roof over your head is mandatory. After all, it protects your biggest investment – your home. If roof replacement is in your future, here are some tips to help you make the best, most informed decision.

Take the time to learn about different materials. Your material options include asphalt shingles, clay and concrete tiles, metal, slate, wood shingles and shake, as well as synthetic roofing products. Each material has its share of pros and cons. For example, clay and concrete tiles will last 40 to 50 years, versus asphalt shingles 20 to 25 years. It’s important to discuss these options with your roofing contractor.

Check weather ratings. There are a lot of terms that can be used to describe Colorado but “boring” certainly isn’t one of them. From major snowstorms and blizzards, to tornadoes and scoring Summers, Colorado’s weather can go to the extreme. That is why it’s important to check wind and weather related ratings when choosing a material since not all materials are created equal.

Choose a style that will complement your home. As previously mentioned, an asphalt roof can last between 20 and 25 years (and other materials like metal can last 50 or more years), so it’s important to pick one that maximizes your curb appeal. You will also want to make sure the material, color, and style is acceptable with your HOA (if applicable).

Strip away the old. Laying new shingles over old shingles is almost always a bad idea. Not only does this reduce the life of the new shingle, but it also adds extra weight to the roof decking, permits leaks and ice damming, and may void the manufacturers warranty. Only after a tear-off can the roof be properly inspected for rot, mold, and other damage.

Go top shelf. For added peace-of-mind, buy high-quality products, with the longest available warranty. You’ll also want to opt for galvanized sheet metal or copper flashing over aluminum for durability. Remember: Flashing protects your home from leaks by sealing the joints where two roof panels or a wall meets.

Ask questions. Before hiring a roofing company, it is vital that you ask certain questions about their location, insurance/bonding, and licensing. Equally important, ask for credentials, reviews and references. This will provide you with a good ideas of the work you can expect.

In Need of Roof Replacement?

At Jenesis Roofing Inc., we provide a variety of services to Colorado residents, including roof repairs, roof replacement, new roof installation, and preventative maintenance. Contact us to learn more at (303) 789-1505. We provide free estimates! Also, for a limited time only, free solar powered roof mounted attic vents with full roof replacement.

The 7 Most Common Roof Problems

common roof problems

Depending on material, a roof can last thirty years or more, but that is not to say it cannot be damaged or fail prematurely. Falling debris, high winds, ice dams…these are just of the problems that can cause you to need roof repair or replacement. Structural issues with roof vents, flashing, and the chimney can also cause damage. Here are the seven most common roof problems you should watch for.

Common Roof Problems

Trees – Overhanging tree limbs can rub on a roof, abrading the surface of the shingles and wearing away the protective top layer. Branches can also break off, fall on your roof, and cause even more serious damage. Limbs should be trimmed back away from the roof as much as possible to avoid damage caused by trees.

Ice Dams – Formed when melted snow refreezes on your roof, ice dams are not only structurally damaging, they can also present a dangerous situation should they fall. Ice dams can also cause your roof’s underlayment to become wet, leading to bacterial growth, such as mold or mildew.

High Winds – Regardless of material, shingles are susceptible to high winds, which can cause them to lift, damaging the integrity of your roofing system. Lighter shingles, like asphalt and composition are more prone to lifting up, while tile shingles are less likely to be affected by bad weather.

Bad Ventilation – Ventilation is an integral part of making a roof last, and is something that occurs naturally when vents are placed at the roof’s base and top, so that the flow of air is not impeded. Adequate ventilation regulates temperature and moisture levels in the attic as well as helps to prevent the occurrence of ice dams. Inadequate ventilation, on the other hand, can lead to a host of problems including: damage, high energy costs, and bacterial growth.

Structural Issues – Faulty installation at the start, excessive weight from snow and ice, and years of neglect can all dramatically increase the likelihood of structural issues, significantly reducing a roofing system’s life expectancy. If your roof has structural problems, there will be telling signs all throughout the house.

Backed Up Gutters – Failure to clean your gutters can prevent rainwater from running off efficiently. With nowhere to go, water can pool up, pressing moisture into the plywood that forms the roof’s foundation causing a number of problems such as roof leaks, bacterial growth, and rotting. It doesn’t take much to avoid this damage. Clean out debris twice per year and test the gutters to ensure proper drainage.

Lack of Maintenance – It should go without saying that maintaining a sound roof is crucial. Routinely inspecting and maintaining your roofing system can extend its life, saving you the cost of a complete roof replacement – although replacement should be considered if your roof is older than 20 years, or it’s no longer structurally sound.

Professional Roof Repair

Addressing problems early on can save you money. This is because most problems start off small. However, problems left unchecked, can quickly lead to bigger issues. For professional roof inspection and maintenance, repair or replacement, contact the experts at Jenesis Roofing at (303) 789-1505.

