It’s Raining, It’s Pouring: How to Protect Your Roof from Rain

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring: How to Protect Your Roof from Rain

April showers bring May flowers — but without proper protection, they can also bring damage to your roof! Here are some steps you can take to keep your roof protected from rain, so your family can stay warm and dry all year long. 

Roof Protection from Rain: 4 Proactive Steps to Take

Many homeowners don’t think about maintaining their roofs until it’s too late and a leaking or flooding disaster has already struck. In order to protect your roof from rain, it’s important to be proactive. Here’s what you can (and should!) do: 

1. Complete Any Necessary Roof Repairs

If your roof is in need of repair, it’s not likely to hold up well against rain. And as more leaks accumulate, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with costly, devastating damages. That’s why it’s important to complete any necessary roof repairs as soon as possible.

Some possible damages you may look for include:

Once you’ve identified a problem with your roof, you have a choice to make: repair it or replace it. This decision may depend on a few factors, including the extent of the damage, flexibility of your budget, and length of time you expect to live in your home. You may contact a local roofing professional to bring some expertise that could help guide your decision. 

2. Ensure Gutters Are Functioning Properly

Gutters are one of the most important parts of a roofing system, helping direct rain away from your home. Therefore, it’s important to make sure they’re functioning properly.

Generally speaking, gutters regularly need to be cleaned out. Any sticks, debris, or other materials that pile up in them can cause them to clog and overflow, defeating their purpose. You should also check for any leaking, sagging, loose, or improperly sloped gutters that aren’t doing the work you need them to do. 

If you notice that your home doesn’t have gutters, you might wonder if you’re missing some much-needed rain protection. The short answer is, you probably are. While some homes don’t have gutters for particular reasons, most homes in Michigan need gutters. You should contact a local roofing professional to schedule a gutter installation soon. It’s sure to pay off in the long run! 

3. Inspect Flashing Around Skylights

Skylights are capable of adding tons of natural light to your home, making it look more open and bright. However, skylights are also leak hazards, presenting more places for rainwater to seep into your home. Any openings between your skylight and roofing materials can be at risk for leakage. 

That’s why it’s important to install roof flashing around your skylights, or to check it for damage if you’ve already installed it. If you find any cracks or damage, get them fixed by a professional as soon as possible. 

4. Schedule a Professional Roof Inspection

The best way to ensure your roof is in top condition is to have a licensed professional inspect it. They’ll take a look at the interior and exterior of your roof, inspecting any and all of its components — from shingles, to gutters, to weatherproofing. It’s recommended that you schedule a roof inspection every year to ensure any issues are promptly addressed — and there’s no better time to do it than after winter snow has taken its toll and spring/summer rains start to pour down. 

At Werner Roofing, we’re proud to offer free roof inspections for every client. We’ll come out to your home, examine the condition of your roof, and prepare a document that states anything in need of repair or replacement. We’ll advocate for you and your home’s best interests, but we won’t recommend or sell anything that isn’t necessary. That’s our promise. 

If your roof needs extra protection from rain and other unpredictable weather conditions, Werner Roofing can help. Our experts will provide customized recommendations for how you can keep your roof durable and leak-free with various waterproofing and rain management systems. Give us a call at (616) 844-5382 or contact us online for more information. 

 

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

What Is Roof Flashing?

What Is Roof Flashing?

Your roof is your home’s greatest protector against harsh weather conditions like rain, ice, and snow. But in order to do its job well, it requires a variety of durable, waterproof materials — one of the most notable being roof flashing. 

Roof flashing can make or break your roof’s ability to prevent water creeping inside your home and causing costly damage. Below, we’ll give a little more insight into what roof flashing is, where it’s needed, and what kinds are available.

What Is Roof Flashing?

Roof flashing is a flat, thin, waterproof material (usually steel) that’s placed underneath shingles and is used to direct water away from the most vulnerable areas of your roof. It helps prevent water from entering any openings or cracks on your roof. It’s a great second line of protection to ensure you avoid devastating water damage within your home’s interior. 

