Common Roof Problems and Problem Areas

6 years 4 months 1 week 2 days ago

Your roof stands sentry over your home both night and day, taking a beating from sun, wind, and weather. Over time, it’s natural that your roof becomes susceptible to certain problems, especially in known “trouble spots” such as dips, valleys, and overhangs. Regular maintenance and roofing inspections can help you spot trouble early and stay on top of natural wear and tear to prolong the lifetime of your roof and prevent troublesome leaks and other issues that could affect your roof, your attic, and your home.


Leaks are one of the most common roofing problems but may arise from a variety of different causes. In many cases, leaks form because shingles or tiles have suffered damage or fallen off, leaving a portion of your roof exposed to water. Leaks can also form when standing water collects on flat or shallowly-pitched areas of your roof, causing deterioration that leads to the destruction of your roofing materials. Thus, the areas of your roof that are most prone to leaking are those that receive the most sun and wind, as well as the flat areas and joints where water is more likely to accumulate and have difficulty running off into your gutter system.

Missing Shingles or Flashing

Over time, the materials that affix shingles, tiles, and flashing to your roof can deteriorate or sustain damage. This leads to missing shingles or flashing that leaves your roof vulnerable to wind, weather, and even pests looking for a way into your home. Flashing is found primarily in areas where your roof meets a vertical plane of your homes, such as walls formed by second stories and chimneys. Damaged or missing flashing in these areas often leads to leaks, as water runs down the vertical surfaces and directly beneath your roof. Missing shingles can occur anywhere on your roof, but are more likely to occur on the windward side of your home or on the side that receives the most sunlight, as UV radiation can break down some roofing materials over time.

Fascia or Soffit Damage

The soffits and fascias are the portions of your roof located at the very edge of the roof; a soffit covers the underside of your roof’s overhangs, while the fascias are the protective pieces that run behind your gutter. Damage to the soffits is often due to animals, insects, or weather, as the areas under your roof’s overhangs are popular spaces for nesting. Fascia damage is most often due to clogged and poorly-maintained gutters, which will begin to pull away from your home under the weight of water and debris, taking your fascias with them. Excessive moisture can also cause wooden fascias or soffits to rot, so check any damp areas during gutter maintenance and contact a roofer for repairs if you notice holes or crumbling wood.

Your roofing contractor in Alexandria is here to offer the professional help you need to maintain your roof, skylight, gutters, and more. We invite you to explore our website, where you’ll find a full list of our roofing services, including roof repair, roof replacement, and gutter maintenance. If you’d like to find out more about home roofing and troubleshooting issues you may encounter with your roof, click on over to our blog.

Common Roof Problems and Problem Areas

Selecting, Installing, and Maintaining Your Tile Roof

6 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago

Tile roofing adds beauty and personality to your home, imbuing it with a timeless, Old World feel. Many tile roofs are warrantied to last 50 years or more, making a tile roof not only a cost-effective investment, but an eco-friendly roofing choice as well. If you are considering installing a tile roof on your Fairfax home, contact your roofing contractor to find out more details about your options.

Tile Options

There are a variety of tile products available for use in residential roofing. Most tiles are well-suited for all types of climates, including those that experience cold winters. There are three major types of roofing tiles: clay, slate, and concrete. Clay tiles are created by firing clay in a kiln; these tiles can be quite heavy and brittle, but are extremely fire resistant and will likely outlast many of the other materials in your home. Clay tiles can be used on roofs with a moderate to steep pitch. Slate tiles are cut from natural rock, offering a slightly varied appearance. These tiles are also heavy, but offer great resistance to weather and fire. Slate tiles are best suited for steeply-sloped roofs. Concrete tiles are ideal for moderate- and steeply-sloped roofs; they can be manufactured to look like other types of tiles or even other roofing materials, such as wood shake shingles. These tiles offer excellent fire resistance, but can be vulnerable to wind.

Tile Installation

Because tile roofing is heavier than other roofing materials, a home not originally designed to support a tile roof may require structural enhancement before tiles can be installed. During your initial roofing consultation, your roofing contractor will evaluate your home and determine whether it can support the weight of your new roof unaided. If your roof will need additional support, keep in mind that this will add to the overall cost of installation—however, tile roofing can also add resale value to your home, offsetting the price of your roof over its lifetime.

