Your roof plays one of the most critical roles in your house, protecting you from the weather and insulating from outside temperatures in Florida. However, do you know what your roof is actually made of and how to spot potential problems? Keep reading so you recognize roofing problems early before they turn into a major catastrophe.
Outer Roof Layer
This is the layer that is primarily responsible for keeping water out of your home. You know when there is a problem because you can look and see either shingle missing, torn sections, or areas peeling up. For a metal roof, the sheeting will be torn, bent, or severely dented.
Shingled roofing should last between about 15 and 20 years, depending on the shingle you purchase and the skill of the installer. Metal roofing can last 50 years or more, depending on how it is maintained.
The best way to keep an eye on this is to regularly visually inspect the roof. Get to a vantage point that allows you an uninhibited view of your roof and look for areas that appear different than the rest. This will be a clue that something is starting to go awry and gives you time to plan a repair.
Under the Shingles
The shingles get nailed into the decking, which is typically plywood or OSB on homes around Florida. This wood is what gives your roof the flat look and provides the structure to withstand snow and hail.
Between the shingles and the plywood is a layer of underlayment, also known as ice and water shielding. This is added as an extra layer of protection in case water happens to get past your shingles.
The most common issue that indicates a possible problem with this layer is areas of moss or mold development on your home. This indicates your roofing is retaining water to allow for this growth. Also, less commonly, you may notice areas of your roof appear to sag, which indicates the decking is not maintaining its shape.
The Roof Structure
Below the decking is the structure of the roof, also known as rafters or joists. You also have insulation installed between the joists and sometimes also in the attic space. These areas are more difficult to identify issues than the outer roofing layers. If those layers are doing their job you should not see problems with the structural components.
Replace it Yourself or Call the Pros
When it is time to repair or replace your roof it is challenging to decide whether you should attempt to do it on your own or hire professionals. These jobs can be dangerous, with many people being injured every year from falling from their roof. Consider your own comfort on your roof, the pitch of your roof, and your past experience. You may be able to save a little on the roof itself by trying to do it yourself. However, that pales in comparison to lost wages from a fall.
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