What Areas of Your Roof Require Flashing? 

While your entire roof doesn’t always require flashing, there are a few sections of it where flashing is critical. These areas are where openings or cracks are most common, and usually include: 

  • Any roof surface that joins a side or front wall
  • Valleys, or low points where two roof slopes join
  • Protrusions like bathroom vents, chimneys, and skylights
  • Edges, like eaves or rakes

What Are the Different Types of Roof Flashing?

The overall concept of roof flashing stays the same, no matter where it’s placed. However, there are several different types of flashing, and each of them is ideally suited for a specific application within the broad flashing spectrum. 

Below are the eight main types of roof flashing, as well as some information on what makes them unique. 

Base Flashing

Base flashing protects sections of your roof that meet a vertical wall juncture, such as your chimney. Base flashing is installed underneath your home’s siding and shingles, so it’s not easily seen. 

Counter Flashing

Counter flashing is the second piece of base flashing. It’s placed either above or opposite of base flashing to protect it. 

Step Flashing

Step flashing involves L-shaped pieces of flashing that are installed along the corner where your roof meets your sidewall. In most cases, this flashing can be partly seen, so some homeowners choose to find a material color that matches or complements their home’s exterior. 

Continuous Flashing

Also known as apron flashing, this is a singular, long piece of flashing that pushes water away from vertical walls and sloped roofs and then redirects it into a gutter. 

Valley Flashing

Valley flashing uses flashing to line the indent where two sides of a roof come together and form a valley. It directs water away from the valley, down the roof, and into a gutter. 

Kickout Flashing

Also known as diverter flashing, this flashing is used where gutters end against sidewalls. It directs the water into the gutter, instead of letting it run down the sidewall. 

Skylight Flashing

Today, many skylights can be purchased with flashing already attached. However, if yours doesn’t have this feature, you need to do it yourself or hire a contractor to do it for you. It’s an important way of preventing water from seeping into any openings around the skylight. 

Drip Edge Flashing

Drip edge flashing is placed around the edges of your roof to prevent water from dripping behind gutters and counterproductively damaging your roof. 

Looking for more ways to protect your roof from tough weather conditions? Let Werner Roofing help. From flashing to gutter systems, our team of experts can provide recommendations that fit the unique needs of your home. Give us a call or contact us online to learn more

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

How Much Snow Can My Roof Hold?

How Much Snow Can My Roof Hold?

You really can have too much of a good thing! A coating of light, fluffy snow makes everything look like a beautiful winter wonderland, but start piling it on, and things can get not-so-pretty. A lot of snow not only makes shoveling and driving a pain, but can also put stress on your roof, and if enough of it piles up, leaking and damage can occur. 

But how do you know how much snow is too much for your roof to handle, and what can you do to protect your roof from snow damage? Check out our guidelines below before the next snowstorm comes calling.

How Much Snow a Roof Can Hold Depends on the Type of Roof and Type of Snow

Most residential roofs in good condition can hold 20 pounds of snow per square foot. This can vary based on your roof’s age, the materials your roof is made from, and the design of your roofline. The amount of snow that adds up to 20 pounds can vary as well, depending on whether the snow is the fluffy type or that dreaded wet and heavy kind. 

Light snow can weigh around 3 pounds per square foot, so your roof can hold several feet of it. However, wet, packed snow can weigh 21 pounds per square foot — and ice as much as 51 pounds! — which can cause collapse with only inches of accumulation. Signs your roof is straining include:

  • Creaking or popping sounds
  • Doors that become difficult to open and close 
  • Cracks in your walls 
  • Sagging, warped, water-stained, or leaking ceilings

If you spot any of these signs, it’s best to vacate your home and get some help. 

