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Common Bay Area Roof Problems to Look Out For

Common Bay Area Roof Problems to Look Out For

Bay Area roof problems are different than in the rest of the country. California has less rain than other states, but we have more sunshine and (in some spots) humidity, and these climate features effect roofing materials too. The beautiful and unusual weather of the Bay Area makes certain roof problems more common than others. It can save you a huge headache, and even a roof replacement, if you spot these problems early and call in a professional roofer to get the issue resolved before it can cause more damage.

Here are the common Bay Area roof problems you should look out for.

1. Bulging Roof, Bumps and Sunken Areas

Have you ever seen a roof that doesn’t quite look like it’s the right shape? Maybe it has bumps or raised spots, especially in the roof valley. Or, maybe it looks sunken like it curves downward between the hips or ridges? Both sunken roofs and bulging roofs are a sign of water damage in the roof.

You don’t need a leak to get a misshapen roof. Instead, the usual culprit is interstitial condensation or water droplets that form between the different layers of the roof. Over time, the water soaks into your roofing materials and weakens them, sometimes even causing rot. This can cause the roof to sink in some spots and bubble up in others.

What causes condensation in the first place? High humidity and poor attic ventilation, both of which are common in the Bay Area. Without ventilation, the humidity is trapped in your home.

Unlike a lot of California, where the desert makes for dry heat, the Bay Area has higher humidity due to moisture from the Pacific Ocean. This creates a kind of perfect storm if you choose a roofing professional who doesn’t know the Bay Area. They may not understand that the higher humidity means your home needs more ventilation than other homes in California may. Without the right ridge vents and soffit vents, your roof is liable to develop condensation problems.

If your roof has condensation problems, it’s not enough to just fix the swollen or sunken areas. Your roofing professional also has to correct the underlying attic ventilation issue.

2. Birds, Squirrels and Other Animals

The Bay Area is home to various cute, but mischievous animals. It’s common to find birds and squirrels nesting somewhere in a home. Animals are drawn to roofs in particular, especially if they can get into the attic space from the roof because it offers protection from predators and weather. Once they’ve moved in, animals can do a great deal of damage to your roof, so you want to catch an infestation early.

Signs that an animal is living in your roof include:

  • Birds and squirrels bringing nesting materials to your home
  • Animal poop on your roof on near the roof
  • Scratching and other sounds from the attic
  • Holes or signs of chewing in your roof or attic

Be sure to contact a roofing professional about this problem. While an animal control professional can remove the animal, your roofer can fix the damage in the roof and make the roof less accessible for animals, preventing further damage.

3. Crumbling Shingles, Loose Granules

Direct sunlight is very hard on asphalt products. Ultraviolet (UV) light degrades asphalt over time, and in the Bay Area, your roof sees plenty of it. While choosing a quality roofing manufacturer will ensure your shingles have a longer lifespan, they will eventually start to break down. When they do, they may start to crumble, rip and fall off. Or, you may find the colorful granules from the top of the shingles in your gutter. These are all signs that your shingles have simply reached the end of their lifespan and need to be replaced.

4. Tree Damage, Landscaping Debris

In the Bay Area, our roofing problems aren’t the result of seasonal trees that shed their leaves. While other locations are picking up yellowed leaves from their roof by the garbage bag, we’re still enjoying the sunshine. Still, landscaping debris may affect our roofs. If you happen to have a pine tree on your property, it may shed it’s needles every few months and create a mess on your roof. Other trees can cause damage to your roof if their branches are long enough to scrape against the roof in the wind.

Plant debris on your roof and tall trees near your roof are a problem in California as they can increase the risk a wildfire reaches your home. For that reason, you should regularly clean plant debris from your roof and trim back plants. Tree branches should be at least ten feet from your roof. If an entire tree is too close to your roof, it may be best to remove it. A close tree may fall on your roof and not all homeowner’s insurance policies will cover this damage, depending on what caused the tree to fall.

5. Serious Leaks

When it rains in the Bay Area, it pours. In other parts of the country, a homeowner might first spot a potential leak in their roof during a small shower, when there’s not enough water to really do any damage. However, you’re more likely to find a problem with your roof during a torrential downpour, which might make even a small problem with your roof an emergency. A small problem with your roof may have had months to get worse before a rain revealed it’s presence.

Don’t ignore the sound of rushing water, a discolored ceiling, or sudden dampness in your home. If it is a roof leak, you may not have much time to fix it before it does damage to your home.

It’s also especially important in the Bay Area to get regular roof maintenance to find problems before a major rain reveals them. At Element Roofing we can maintain your roof and repair or replace it. We’re Bay Area natives and experienced professionals who understand the special challenges the Bay Area climate presents to roofs. If you’re concerned about a roofing problem in the Bay Area, reach out to us today. We offer complete professional roofer in Fremont services and the rest of the Bay Area.