The roofs on residential homes may seem like simple structures; in actuality, they can be quite complex. The more complicated the home design, the greater the possibility for problems that require repairs from a roofing contractor. So how can owners ensure they have a trouble-free housetop? Consider the tips below about what roofs should include and what they should avoid to ensure ones that are sound and functional.
What Makes A Great Roof?
There are many different roofs that a contractor can install depending on home design, available material, local climate and many other variables. Regardless of these differences, they all require the same basic elements to ensure they are strong and weatherproof:
- Simple Design - The more simple the architectural design, the lower the chance of experiencing problems. Gable roofs and other simple, sloping designs provide the most reliable protection with the least amount of problems, as they are constructed to be strong and quickly shed water and snow.
- Good Attic Ventilation - Air movement is essential to control a home's interior climate and keep roof material in great condition. Inadequate ventilation can cause problems like ice damming, lifting and curling shingles, and the leaks associated with both. To avoid this damage and the expensive repairs required, have a contractor make sure there is enough ventilation to keep the roof in great shape.
- Properly Installed Vents and Flashing - Flashing is an essential item for all roofs to prevent leaks around vents, exhaust pipes, and any other protrusions. The flashing around these areas is also the most likely place for damaging leaks to start. Flashing must be checked frequently and well maintained to prevent water damage.
- Quality Materials - When it comes to adequate roofing, the higher the quality of the materials used, the better the strength and durability of the roof. Inferior materials fail long before their higher-quality competitors. Although work done by a contractor can be very expensive, settling for inferior materials could end up costing homeowners much more in the long run.
What Can A Roof Do Without?
A strong, durable roof that includes the essentials referenced above is the first step in having a trouble-free roof. The second step is to avoid things that invite problem, and increase the need for repairs from a contractor, such as the following:
- Valleys - Valleys are areas where different roofing angles meet in a corner and are a popular and attractive design element for many types of architecture. They are also prime areas where leaks develop since it is harder to seal off the angles. The chance of leaks and structural damage can be reduced by avoiding valleys in the design.
- Dormers, Skylights and Other Protrusions - Like the problem with valleys, roofs with dormers, skylights and anything else that passes through or attaches to the surface increases the possibility of leaks. Some protrusions, such as attic and plumbing vents, may be unavoidable. The possibility that leaks will form over time can be reduced by having these items installed as close to the ridge as possible.
- Low Pitch - The longer that water and snow remains on a roof, the higher the possibility for leaks. Low-sloping and flat-style house coverings are especially susceptible to leaks. Reduce this problem with a simple design that has an adequate pitch to promote water run-off.
In consideration of these important issues, homeowners should discuss any problems regarding their roofs with an experienced contractor. By including the essential elements listed above and avoiding those that are known to cause problems, homeowners can expect to have a trouble-free roof with a long service life!