What to Do if Your Roof is Holding Too Much Snow 

On average, every 10 inches of snow equates to 5 pounds on your roof, so once a few feet accumulate, it’s a good idea to avoid any issues by removing some of that weight. However, getting on a snow and ice-covered roof is dangerous, so unless you are able to safely use a rake, broom, or specially designed roof shovel from the ground, don’t try to do this on your own! 

It’s also important to note that removing too much snow can end up causing damage to your roof, which is exactly what you were trying to avoid in the first place! When clearing snow from your roof, you should always leave a couple of inches or so behind to make sure you’re not causing any damage to your shingles.

How to Protect Your Roof From Snow Damage

To keep your roof and everyone living under it safe, you should perform regular inspections to ensure your roof is maintained well and kept in good condition before the snow flies. Once winter arrives and snow starts falling, monitor the amount of snow on your roof and be aware of any signs of trouble. 

Also, watch for the formation of ice dams along the edge of your roof and in gutters caused by melting and refreezing snow. When left unaddressed, ice dams can lead to shingle, structural, and gutter damage; leaks; wet insulation; and mold. 

If you are concerned your roof is holding too much ice and snow and you are unable to clear it from the ground, call in professionals for help. It is the safest way to avoid damage and injury.  

Worried about your roof’s ability to withstand winter weather? Contact the roofing specialists at Werner Roofing. We can provide recommendations to protect your home from snow and ice, or we can help you figure out a solution if your roof has already experienced damage. Give us a call or contact us online today to learn what we can do for you.

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

Is Your Roof Prepared for an Ice Storm?

Is Your Roof Prepared for an Ice Storm?

There’s no stopping winter from coming, and with it freezing temperatures, bitter winds, and of course, snow and ice. Brrrrr! Are you ready? How about your roof? 

Yes, just as you need to break out your fleece PJs and cozy socks, make sure you have plenty of wood for the fire, gas for the snowblower, and several month’s supply of hot cocoa, you also need to prepare your roof for the harsh weather that lies ahead. This is especially true if there’s a chance of an ice storm in the forecast. Ice storms can be particularly damaging to roofs, and often result in costly repairs if you’re not prepared.

So, we better get to it before the iceman cometh! Here’s how to make sure your roof is as prepared for an ice storm as possible:

How to Avoid Ice Storm Roof Damage 

Putting a little prep time in now will pay dividends later when winter weather inevitably arrives! Follow these steps to ensure an ice storm doesn’t leave any damage to your roof in its wake.  

Get Your Gutters in Good Shape

Make sure your gutters are cleaned out and clear of debris. You don’t want to chance any clogging that can lead to ice dams, and in turn lead to damage. Ice dams form when water is trapped then freezes and builds up on your roof making it susceptible to leaks and water damage — not good!

Speaking of leaks, now’s the time to fix any leaky section of your gutters as well — another sure way to stop water damage in its tracks. 

Trim Your Trees

Overhanging branches are roof damage waiting to happen! If you have trees near your home, it’s a good idea to trim back any limbs that could fall on your roof as a result of strong winds or the weight of ice accumulation. 

Ready Your Roof

Piles of fall debris left on top of your house can become waterlogged and compromise your roof, so be sure to clean off any leaves, needles, sticks, and other debris your roof may have collected over the fall. 

Inspect your roof for any needed repairs and address any issues that could impair your roof’s ability to keep you safe, warm, and dry. (A roofing company can do this for you, if you prefer). Look for things like cracked, curled, balding or even missing shingles that need to be replaced. Also, repair any flashing that looks distressed. This is especially important around your chimney — a place prone to letting in leaks. 

While you’re at it, keep an eye out for any signs that critters are looking for a cozy winter getaway inside your home. Roof pests can cause plenty of damage too, making your roof that much more susceptible to the damage an ice storm can leave behind!

Attend to your Attic

On top of skirting ice storm damage, your goal is to keep cold air out, and warm air in, right? That’s why it’s super important to make sure your attic’s insulation is up to snuff, as well as its ventilation. 

