7 Common Roofing Problems and How to Fix Them

Common Roofing Problems and How to Fix Them

Are you experiencing issues with your roof? Many homeowners encounter roofing problems that need repairs

Identifying and fixing common roofing problems can save you time, money, and hassle. This guide covers 7 frequent roofing problems, their causes, and how to fix them.

Key Takeaways

  • Common roofing issues include leaks, mold growth, damaged shingles, insufficient ventilation, etc.
  • Causes range from age and weather to poor insulation and inadequate maintenance.
  • Solutions involve repairs like patching, sealing, replacing shingles, improving ventilation, cleaning mold, and hiring roofing professionals when needed.
  • Inspect your roof annually, look for signs of damage after storms, and address problems quickly to prevent expensive repairs.
  • Roof maintenance, like cleaning gutters, can prevent many roofing headaches.

1. Roof Leak

One of the most common and severe roofing problems is water leaks. Leaks can damage roof decking, rafters, insulation, ceilings, walls, and belongings. 

Plus, chronic leakage can lead to mold growth. There are several culprits for leaks:


  • Damaged, missing, or curled shingles allow water intrusion. Old shingles crack and lose granules.
  • Deteriorating or improperly installed flashing around chimneys, vents, and valley lines.
  • Clogged gutters overflow, infiltrating the roofline.
  • Cracks or holes in the roof surface from falling branches, weathering, etc.
  • Poor insulation around skylights, allowing condensation buildup.


  • Patch isolated holes and cracks with roof cement. For larger areas, replace shingles.
  • Reseal or replace worn flashing. Check for proper installation.
  • Clean debris from gutters and downspouts regularly. Install gutter guards.
  • Cover skylights with insulation baffles to prevent moisture buildup.
  • For extensive leakage, hire a roofer to locate and repair all problem areas and check for damage to roof decking.

2. Damaged or Worn Shingle Roof

Shingles wear out over time. Wind, hail, foot traffic, and weather extremes take a toll. Warning signs include:


  • Granule loss causes shingles to appear bald in spots
  • Curling or buckling shingles
  • Shingle cracks or tears
  • Leaking after storms


  • Replace individual damaged shingles. Nail down any loose ones.
  • For widespread damage, hire a roofer to assess whether partial or full replacement is needed.
  • When replacing shingles, opt for impact-resistant materials with an extended warranty.

3. Insufficient Ventilation

Proper airflow from the soffit to ridge vents is crucial. Without ventilation, hot air and moisture get trapped in the attic, causing issues like:


  • Blistering and buckling shingles
  • Rotting roof sheathing
  • Mold and mildew growth
  • High cooling costs
  • Ice dams in cold climates


  • Install more vents along the roofline and ridges.
  • Clear out any blocked or dirty vents.
  • Remove insulation baffles covering soffit vents.
  • Consider powered attic fans to improve airflow.
  • Ensure the insulation doesn’t block airflow from the soffit to the ridge.

Fixing Roof Problems

4. Moss Growth

Moss loves shady, moist areas of the roof. Large moss colonies retain water, hastening roof decay and fungus growth. Signs include:


  • Green or black mossy regions, especially on northern exposures
  • Roof damage under moss colonies
  • Leakage after rainstorms


  • Scrub moss with a stiff broom and bleach solution.
  • Improve roof ventilation to reduce moisture.
  • Cut back overhanging trees to increase sunlight on the roof.
  • Hire a roofer to treat and power wash the roof chemically for heavy moss growth.

5. Mold/Mildew Growth

Dark patches of roof mold indicate excessive moisture. Mold releases spores that can cause respiratory issues. Warning signs:


  • Black or dark green patches on shingles or roof decking
  • Musty odor coming from the attic
  • Leaks causing visible water damage


  • Boost attic ventilation to reduce condensation.
  • Treat mold with a bleach solution or special mold removers.
  • Find and eliminate sources of roof leaks.
  • Replace water-stained insulation or sheetrock.
  • For heavy mold contamination, hire pros for cleanup and repairs.

6. Ice Dams

In snowy regions, melted snow refreezes at the roof edge, causing ice dams that force water under shingles. Signs include:


  • Icicles hanging from roof edges
  • Dark stains on the roofline
  • Leaks in ceilings and walls below overhangs
  • Insulation, sheathing damage from leakage


  • Improve attic insulation to reduce heat loss and snow melting.
  • Install roof heating cables along vulnerable eaves.
  • Use gutter guards to keep snow from blocking drainage.
  • Remove overhanging tree limbs.


  • Carefully chip away ice dams, starting from the top down.
  • Consult a roofing pro about permanent solutions like ventilation improvements.

7. Damaged Slate or Tile Roof

Slate and tile roofs are incredibly durable when installed correctly. However, storms, falling branches, walking on the roof, shifting foundations, and freeze/thaw cycles can cause damage like:


  • Loose, broken, or slipping tiles or slates
  • Leaks during storms
  • Pests/birds nesting under damaged tiles
  • Mold growth on the roof deck and rafters


  • Replace cracked, missing, or broken tiles/slates.
  • Reattach loose pieces with special screws, mortar, or adhesive.
  • Install wire mesh over trouble spots to prevent losses.
  • Have the roofing pro inspect for any underlying issues affecting the roof.
  • Check flashing and repair as needed to avoid leakage.

When to Call a Roofer

While minor roof repairs like patching and shingle replacement can be DIY jobs, it’s best to involve a professional roofer for:

  • Determining the cause and extent of leaks
  • Repairing flashing, vents, and gutters
  • Replacing large sections of roofing
  • Assessing mold/moisture damage
  • Improving attic ventilation
  • Handling steep/high roofs or multi-story homes

Don’t put off roof problems. Address issues quickly to prevent expensive structural damage requiring roof replacement. Schedule regular roof inspections and tune-ups, too.

Maintain Your Roof

Basic roof maintenance prevents many headaches:

  • Inspect your roof annually for damage and age/wear signs. Do extra checks after major storms.
  • Remove leaves, branches, and other debris regularly.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts twice per year.
  • Trim back overhanging trees.
  • Replace damaged or missing shingles/tiles when spotted.
  • Check vents and seals around chimneys, skylights, and plumbing.
  • Improve attic insulation and ventilation.

With proper roof maintenance and timely repairs, your roof should provide decades of trouble-free protection.

Pay attention to any issues you notice with your roof and take action to fix them promptly.

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