Roofing is an interesting topic to discuss. The majority of us have one, but we rarely think about it. Most days, we forget it’s up there altogether. The problem with roofing is that we typically forget to focus on it until a problem occurs and forces us to. There is a range of roofing issues that will sit up there undetected, quietly minding their business, until they one day demand your attention in a big way. Our team at Kingsford Siding, Windows, and Patio Rooms get a lot of questions from homeowners about how best to approach their roofing needs, and we’re happy to help. Though many situations require case-by-case answers upon reviewing each roof’s unique challenges, here are six frequently asked questions and our answers according to our professional opinion. If you’ve got a roofing issue in Wilmington, NC, we just may have the advice you need!
Question: How do I know when my shingle roof needs replacement?
If your roof is more than 20 years old, that’s an easy indicator that it’s time to begin replacement. A roof at any age can develop an issue, though, so we recommend inspecting your roofing regularly, once or twice a year, to identify any issues. Don’t bother going up on the roof for this. The safer and more effective way is to stay on the ground and visually scan the roof using binoculars. If you see shingles that are cracking, lifting up, or are missing, it’s time for repair.
You should also go in your attic during this inspection. If you see any light coming in from the underside of the chimney and the stack vent, your flashing needs repair. You should look at the underside of the roof sheathing for any signs of water leakage at this time.
Question: Are there any roofing projects a homeowner can handle DIY-style?
The short answer is yes, there are some things you can do on your own. However, without seeing the issue firsthand, we can’t give a guarantee that this is a good option for a particular situation or homeowner. We’d never recommend a homeowner to do the majority of roofing work unless he or she had the proper training and was familiar with the particular roof. Otherwise, call a professional. Being up on a roof is dangerous for many reasons, and doing amateur work could cause a problematic result that may be expensive to correct.
Question: Some of my shingles are discolored and stained. What can I do?
The black discoloration is due to a type of algae that lives off minerals found in roof shingles. These algae like moisture, which explains why you may only see the discoloration on parts of your roof that doesn’t get as much sun. The algae won’t damage your roof, but it doesn’t look great either. You essentially have two options: clean or replace. To clean off the algae, you can try using a pump sprayer to wet down the roof with a mixture of bleach and water and then scrubbing with a long brush, though note that the bleach can run off into landscaping. This is a dangerous project, and we recommend you call in a professional for help. The other option is to replace the discolored shingles. There are algae-resistant shingles on the market if you’re interested in replacing the roofing as a whole.
Question: My roof was affected by a bad storm. How can I temporarily protect it?
The Wilmington, NC area sees a lot of turbulent storms, and many homeowners are affected in a big way every year. When you live in this area, it’s a smart idea to have some go-to emergency repair knowledge on hand. If you can do it safely, cover the damage with a woven plastic tarp, secure it in place with wood strips, and screw it to the sheathing. It won’t be attractive, but it will keep moisture out until you can get a professional repair done. Never try to do this in rain or heavy winds, though. A damaged roof is better than a damaged person. That’s what insurance is for.
Question: I live in an old, historic home and love the original roof. However, the roof will soon be in need of repair. Can I preserve the look of the original roof and maintain the historic integrity of the home?
Absolutely. While you can’t make it look exactly the same, you can come pretty close. There are many different types of roofing materials, and we can work with you to find one that closely resembles the original roofing and honors the aesthetic of the house.
Question: My roof has ridges and ripples. Why, and what can I do?
It’s likely that moisture vapor from inside the house is finding its way between the ends of the roof panels because they weren’t properly sealed with foam at installation. This causes expansion in parts of your roof. Not only is this unsightly, but it can also lead to rot. This will require several steps to fix, but the short answer is that it will definitely require an experienced professional to add foam, make the repairs, and check to ensure the problem is completely solved.
We hope that helps clear up your roof questions. If you’re a Wilmington, NC homeowner with a roofing issue, feel free to request a consultation with us on our website. For questions about roofing or any of our varied services, contact Kingsford by calling (919) 688-5116.