Preventing Ice Dams this Winter

ice dams

With plenty of snow, and a freeze-thaw cycle of sunny days and frigid nights, ice dams are not a foreign sight for Denver area residents. They are, however, an unwelcome sight! Unfortunately, these giant icicles hanging from the eaves are quite dangerous to people walking underneath, as well as a sign of serious problems to come with your roof and/or attic. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to prevent the formation of ice dams, or to reduce the damage after they have formed.

What causes ice dams?

For ice dams to form there must be snow on the roof, the outside temperature must be below freezing, and, at the same time, higher portions of the roof’s outside surface must be above freezing while lower surfaces remain below freezing. Under these conditions, the snow on the higher portion of your roof will melt, causing water to flow down to the eaves where it refreezes forming an ice dam. The dam grows in size as it is fed by the melting snow above it.

What damages can occur?

When an ice dam gets big enough, melted water backs up behind it and seeps underneath the shingles, where it will eventually drip into your home’s attic insulation and down into the ceilings and exterior walls beneath the eaves. If the ice dam breaks free, it can pull shingles and gutters off it, damaging anything it falls into or on: cars, pets, people, windowsills, etc. If the roof sheathing remains wet in this environment, mildew and/or mold can grow, which can later cause rot.

How can I prevent ice dams?

Preventing ice dams begins at the top – your roof. The roof should have adequate pitch with minimal valleys to prevent heavy snow buildup. If considering a new roof, metal roofing materials, or cool roofing materials are your safest bet for preventing ice dams. Venting is also important as this allows a constant flow of cold air therefore preventing the snow from melting and causing problems. For more information on preventing ice dams, contact your local roofing companies Denver contractor at: (303) 789-1505.

Home Maintenance: Prepare Your Home for Fall

home maintenance

Fall is one of my favorite times of year (second after winter!). There are so many wonderful things that come with the changing of the seasons: leaves changing color, pumpkin spice everything, and crisp fall air. As we say goodbye, sweet summer, it’s wise to start preparing our homes for the season ahead. Here are a few home maintenance projects you can complete in preparation of the fall season.

#1. Clean Your Gutters: It is a good idea to remove leaves, sticks, and other small objects from your gutters once in the fall and again in the spring. Cleaning out debris-ridden gutters eliminates the risk of overflow and water damage. If your gutters are clogged, it can cause water to accumulate in areas of your roof, leading to an increased risk of decay, moisture and leaks. You can have your gutters professionally serviced or clean them yourself.

#2. Seal Air Leaks: Caulking or weatherstripping will help seal leaks around leaky doors and windows – helping you stay warm, save energy, and reduce heat loss. Other sources of air leaks include knee walls, attic hatch/opening, wiring holes, plumbing vents, and recessed lights. The Department of Energy has some useful tips on how to select and apply the appropriate caulk for your windows and doors. You can also learn how to choose and apply weatherstipping.

#3. Do a Roof Check: The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends a biannual roof inspection. An asphalt shingled roof has a lifespan of up to 20 years, whereas, a slate roof can last 50 years or more. While you can replace roof shingles without going through the hassle and expense of replacing the entire roof, it is important to take the time to really look for signs of deterioration, damage, and missing/loose shingles. If you’re unsure, hire an expert.

#4. Spring for a Chimney Sweep: If you have a wood-burning fireplace that you plan on using come winter, fall is the perfect time to make sure its chimney is inspected and cleaned. A clean chimney will also ensure that your fireplace is operating at its most efficient. Hire a professional chimney cleaning company, typically called a chimney sweep, for a clean and efficient fireplace. You can find certified chimney sweepers at the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

#5. Install a Programmable Thermostat: Installing a programmable thermostat can reduce your energy usage by automatically adjusting your home’s temperature settings while you’re away or sleeping. When used properly, a programmable thermostat can save up to $180 per year in energy costs, according to ENERGY STAR®. WiFi and smartphone controlled models, while more expensive, generally tend to pay for themselves in just one season.

#6. Ensure Your and Your Family’s Safety: As fall turns to winter, you will want to be diligent, making sure you and your family remain safe. Before winter hits, replace the batteries in your home’s smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide detectors. Test each one to make that they are working properly. Now is also a good time to draft or review a fire safety plan with your family. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a good resource for information on fire safety/escape plans.

Extend Roof Life with These Tips

extend roof life

A new roof is no small investment – $20,142 on average for fiberglass asphalt shingles, according to Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report, now in its fourteenth year. That is not to say, however, that it is without its rewards. A new roof can net you a return on investment of $14,446 or 71.7%.

If replacement is your ultimate goal, you may want to consider installing either a metal roof or tile roof, as they can last twice as long. Preventative maintenance measures, such as those that follow, will extend roof life and keep you from having to replace it prematurely. Here’s what you need to do to extend roof life.

