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Common Residential Roof Problems

Published 11/27/2013

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The roof on a home is designed to protect the entire house from moisture and weather. Most roofs see regular wear during every season. This can lead to a number of problems that have the potential to cause damage to other parts of the house. Any roofing issues should receive immediate attention and professional repairs. Homeowners should be aware of several common residential roofing problems.

Missing Shingles

A problem many homeowners are familiar with is missing shingles. Shingles can become dislodged from the roof due to debris, weather or improper repairs. Missing shingles can allow water to reach the decking and underlayment. This can eventually lead to damage to the structural elements of the house. Missing shingles need to be replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Punctures and Holes

Punctures and holes in the roof can occur when debris like a tree branch impacts the home. They can also be caused by aging roofing materials, pests and incorrect roofing installation. The holes provide a direct route for water that will cause leaks. Punctures and holes are easiest to detect from inside the attic by looking for signs of water damage or small openings.

Damaged or Dislodged Flashing

Another common residential roofing problem is damaged, loose or dislodged flashing. Flashing is the metal material placed around pipes, vertical structures and angled areas of the roof. Flashing that has started to corrode or that has come loose will allow water to get under the shingles where it can damage the rafters or other parts of the roof. Damaged flashing can be hard to detect. Most repairs to flashing require a professional roofer who must remove the old pieces and install new flashing.

Pests in Soffits and Fascia

Homeowners sometimes encounter pests that have started to nest in soffits or dig through the fascia. Pests like termites and rodents can actually eat away parts of the roof creating unstable areas. They can also make it into the house and cause other types of damage. Signs of pests include irregular holes in soffits, holes in the fascia and droppings inside the home. Repairing the damage and calling an exterminator can solve this problem.


A residential roofing problem that is easy to detect is blistering. Blistering means parts of the roof start to look wrinkled, raised, cracked or otherwise appear abnormal. This can be caused when aging materials start to contract, when the roof elements are not properly attached or when moisture gets between the layers. Minor blistering does not need immediate repairs. Major blistering that starts to form gaps and voids in the roof does require professional inspection and repairs.