Long-term homeowners will require some knowledge of roof repair at some point in their lives. Whether to flip a home you plan to move into or renovate a home you own, it’s good to have an eye for necessary repairs. However, roof damage can be a complex problem to identify and fix, especially in areas with severe weather conditions.
A key sign that something is wrong with the roof of your home is if it’s bowing. A bowing roof is a roof that appears to be sagging in one or more sections of the roof, disrupting the uniform flat slope. A sagging roof can be a result of one or several issues. In this article, we’ll go over some potential reasons a roof will begin to bow and what you should do to address the issue.
Understanding the Problem and the Cause
A roof is vital to the structural integrity of a home. A sagging roof line can result from one or several significant problems with the structure of your home. However, a mildly bowing roof may not require immediate attention and repair but should still be taken care of before it has a chance to get worse.
A few potential causes of a bowing roof line are:
- Poorly designed roof
- Materials used for the roof are too heavy for the rafters
- Problems with the foundation of the home
- Weather damages
- Roof materials have become aged
- Problems with Insulation
While some of these potential issues can coincide, having a professional inspect your roof and related damages is always a great choice. A skilled roof worker can adequately identify the cause of a bowing roof and access the necessary repairs to fix it.
You should schedule repairs for a bowing roof without being absolutely sure what the problem is because the problem will likely persist if done incorrectly.
The cost of your roof repair will depend on the cause of the problem. For example, if the structural integrity of your ceiling rafters is compromised, your repair costs will likely be much higher than if you need a small portion of your roof replaced.
The repair cost is another reason you should seek an inspection from a professional so that you do not risk paying for an expensive repair service that doesn’t solve the problem.
Here are some basic descriptions of each potential cause of a bowing roof:
Poor Roof Design
If your roof is not structurally sound, to begin with, you will experience a whole slew of problems with it over time. For example, your house isn’t designed for the roof installed onto it, it will likely be easily damaged and begin to sag. In addition, an undertrained or overworked construction crew will probably make numerous mistakes when designing and installing a new structure.
A few common signs that your roof has a poor design or was installed improperly are misplacement of sheet metal, faulty gutters, poor usage of nails, and poorly placed shingles. These signs can lead to leaking and severe water damage, which will likely cause your roof to bow over time.
A roof is meant to be sturdy and heavy enough to withstand strong winds and harsh weather. However, if the materials used for the roof are too heavy for the structural integrity of the house, the structure will likely begin to falter.
Therefore, your roof should be sturdy enough to withstand harsh weather and the weight of construction crews but also light enough so that it will not damage the support beams of your home.
Depending on where you live, the ground underneath your home’s foundation can shift drastically over time, leading to an unstable foundation.
For example, if you live in an area near a swamp, your foundation will likely sink over time. Alternatively, if you live in an area with high amounts of clay in the ground, your foundation will likely be affected by it eventually, as clay expands when it is wet.
An uneven foundation can lead to a bowing roof because the entire structure of your home will be unaligned.
Problems With Insulation
If your roof is leaking, this can lead to more severe damage to your home’s insulation. Moisture is terrible for insulation; over time, wet insulation will degrade the entire structure of your roof, leading to a costly and much-needed repair.
Call a Professional
As stated above, the first step in any roof repair is identifying what is causing your roof to sag. Once the roof damage and necessary repairs have been identified, it’s time to hire a professional roofing crew.
The cost may be significantly higher if the wooden rafters or support beams for your roof need repairs due to degradation. This price increase is due to the amount of roofing material and internal structure of your home that will need to be replaced to fix the problem effectively. Furthermore, if termites cause damage to your home’s rafters, you may also need to hire an exterminator to ensure those pests do not return.
Depending on the size of your house and the extent of the necessary repairs, you may need to relocate until the job is complete. Repairing a bowing roof and roof damage, in general, can be a dangerous job where an unstable roof can collapse at any time.
Ensuring that repaired or replaced roof components are placed exactly where they used to be is one of the most challenging aspects of roof repair. For example, if a newly installed rafter is not aligned correctly, it will lead to problems and more repairs later.
Roof damage can be a complex and costly problem for any unfortunate homeowner. However, identifying the cause and necessary repairs required to fix your roof can save you from a headache and more money spent later. The most important thing to remember is always to contact a professional if you are inexperienced or unsure how to fix your roof.