Catch Problems Early

One of the best preventative maintenance measures you can do to extend roof life luckily costs no money at all. You should routinely look for any obvious signs of damage – especially after every big wind, rain, hail or snow storm. Here’s what you should train yourself to look for:

  • Moss growth
  • Torn, cracked, or missing shingles
  • Detached gutters and downspouts
  • Damaged flashing around vents, chimneys, skylights, and other openings

Clean the Gutters

A gutter clogged with leaves, sticks, and other debris can cause the roof’s raters or sheathing to rot. Fixing that type of damage can be costly, but you can avoid it by thoroughly cleaning your gutters each fall and spring, or as needed. You can either hire someone to clean your gutters or do it yourself.

Trim Overhanging Branches

Trimming any trees in close proximity to your home goes a long way towards keeping leaves off your roof, and out of your gutters, as well as keeping your roof free from damage. Overhanging branches can cause abrasion, which can later lead to damaged shingles, especially in high winds. Branches should be kept 10 feet away from your roof.

Have the Roof Professionally Inspected

Homeowners should have their roof professionally inspected annually. Why? Even the most durable roof can have some weaknesses or become damaged due to extreme weather conditions, such as, wind, rain, snow and hail. A professional can provide you with an accurate assessment on the roof’s condition. They will:

  • Perform a thorough interior roof inspection.
  • Perform a thorough exterior roof inspection.
  • Create a course of action, if any repairs are required.
  • Provide a written detailed estimate with recommended solutions.

Roofing 101

roofing 101

When replacing an old roof or building a home from scratch, it is important to understand the roofing jargon that to you may simply sound like something from a 007, or science fiction movie. In Roofing 101 we explain the basics of roofing shapes, materials, and vocabulary so that you can make the most informed decision when diving into any roofing project: whether repair or new roofing.

Roofing 101: Shapes

  • Gable
  • Hip
  • Mansard
  • Gambrel
  • Shed

Roofing 101: Materials

Asphalt Shingles: With more than 75% of all homes being built with asphalt shingles, these shingles are the most commonly used material in the United States. And for good reason, considering they are the least expensive option, and provide for the easiest installation.  Although their lifespan isn’t the best, they should last 15 to 30 years. Asphalt shingles are available in two types: organic and fiberglass.

Tile Roofs: Concrete and clay tiles are manufactured in a vast variety of colors, to compliment most any Mediterranean, European, Mission, and contemporary or ranch-style home. Tile roofs have the longest life expectancy of any other roofing material. Centuries old tile roofs are still enduring today. Tile roofs are built to withstand most anything Mother Nature throws at them and are Class A fire resistant.

Metal Roofs: Metal roofs can be manufactured using a variety of materials, including copper, aluminum and stainless steel. They are commonly seen on bungalow, ranch, contemporary, and cottage style homes. Highly durable, and resistant to adverse weather, metal roofs are expected to last 50 years or more. Metal roofs are also endlessly recyclable; making them a viable choice for eco-friendly homeowners.

Roofing 101: Vocabulary

Coverage: The degree of weather protection offered by a roofing material: single, double or triple coverage.

Cricket: A built-up barrier to divert runoff around a chimney or at a transitional area.

Decking/Sheathing: The surface, usually plywood or oriented strand board (OSB), to which roofing materials are applied.

Dormer: A small structure projecting from a sloped roof, usually with a window.

Drip Edge: L-shaped pieces of metal installed around the perimeter of a house to help prevent water from dripping behind the fascia boards or cap.

Eaves: Parts of a roof that project beyond or overhang the face at the lower edge of a sloped roof.

Exposure: Specifically, exposure to weather: the distance from the butt edge of one shingle to another.

Fascia: A flat board, band or face located at a cornice’s outer edge.

Fasteners: What holds the roofing material on top of the house (nails or screws).

Felt/Underlayment: A sheet of asphalt-saturated materials (often called tar paper) used as a secondary layer of protection for the roof deck.

Fire Rating: System for classifying the fire resistances of various materials. Roofing materials are rated Class A, B or C. Class A materials, such as tile, have the highest resistance to fire originating outside the structure.

Flashing: Usually metal, this material is installed to prevent the infiltration of water into a transition, such as around chimneys and pipes.

Louvers: Slatted devices installed in a gable or soffit (the underside of eaves) to ventilate the space below a roof deck and equalize air temperature and moisture. OSB: roof deck panels (4 feet by 8 feet) made of narrow bits of wood, installed lengthwise and crosswise in layers, and held together with a resin glue.

Peak: The very top area of the roof, usually covered with a ridge vet or ridge cap.

Penetrations: Objects that penetrate the roof’s deck, such as vents, pipes and chimneys.

Rake: The inclined edge of a pitched roof over an end wall.

Ridge Vent: A vent that runs the entire length of the roof, allowing air to escape.

Square: The amount of roofing material required to cover 10 square feet of roof surface.

Soffits: The finished underside of a sloped roof.

Transitions: Areas of the roof where the pitch/slope or angle changes.

Valley: An internal angle or water runway formed by the intersection of two slopes in a roof.

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