Oftentimes when a roof is damaged, it’s relatively small, thus the damage may not look all that bad on the surface to the average homeowner. A few missing shingles, maybe a small hole here and there, to laypeople these seem like minor problems, and as such many simply ignore it, or worse, try to patch it themselves, unaware that they are making the problem worse and in many cases, much, much worse.
Most people don’t understand the complexities that make a roofing system work as it does, as such, when a problem is ignored or an unqualified repair is attempted, the system fails to route water properly and the damage they thought they were repairing grows, and grows, and grows. The longer the problem sits, the worse it grows oftentimes ending with disaster!
The consequences of bad roof repairs often result in very expensive repairs later on!
Take the case of this DIY homeowner who knows just enough to be dangerous. Yes that is a piece of plywood, stealthily painted to sort of match the roof and actually screwed to the roof! Apparently a tree trimmer dropped a branch onto his roof, damaging it. When the homeowner noticed it, rather than incur the costs of a roof contractor, he thought he’d just patch it with the plywood himself. Not aware how roofs actually work, he thought this would solve the problem and it remained there for 2 years! As the picture above shows, to most people, it actually looks OK! But that is just the surface.
After a while, he eventually called in a roof contractor to help find a few “mystery leaks” he was unable to stop, and they noticed this “patch job” immediately. After they removed the “patch” to see underneath, well, you can see for yourself, the damage was bad and got worse. Rotted shingles, wood, decking, an expensive mess indeed as a large portion of the decking/plywood under the patch and below it had to be replaced.
But wait, there’s more!
While making the “repair”, our hapless homeowner apparently had misstepped and unwittingly cracked a good portion of the edge shingles.
And missed a spot. A relatively small looking hole, but what lies underneath is anything but innocuous.
What does rotted decking from missing shingles or punctures look like?
Similar damage to the prior picture. Notice how wet the plywood is. There’s no patching this, the only solution is to tear it and the planks around it out and replace them. Had the damage been repaired when it occurred, it would’ve been relatively inexpensive, instead it cost the homeowners several thousand to get it right.
Our next homeowners knew they had a few missing shingles, but thought that missing shingles is no big deal so they ignored the problem for over a year! After finally calling in a roof contractor about their leaky roof, the damage these few missing shingles caused is seen. You can see from the picture above, it looks bad, but when it came time to replace the damaged wood, it got worse, a lot worse….
This is the same roof with only the rotted, dark, water-stained plywood removed, leaving the good plywood in place. All that insulation is ruined and had to be replaced. With such extensive damage, a cleanup team had to come in and spray for black mold in the attic! All of this because of a few missing shingles, no other damage.
These aren’t isolated incidents, this happens more often then it should. Neglecting ones roof or hiring the wrong roofer can mean the difference between a few hundred dollars in repairs to thousands.
If you notice missing, cracked, or buckled shingles or aren’t sure that DIY repair is holding up, call your local professional roof contractor today! Have your roof inspected once a year and report any damage immediately!