This is your best line of defense against the harsh winter elements! Proper insulation and ventilation will keep you dry and cozy inside while also keeping large, damaging icicles from forming outside, as well as those dreaded ice dams.  

How to Deal with Ice Storm Roof Damage 

Of course, even if you are well prepared, and have done everything above to protect your roof, an ice storm can still prove to be a difficult adversary. Sometimes damage does occur despite your best efforts, and if that’s the case, what should you do when the storm is done

Needless to say, winter is not a good time to safely get up on your roof! From the ground, check for signs of damage like pieces of shingles, downed branches, broken gutters, sagging areas of your roof, and any formation of ice dams. If you spy any of these red flags, call in the pros to assist you. You might also want to call your home insurance company to see if your policy covers damage to your roof due to an ice storm. 

Remember, if the weather calls for ice, you can always call Werner Roofing. As West Michigan residents, we know what winter has in store for roofs like yours, and we’re here to help prepare your home’s roof before ice damage occurs —  and we’ll be here to help repair it after a storm, too! 

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

What Happens to Your Roof as it Ages?

What Happens to Your Roof as it Ages?

Wrinkles and gray hairs are both obvious signs of aging noticed when looking in the mirror, but what about the roof on your house? Roofs get old too, and if you know what to look for, they’ll show signs of aging over time, just like us! What exactly happens to your roof throughout its lifecycle? Well, let’s take a look.

When Your Old Roof Was New (The Curing Phase)

Remember when your roof was first installed and the last shingle put in place? Ah, sweet memories. Your roof was just starting out in all its glory, but oddly enough, when a roof is brand new it goes through a rapid aging phase called “curing” which lasts for its first two years. 

During this initial phase, it’s not uncommon for your shingles to lose some granules, curl a bit, and even have some blistering going on, but don’t panic. This is all totally normal as your roof settles and stabilizes while strengthening its durability against harsh weather. 

When Your Aging Roof Hits Middle Age (The Incipient Phase)

How time flies, right? After the first couple of years go by, your roof enters into an extended period of prolonged and slow aging. It’s what we would call middle-aged, but in the roofing biz, it’s referred to as the “incipient stage”. 

For about 10 years, your roof is in its prime, doing its thing, protecting your home, and keeping you safe and warm. Ah, but this is no time to become complacent! 

During this phase, maintenance becomes a top priority. You should do regular inspections and look for any signs of a midlife crisis, such as torn or missing shingles that need to be replaced. Keeping on top of and addressing small issues as they arise will help to prolong your roof’s happy and healthy life.  

Normal signs of aging in the incipient stage of your roof might include minor granule loss, cracking here and there, and areas that are a bit weathered looking. Overall, though, life is good…for now.

When Your Aging Roof Is Nearing the End (The Final Phase) 

After about 20 years, your roof starts aging rapidly again and you will notice signs of deterioration. By now it has endured all kinds of weather and has become weakened and broken down — much like we get when we’re old! Heck, it can even go bald! When you start noticing things like these, it is time to bid a fond farewell. Other signs that indicate a new roof is in order include:

  • Rusted or damaged flashing
  • Excessive granule loss (and those pesky bald spots!)
  • Cracked, curled, or buckling shingles
  • Saggy areas
  • Exposed under layers
  • Moss growing on shingles
  • Water damage on ceilings inside your home
  • Light coming through the attic

When Your Old Roof is Ready to be Replaced, Call Werner!

It’s a drag getting old, but unfortunately, you can’t stop the aging process! At some point your aging roof will need to be replaced with a new one, and the roof life cycle will begin again. 

What phase is your roof in right now? Is it getting up there in age? The experts at Werner Roofing would be happy to inspect it for wear and tear and help you decide if any repairs can extend the life of your roof, or if it might be time to consider a roof replacement. Give our team a call or contact us online for a free inspection and estimate.

