To catch roof damage early, homeowners need to be especially observant and aware of what's happening to their home. An obvious leak is usually a sign that the roof has been unraveling for months (possibly even years) without anyone even noticing. It all starts with understanding the many components of the roof (shingles, flashing, joints, etc.), and how they work together to protect the home. The good news is that making the effort could save a homeowner thousands of dollars worth of repairs.
Checking for Damage
If the homeowner is brave enough, getting on a ladder to check the joints and shingles can give clues as to the condition of the covering. The flashing is the material directly covering the joints of the roof, and any tears in it will allow water to start seeping into the top of the home. If the shingles are starting to noticeably curl, this is also a sign that they may not last much longer. One common problem is that most water damage initially begins in an area that isn't visited very often—either the attic or the crawlspace. If checking for roof damage on the interior of the home, owners should look for stains on the wallpaper or peeling paint. In some cases, it may be best to contract a proper inspector to check for damage.
Inspecting for Insects
Another way homeowners can tell if there's roof damage to their home is if they're hearing noises above them or there are unexplained insects inside the home. The soffit in a roof is what's found underneath the rafters or eaves of the home, and holes in it will attract insects (or even birds.) The soffit is made from durable material, such as cement or steel, but it will eventually wear away. Damaged soffit is generally a sign that the ventilation of the roof is not up to par. A lack of air circulation can cause water or snow to become trapped in the vents or the soffit where it will begin to rot away at the core of the roof. It may even catch stray embers from a late-summer bonfire and cause the roof to catch flame.
Up In the Gutter
Cleaning the gutters often is an excellent way to prevent roof damage by reducing the drag on the roof. If the gutter starts to detach from the home after it's been weight down with muck, it can put unnecessary pressure on the rest of the roof. But maintaining gutters can do more than just protect a home, it can actually protect the people around the home as well. If the drainage of the roof is clogged with leaves or dirt or the ventilation is subpar, gutters may form an ice dam that leads to hazardous icicles.
Making the Fix
It's a relatively quick and easy fix to break out the caulk or the cement if there are any holes or openings in the roof, and it's a tempting option for homeowners who don't want to call a professional contractor to do it or to re-shingle the roof on their own. However, even the most unbiased of experts will strongly recommend against this for the majority of homeowners in The Mesas of Summerlin. The cost of properly fixing the damage with the help of a professional will almost always be less than a rushed patch-up job in the long-term. There are plenty of DIY resources for the handy homeowner when it comes to roof repair, but most simply don't have the time needed to safely master the skills.
Debbie Drummond is a Full Time Realtor with over ten years experience in the Las Vegas Real Estate Market. She and her team of Real Estate Pros offer the highest level of service. If you’re buying or selling a Las Vegas home, call (702)354-6900 or email Debbie@LVHomePro.com. They’ll be happy to assist you in your move.