Fix roofing problems now to avoid future disasters

Fix roofing problems now to avoid future disasters

by Rachel Pfennig

“The best advice I can give, is to fix any roofing problem as quickly as possible,” says April Miller, of North Shore Roofing in Danvers, Mass. “From missing shingles to leaky roofs. Letting problems sit always leads to a bigger expense and a bigger hassle for the home owner.” April knows because she and husband Peter, owners of North Shore Roofing, are a home-owning family first and foremost.

The Millers think the cause of many leaks and serious roof damage is due to missing shingles. “Through harsh winters or big spring storms, it is very possible shingles can be blown from the roof.” April suggests looking in gardens and gutters after storms to check if shingles have been pulled free. “If people wait to replace missing them, the next bit of serious weather will break even more away and could cause serious leaks into the house. Once a leak enters the interior, it is not just the roof that needs work. It will be the drywall, the windows, the paint, etc.”

Fran McDonough, owner of Colonial Roofing in Watertown, Mass., also agrees. “Some homeowners let problems go because of the high expense that is connected to roofing. But if problems are left unattended, it is guaranteed the cost will be much higher to fix an entire roof, rather than one area.” Both Fran and the Millers figure it will cost around $6,000 to re-shingle an entire roof. The cost will be less if it is just a section, depending on the size of the area affected, says McDonough.

McDonough also finds that cleaning gutters will help prevent leaking and damage to roofs. “While it does depend on the number of trees in a yard, it is crucial homeowners check their gutters more than every few years. More than once a year.” He explains that if gutters get clogged with leaves and debris, water can not flow away from the roof as it's suppose to. If water is left to sit, not only can it pull the gutter away from the house, but the water may put pressure on the roof and cause damage to the shingles and break through into the house. Miller suggests a gutter cleaning at least three to four times a year.

Adding “gutter guards” to a house is a safe and effective way to prevent debris from entering gutters. Only water is allowed through into the gutter itself, while leaves are kept out, thus needing little to no maintenance. McDonough prefers using a brand called Leaf-Relief because it can be fit to most types of roofs. According to the Leaf-Relief website, it is also “pest resistant” and “virtually invisible” from the ground.

April Miller also supports the use of gutter guards because less time spent on ladders decreases the chance of a roof-related injury. “When people try to get onto their roofs, get into their gutters, or try to fix problems themselves it will come at a risk. That’s why it is important to have at least two people working when a ladder is involved, and homeowners should always call a professional. An insured professional. It is dangerous work, and the last thing we want to have is an injured homeowner.”

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