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

Are Icicles Bad for Your Roof?

Are Icicles Bad for Your Roof?

As the weather gets chillier and winter starts coming in full force, you may start to see icicles pop up along your roof. And while they can definitely add to your home’s “winter wonderland” appeal, you may start to wonder if you should be concerned about them causing any damage. Below, we’ll take a look at whether icicles are bad for your roof, and what you can do to protect your home during the winter. 

Do Icicles Cause Roof Damage? 

Icicles form when water flowing down to the edge of your roof freezes as it drips off the side. Fortunately, having a few icicles is natural and usually won’t cause any harm to your roof. What’s more of a concern is the safety of those entering and exiting your home, as heavy, sharp icicles could break off, fall, and harm someone passing underneath. 

However, you should keep an eye out for your roof accumulating a lot of icicles, especially larger ones. Numerous large icicles generally indicate that your roof has poor insulation, which can lead to more serious issues like ice dams

Icicles vs. Ice Dams

While an icicle is a cone-shaped piece of ice that hangs from your roof, an ice dam is a large buildup of ice toward the edge of your roof. Both of them are the result of inconsistent rooftop temperatures, which usually stem from these two factors:

  • Improper insulation – If your roof doesn’t have proper insulation, heat will be distributed unevenly throughout it, causing the warm and cold spots that lead to melting and refreezing.
  • Natural temperature changes – Rapid changes in the weather aren’t your fault, but could be a cause of ice dams. It’s best to be aware of this, so you can keep an eye on your roof before any major damage occurs. 

Icicles aren’t much of a cause for concern by themselves, but ice dams are. Ice dams can cause serious damage to your home’s roof, gutter, and interior. When the ice dam creates a barrier, blocking melted water from draining off your roof, that water can start to pool and cause problems —   from damaging your shingles, to breaking your gutters, to leaking into your home. 

How to Prevent Icicles and Ice Dams from Forming on Your Roof

If you want to protect your roof from the dangers of winter weather and ice dams, we recommend taking one or more of the following precautionary measures:

  • Remove snow from your roof – As snow accumulates on your roof, scrape it off before it turns into ice. This can be a bit labor-intensive and hazardous, so it’s best to have this done by someone with experience.
  • Insulate your roof properly – Add consistent layers of insulation throughout your roof or attic, so heat is trapped inside to keep you comfortable, instead of escaping to melt snow and cause ice dams. 
  • Ventilate your roof properly – Add ventilation under your roof’s ridge and eaves in order to circulate the cooler air to the underside of your roof.  
  • Replace your roof – If you’re tired of worrying about ice dams every year, you could try replacing it with a roofing material that is less susceptible to ice dams, like a standing seam metal roof

How to Deal with Icicles and Ice Dams Already on Your Roof

If your home has icicles and/or ice dams, don’t try to remove either of them by yourself. Without the right tools and experience, you could end up harming yourself or causing more damage to your roof.

Instead, contact a roofing contractor to get help solving the issue. They’ll be able to remove the icicles and ice dams, repair any damage your roof may have already suffered, and give you some pointers on how to help prevent more damage in the future. 

Seeing a lot of icicles this winter? If your roofing insulation is subpar, it puts your roof and your home at risk for potential problems like ice dams and roof leaks. Werner Roofing can help. We’ll assess your roof’s condition and make recommendations for how to boost your roof’s defenses against winter weather. Then, if you’d like, we can complete the necessary repairs quickly and efficiently! Contact our team for your free roof inspection today.

roofing contractor

OUR FREE ROOF INSPECTION

How do you know when it’s time for a new roof? The only way to be sure of your residential roof’s current condition is to have a licensed professional personally inspect it. Werner Roofing is proud to offer free roof inspections for every client, so you can be sure of your roof’s condition. Every Werner Roofing inspection comes complete with our promise: “We won’t recommend or sell a roof replacement unless it’s necessary.” 

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