Perhaps, the number one enemy of roofs is rotting. Even if you think you had the best-designed roof and promised decades of longevity, it is not exempted from damage.
Roof components like gutter, fascia, underlayment, flashing, and tiles are exposed to certain elements that creep and wreak havoc. A weak roof foundation will lead to a caving or sagging roof.
If you wait until a weather catastrophe arrives, it’s going to be too late for repair, since re-roofing is significantly more expensive than patch repair.
Sadly, damaged-laden roofs can also pose risk to the health and life of people. So, it is better to be prepared than make things worse.
Prevention is better than cure
Though roofs are not humans, this old adage and idiom will always have an impact on any aspect of life. Try to keep the following tips in order to save your roof from uncontrolled damage and costly repairs, and save money and life at the same time.
Assessing the damage (with or without)
The first step to treating a rotting roof structure is assessing the damage. How bad is it? Which areas have been affected? What sections are the most badly hit? These are some of the questions that should guide you.
The damage usually isn’t uniform since some areas are more exposed. For instance, the areas that are near a water source or are in the path of water such as the downspouts and gutters get easily more affected.
When it rains, it pours. Meaning, the surge of water will give pressure on the downspouts. When debris has collected and blocked the path, water will overflow, drenching other parts in the gutter system.
Instead of cleaning the gutter in a periodic fashion, you will have to replace it if the gutter has corroded, torn, and dilapidated.
Assessment will also help you calculate how much you will be spending in case the gutter needs to be redone.
The evolution of rotting
Generally, for the rot to take place, three things are necessary: warmth, moisture, and a suitable material such as wood. Poor ventilation is also a contributor.
Wood is the most prone to rot in comparison to other materials like tiles.
Fascias or zones near the downspout or beams next to a water storage tank are more exposed.
While symptoms such as flaking paint, discolouration, warping and split wood or soft timber help in the assessment, it’s more critical to know the source of the problem.
Is it a leaking water tank, gaps and cracks in the roofing that are letting in rainwater, or water splashing from the gutter to the fascias?
Imagine the extent of damage when rotting begins. This will help to not only deal with the problem but also prevent it from occurring in the future.
Coming up with the best plan of action
How you deal with a rotting fascia or soffit may not necessarily be the same as fixing a rot in the roof truss.
It is much easier to remove parts of the fascia or soffit than to deal with the rot in the roof truss. Because once any rotten part is underneath, you probably will not need to remove the roofing cover.
Dealing with fascia and treating the damage above, however, may mean removing the tiles, but only in patches than having to deal with the entire roof.
Dealing with a large section of the roof is a more complicated task. Once the structure beneath has weakened, the roof will collapse. You will at most need roofing experts to overhaul the roof.
Preventing future rot
After dealing with both the symptoms and root causes, you now need to prevent the rot from happening again. You need to understand and be vigilant of minor damage and treat them as early as possible.
Check for gutters with slight damage, clean up debris from time to time. What else can you do?
- Make sure that no tree branch is hovering the roof so that there won’t be dead leaves lying around for the birds to nestle on.
- Place a gutter guard to ensure that no stones or large debris will clog the path.
- Check loose downspout. This will prevent the water rush from heavy rains and cause flooding on the ground.
- Check and replace flashing, including those in the roof valley and around the chimney. Once there is a slight leak, water and moisture will start creepin in affecting the insulation in the attic.
- For an attic or loft that has rotting beams, improving the air circulation helps to easily dissipate the humidity. Installing waterproof or moisture absorbent materials is also a worthy move.
Tip: Have a once a year professional roof evaluation whether or not you suspect there is damage. By arresting the problem early, you will be able to stop it from spreading and will keep the cost of repair low.
While roof hacks and DIYs may seem an economic approach, there are high chances of making a mistake or even getting injured in the process. You may step on a rotten section and fall through; inhale toxic fumes that come from the rot, or are infected by bacteria or mould.
The best approach is talking to a reputable roofer like Birmingham Roofers.
Roofers here at Birmingham will conduct an initial evaluation to ascertain the extent of the damage. And then submit a report for the best solution to the problem.
To learn more about how to treat rotting roof structures and other roofing services, call us at this number: 01214 050961.
There’s no better way to fix an ailing roof than allowing an expert roofer to do the task. So, yes, rotting structures can be treated. You just have to know when.