Here are the 5 most common roof problems:

1. Leaks: Water is the most common threat to normal functioning of roofs. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most serious dangers, as even a small leak can lead to significant damage and costly repairs. Sometimes water finds its way under the roof in a direct manner, such as the formation of a hole or crack in the surface. However, water can also use less direct means to enter a roof, and these are harder to spot. This includes worn or missing shingles, standing vegetation, build-up of puddles, and more.

2. Wind Uplift: Despite a lack of materials missing from place, if individual shingles are not adhered properly, wind can lift them up and allow water gradually to sneak under with each gust. This too can be a difficult problem to identify, since it is often not apparent under normal, less windy conditions. In addition to proper installation of the roof, consider the wind uplift rating of the products used. If a house is routinely exposed to high winds, a homeowner should select materials with increased ratings to withstand the pressure.

3. Deficient Maintenance: Because a roof can be difficult to access, it is easy to neglect the job of routine maintenance. Resist such temptation, since proper up-keep can prevent far more expensive repairs. In addition to visually inspecting the roof at least twice per year, routine tasks include: blowing off leaves and debris, keeping gutters clear, ensuring drains are working properly, checking the caulking, inspecting flashings and skylights, and replacing missing shingles as soon as possible.

4. Shrinkage: An extra layer of protection is added between the actual lumber of a roof and the shingles installed to cover the structure. This membrane is composed of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) and further provides the wood of the roof protection from water, ultraviolet light, and high temperatures. Over periods of time, however, the EPDM membrane can shrink. This puts additional stress on the attached roofing materials and can cause surface cracking or flashings to come loose.

5. Poor Installation: As the wise words of Benjamin Franklin dictate for any task, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This cliché is especially meaningful in roofing, since the harsh conditions of nature make it imperative to do things correctly from the beginning. While all reputable contractors are trained in proper installation, a homeowner should demand extra steps are taken to minimize problems down the road. Be sure the structure is sufficiently cleaned and dried prior to the installation of any new roofing products.