Owning a home comes with a lot of benefits. That said, it also has a downside – your repairs are your responsibility. In this post, we’ll be discussing common problems to the roof, siding, and rain gutters that typically require repairs, either from yourself or a professional home exterior company.
One of the most difficult aspects of roof damage is that it’s often hard to access your roof to look for it in the first place. This is especially true for people who live in colder northern climates, in which roof damage occurs more often, and accessing the roof is also made more difficult given the harsh conditions.
However, foregoing roof inspection can have disastrous long-term effects. Catching damage early on makes repairs easier and less costly. What’s more, roof damage is rarely just about roof damage – problems often make their way from the roof directly into the home’s internal structures, including the insulation. Water damage is not only incredibly expensive, but dangerous as well, as mold growth can take a serious toll your health.
What’s more, roof damage can increase your energy bills substantially. This is because your home is simply not as insulated as it otherwise could be, making it hotter during the summer and colder during the winter. Rather than cranking up your HVAC systems, address the root cause of the problem by having your roof repaired.
Let’s look at some of the main causes of roof damage
- Ice – This usually begins with snow, which accumulates on the roof only to melt later on under the bright winter sun. Later on, when the sun goes down and temperature decreases, the melted snow then refreezes after it’s made its way under the flashing, shingles, and various areas of the roof that are already weakened or damaged. Then it melts again, and later refreezes. This constant melting-freezing process results in an expansion and contraction of the various roof and siding materials, creating weakness and damage.
- Wind – Many areas see strong wind spells lasting days or even weeks at a time. Strong winds will rip up shingles, damage roofing materials, loosen nails, and generally wreck havoc on your home. This also makes everything less able to resist the ice damage that was discussed above.
- Miscellaneous Weather Damage – This can be damage caused by constant exposure to UV light, which can be hard on shingles, especially asphalt shingles.
- Sub Par Installation – Many roofs end up undergoing damage for the simple fact that they weren’t properly installed in the first place. Be sure to hire quality roofers and have them communicate everything they are going to do for you at the time of the installation process, learn as much as you can about proper roof installation, and even supervise your workers throughout the process.
Be sure to access your roof and look for damage on a regular basis. Keep an eye out for:
- High and low points
- General wear and tear
The siding of your home is the material that separates the interior drywall and insulation from the world beyond it. All of the materials that go into siding – nails, caulk, boards, paint – will eventually get worn down by the elements.
As with roof damage, a little bit of siding damage can create long term problems. You’d be surprised just how many people think they have a minor issue with their siding, only to be shocked by the extent of the damage once their old siding has been ripped away for replacement.
All of the same problems that result from roof damage apply here:
- Poor insulation
- Increased energy bills
- Water damage
Here are signs to watch out for when inspecting your home’s siding for damage:
Look for grey or dark green streaks on your home’s exterior walls. This is often a sign that water is beginning to enter underneath the siding and causing damage to the various interior structures of your home, including the drywall and siding.
Degradation in the Caulk
Homes are typically caulked in various areas including all joints and vertical seams. Caulk is a durable product, however, it will eventually begin to shrink, degrade, and wear away. Make sure the caulk on your home’s exterior is consistent.
Degradation in Seams
Over time, the seams of your house are likely to begin shifting. This is typically the result of ground settling, and can cause major damage to the siding of your home. If you notice uneven boards, cracks, and openings between the exterior walls of your home, that’s a good sign that your siding might be damaged.
This is the result of water accumulating between the siding of your home and its interior walls. The major problem with mold is that it often isn’t noticed until it’s too late. It typically manifests as a musty odour, but also as various physical symptoms. Look out for the following symptoms:
- Watery eyes
- Runny nose
Keep an eye out for the following:
- Sagging gutters – This is a sign that they are filled with water and being pulled down by the weight. This indicates a clog somewhere.
- Water stains underneath the gutters – This can also indicate a clog, as water is overflowing from the gutters. It could also indicate a leak somewhere.
- Cracks – Even small cracks can result in major problems very quickly, leading to water damage to the houses foundation, the shingles, and the fascia boards.
- Orange flecks surrounding your gutters – This indicates the beginning of rust damage, which means water is simply not flowing as it should.
- Water and mold around the home’s foundation – The reason gutters were developed in the first place was to direct water down and away from your house. If you are seeing large amounts of water or mold at your house’s foundation, it means your gutters aren’t doing their job.
Consider Hiring a Professional Company for Home Repair
Many people are too busy to make effective repairs on their home’s themselves. Many people also simply lack the skills or experience to do so. When in doubt, it’s often a better idea to contact a repair company, as it will save you plenty of time and energy, and in the long run, will likely save you money as well. Roofing contractors (who also often provide siding and gutter repair as well) typically have the experience and skills to make long-lasting repairs on your house. This is also a safer decision on your part – after all, they know what they’re doing more than the layman, it’s their job.