Tile Maintenance

Although your tile roof is extremely durable, it will still require regular maintenance and upkeep to look and perform its best. Cut back large trees so they don’t hang over your roof, as debris from branches can become caught between your tiles, prompting water retention. Although mold will not grow on tiles, it can take root between them and spread to other sections of your roof. Pressure washing your roof once a year, either on your own or by hiring a professional, is the best way to keep debris to a minimum and prevent mold growth. If you spot broken tiles, contact your roofer to have them repaired—don’t try repairing or replacing tiles on your own, as you could damage adjacent tiles by walking on them without proper training. You should also keep an eye on the metal flashing around your chimney and eaves—this metal flashing helps to protect your roof from moisture, and should be repaired by your roofer if it appears damaged, detached, or missing. Finally, make sure to schedule a yearly roofing inspection to have a professional evaluate your roof. Some issues can be difficult to see from the ground, but are always easier to address when they are small, rather than after significant damage has been allowed to accumulate.

Whether you’d like to install a tile, wood, metal, or asphalt roof in Fairfax, our roofing contractors can help you with this process from start to finish. Take a look through our website for more information about the roofing products and services we offer, or contact us online to request an estimate.

Selecting, Installing, and Maintaining Your Tile Roof

Taking a Closer Look at Residential Flat Roofing

6 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days ago

Although you may associate flat roofing with square, stocky commercial buildings, flat roofs are also a popular design for many residential homes as well. Even if your home’s roof is largely sloped, it may have sections of flat roofing as well. There are a number of different materials available for use in flat roofing, offering many options in terms of looks and longevity. Caring for your flat roof may require some extra steps to prevent leaks and offset the effects of wind and weather, but with the right maintenance, you’ll enjoy your flat roof for years to come.

Types of Flat Roofing

Built-up roofing, or BUR roofing, is an older type of flat roofing that layers waterproof materials with tar and gravel. This is the most cost-effective type of flat roofing, and often one of the most visually-appealing as well. However, BUR roofing can be quite heavy; if you want to install this type of roofing in a home built for another type of roof, you may need to strengthen your home’s joints first. Modified bitumen is another built-up roofing solution that is easy to install and incorporates a light-colored surface that reflects sunlight for energy savings inside your home. However, this type of roofing may not be as durable as other types of flat roofing, showing wear more easily and requiring replacement sooner. TPO (thermoplastic olefin) and PVC (polyvinyl chloride) roofing are single-ply flat roofing solutions that also resist energy absorption for savings at home; these options are also more durable than modified bitumen over the long term. Ethylene propylene diene monomer roofing, or rubber membrane roofing, is another single-ply roofing solution that is long-lasting and resistant to scuffs and wear. The rubber’s natural black color will absorb rather than reflect heat, but a light-colored coating can be added for those concerned about energy savings. 

Benefits of Flat Roofing

Many homeowners once balked at purchasing a home with flat roofing because flat roofs were notorious for leaks. Today, better roofing materials and installation practices have eliminated this problem, ensuring your flat roof is just as waterproof and weathertight as any other type of residential roof. Furthermore, flat roofing offers unique benefits that cannot be matched by sloped roofing. Flat roofing is the ideal location for the installation of solar panels, solar lights, and rooftop gardens. A flat roof can also be reinforced and used as a private deck or balcony, increasing the usable square footage of your home.

Special Maintenance for Flat Roofing

Just like any other residential roof, you should have your flat roof inspected by a roofing contractor once a year. Even if your flat roof remains in good repair, re-seaming is typically recommended every seven to ten years, which is the expected lifetime of the roofing’s initial adhesive. During re-seaming, a six inch-wide covering tape is applied to all the seams of your roof to enhance their integrity and prevent leaks from forming along these seams. In between inspections, it’s particularly important to keep gutters, roof drains, and scuppers clear to ensure that water or snow can run off your roof, rather than build up on the surface. You can perform this task yourself, or schedule regular cleaning services with your Alexandria roofing company.

Regardless of your home’s roofing style, our experienced roofers know how to maintain, repair, and replace it to keep your roof and your home looking beautiful. Visit us on the web for more details about our roofing services in Fairfax, Alexandria, and Bethesda, including green roofing solutions, skylight installation, and commercial roofing solutions.

Taking a Closer Look at Residential Flat Roofing

Spotlight on Cedar Roofing

6 years 6 months 1 week 2 days ago

Cedar roofing is known for its exceptional beauty, durability, and energy efficiency. If you’re considering installing cedar shakes or cedar shingles, understanding the benefits and maintenance needs of this roofing material can help you make the right decision and continue to enjoy an appealing and efficient roof for many years to come. Your roof contractor in Fairfax County can provide you with more details about the cost, installation requirements, and maintenance needs of cedar shake for your home.

What Are Cedar Shakes and Shingles?

Cedar shake and cedar shingles are roofing materials made from natural wood. Shingles are sawn on both sides from a single block of wood, while shakes are split off on one or both sides. The major difference between these two options is appearance—shingles offer a more uniform, manufactured look, while shakes typically give a home a more natural, rustic appearance. Although labeled as “cedar,” these shingles can contain one or more types of wood from cedar and other species of trees. While red cedar was one of the most popular species used in cedar shingles in the past, white cedar has also become more popular in recent years, due to its availability, improved eco-friendliness, and lower cost.

