image of roof shingles

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.