What Makes Cedar Roofing Eco-Friendly?

Cedar shakes and shingles are considered eco-friendly for many reasons. Because they are made from wood, cedar shingles and shakes contain only natural materials; furthermore, cedar contains natural oils that repel insects and mold, often eliminating the need for artificial coatings for protection. Cedar shakes and shingles can be used for other purposes, such as fuel or mulch, when they have reached the end of their functional lifetime as roofing materials. Furthermore, cedar roofing is incredibly durable; although typically warrantied for 20-25 years, most cedar roofing can be expected to last for 50 years or more with the right care. In most cases, replacement of individual shakes or shingles as they are damaged will also extend the lifetime of your roof. Finally, cedar shakes and shingles possess better insulating abilities than many other roofing materials, including aluminum roofing. Installing cedar roofing on your home will help keep your interior temperature more even, reducing the need to use your HVAC system for home comfort and lowering your overall energy usage.

How Should I Maintain My Cedar Roof?

Proper maintenance is the key to roof longevity, regardless of the material you choose. Although cedar is naturally resistant to moisture and mold, regular cleaning is still required to prevent algae and moss from affecting your shingles or shakes. Most roofing experts recommend scheduling pressure washing services for your roof every four to five years, or more often if you notice dark stains and streaks. To prevent moisture from becoming trapped against your roof, you should also have debris, such as leaves and branches, removed from your roof at least twice a year, or more often if your home is located near large, overhanging trees. Have your roof inspected once a year by a professional roofer and address damaged shingles as soon as you notice them restore the integrity and beauty of your roof to extend its longevity.

Whether you own a cedar roof or are considering the benefits of cedar roofing in Alexandria, Bethesda, or Columbia, our experienced roofing contractors are here to help. You can take a look through our comprehensive website for more information about our residential and commercial roofing services, including ventilation systems, skylights, and gutter and downspout installation and care.

Spotlight on Cedar Roofing

What Happens When You Replace Your Roof?

6 years 6 months 2 weeks 3 hours ago

Whether your roof has been damaged by weather or has simply reached the end of its functional lifetime, roof replacement will restore the structural integrity, weather-tightness, and curb appeal of your home. Your Alexandria roofing contractor is here to help you through every step of the roof replacement process, from choosing the materials for your new roof to professional installation and ongoing maintenance. Keep reading to learn more about the roof replacement process so you can better understand what to expect when you need to replace your residential roof.

Determining Roof Size and Materials

Before you can schedule roof replacement, there are a few steps that must take place first. Your roofing contractor will need to measure your roof to determine the size of the project. The size of your roof will also determine the cost of replacing it, as various roofing materials have different costs per square foot. Once you know the size of your roof, it’s time to choose the replacement material. In many cases, homeowners choose to replace their roof with the same material as the previous roof, such as asphalt shingles or slate tiles. However, roof replacement is also an excellent time to evaluate your roofing needs and preferences. This could be the perfect opportunity to consider metal roofing, wood shake roofing, or even eco-friendly green roofing options that could improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower your family’s carbon footprint. Your roofing contractor can help you evaluate the costs, pros, and cons of each choice, including whether additional work is needed to accommodate the materials you choose.

Replacing the Roof

Once you’ve determined the type of roof you want, your roofing contractor will schedule a replacement date. Roof replacement may take one or several days, depending on the size and scale of the project. Your roofer will go over the entire process with you ahead of time and discuss any special considerations or steps you may need to take, such as considerations for inclement weather. During the roof replacement process, your old roofing may be completely removed; alternatively, you and your roofer may have decided that your new roof can be installed over your old roof. This option is only available if you have not previously covered an old roof with a new one—if your roof already contains two layers of shingles, no additional layers can be installed and your old roof must be removed. If the previous roof is completely removed, your roofer will replace the underlayment layers that provide your roof’s waterproofing capabilities before your shingles, tiles, or metal roofing is installed. Replacing your roof may also include replacing your gutter system as well, depending upon your home’s needs. After your new roof has been installed, talk to your roofing contractor about caring for your roof and gutters. Taking a few small steps now to maintain your home’s new roofing system will ensure you get the most from your investment in terms of appeal and longevity.

Is it time to consider replacing your roof? Our experienced roofers in Fairfax County can help you assess your residential or commercial roofing options and provide professional installation for a roof that meets your every need. Click through our website to explore our roofing solutions and maintenance plans, or contact us online for a next-day estimate on your roofing project.

What Happens When You Replace Your Roof?


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