Understanding Common Roof Issues and Their Causes, Part 1

At Knockout Roofing, we’re proud to provide roof repair for any structure that requires it, from commercial to residential roofing repair. Our team of expert roofing technicians will help you assess the problem and determine the proper course of action for the most cost-effective solution.

In addition to our services assisting you with any damage that may have taken place on your roof, we’re also here to help you note the causes of such damage and take steps toward preventing it in the future. There are a few different sources of roof issues out there, and having a broad general knowledge of them can help you avoid these problems moving forward. This two-part blog will go over some of the various categories to be aware of here.

common roof issues causes

Installation Issues

In many cases, roofing problems can be traced back to the installation that took place months or years ago. There are several mistakes possible from inexperienced roof installers, whether we’re talking about proper fastenings and balance, insulation concerns, flashing or other areas.

Whenever you’re considering a new roof, installation should be a top priority. Ensure you only hire a licensed, insured professional with experience installing your specific roofing material onto buildings like yours.

Flashing Problems

A related installation area is that of flashing, which is designed to seal off areas you don’t want moisture making its way into. Flashing is commonly used for areas like chimneys, vent pipes, skylights and other roofing elements, but like any other roofing material, it will cause problems if it’s not installed correctly. Blown-off tiles are a frequent result of poor flashing, as are open seams that form in several areas.

Leaking Concerns

In many cases, design or installation defects on a roof show their first visible signs in the form of leakage. The roof is the first line of defense against rain, snow, hail and other elements, and if you notice moisture beginning to make its way through to the interior of your structure, this is a significant concern. If it’s not addressed quickly, mold and rot are potential trickle-down effects.

Standing Water

In other situations, water may begin to pool up on certain areas of the roof. This is often due to debris that’s built up, such as tree branches or other large items that block water flow to the proper gutter areas. It could also be due to HVAC units that have drainage problems, or to poorly positioned gutters.

Pest and Animal Infestations

If you hear movement on the roof regularly, or even if you just notice damage that has no other easily explainable cause, it’s possible animals or pests have invaded. The most common visitors here are birds, but you could also deal with small rodents or even smaller insect pest infestations. If you discover any evidence of these concerns, contact pest control services immediately to remedy the problem before it grows.

For more on the common problems that may affect your roof over time, or to learn about any of our roofing repair services or products, speak to the roofing contractors at Knockout Roofing today.

Direct Benefits of Proper Roofing Insulation

Whether you’re a homeowner or the owner or manager of a commercial building, the roof over your head will be a primary consideration for several things, from basic elemental protection to energy efficiency and more. And while many such individuals are diligent about their roofing materials, some may gloss over another very important piece of the puzzle here: Insulation.

At Knockout Roofing, we’re proud to provide comprehensive residential and commercial re-roofing services, including handling all your insulation questions and needs. What are some of the benefits that come with properly insulating a roof? Here are a few too consider.

benefits proper roofing insulation

Energy Efficiency and Utility Bills

Insulation’s top purpose is to serve as a barrier between your structure and the outdoor air. When it’s hot outside during the summer, insulation helps keep cool air generated by the air conditioner inside the structure. When it’s cold out, the opposite becomes the case – insulation helps trap warm air generated by the furnace.

The more noticeable area of improvement you see with good insulation comes in the winter, though it’s working for you during both seasons to be sure. The cold months, though, require more hot air pumped into the building – hot air naturally rises, so this is where good insulation in your roof is vital for keeping the area warm. When you’re considering roofing insulation, the buzzword here will be “R-value,” which refers to the ability of a given material to limit temperature transfer between spaces. Ask our team about which R-value is right for your needs.

Mold Prevention

Without proper air and climate control in a given space, a significant risk is mold formation. This is particularly true during the summer, where cooling efforts from your air conditioner also create a significant amount of humidity. Without proper insulation, moisture will much more easily condensate in several potential areas, the first step toward mold formation in many cases. Many forms of roofing insulation are specifically designed to be mold-resistant, however, and will help improve not only your air circulation but also your air quality as well.

Fire Safety

On top of everything above, proper insulation is also a key tool for protecting your building if a fire happens to take place. One of the major risks during any building fire is the roof igniting and possibly spreading flames to the nearby area, but strong insulation is fire-resistant and will help stop this spread while fire response teams get to work. If there have been fire issues in or near your building in recent years, ask about the best insulation in terms of fire resistance and protecting your roof.

For more on why insulation is so important for any roofing system, or to learn about our residential or commercial roofing repairs and other services, speak to the staff at Knockout Roofing today. 

Factors That Influence Commercial Roofing Lifespan

If you’re the owner or manager of a commercial building and you’re considering re-roofing for your structure, one of your primary questions is sure to be regarding how long your new roofing system will last. A commercial roof can last anywhere from 10 to 40-plus years depending on several factors, from the quality of your installation to the materials you use, the maintenance you perform and more.

At Knockout Roofing, we’re proud to offer a wide range of commercial re-roofing services among our numerous roofing contractor offerings. We’re happy to get into detailed information about the standard lifespan of some of our roofing materials, plus other factors that will impact how long your new roof will last for. Here are several such factors to keep an eye on.

factors commercial roofing lifespan

Installation Quality

For starters, the quality of the professionals installing your roof makes a big difference. You need a company like ours, one that’s licensed and insured and also highly experienced in the exact kind of roofing installations you require.

A roof that’s installed poorly will wear down faster, and may also develop sagging or leaking concerns due to improper alignment or placement. In addition, inexperienced roofing technicians may recommend improper materials that wear down faster and do not meet your roofing needs.

Materials Used

In addition to professionals performing the actual installation job, you need experts who understand your roofing needs and which materials will do best. If your needs will be met with an asphalt or metal roof, each of which can last well over 40 years with proper maintenance, we’ll generally point you in this direction. We’ll suggest other alternatives if not, as well.

Maintenance Quality

Even the strongest roofing materials will wear down over time when exposed to enough of the elements, but you have some control here. Regular inspections of the roof are valuable, as they can signal small areas of damage you can repair cheaply to avoid larger issues forming. If you notice any shingles missing, call us immediately for replacements or other repairs you need assistance with.

Ventilation and Insulation

Another area that cuts some lifespan off several roof types? Excessive heat. Luckily, you can limit this risk by properly insulating and ventilating your roof, allowing it to cool down even when the summer heat is beating down on it. This will also keep the interior of your building cooler while limiting your AC bills.

Weather Elements

Finally, the area least inside your control when it comes to roof lifespan is the weather. And while you can’t stop rain, wind, snow, ice and other elements from impacting the roof, you can take basic precautions to prepare for storms and properly maintain the roof so it’s ready for any inclement weather. Much of this traces back to proper maintenance, which we already went over, and our pros can offer additional tips.

For more on the factors that influence commercial roofing lifespan, or to learn about any of our roof repair or installation services, speak to the staff at Knockout Roofing today.

Primer on Common Roofing Warranty Types

As past purchasers of several high-cost items well know, warranties are a common add-on to many such products. Things like vacuums, air conditioners, furnaces and many other home items may come with warranties, or a form of temporary insurance that protects owners from breakdowns or other possible concerns.

At Knockout Roofing, we’re happy to explain the warranties available for any of our roofing products, whether you’re considering residential or commercial re-roofing installation. There are several different types of warranties that may apply across the roofing industry – here are some basics on each of the most common formats and what you need to know about them.

common roofing warranty types

Installation or Labor Warranties

One of the simplest forms of roofing warranties is the installation warranty, which only covers defects present in the roof due to improper installation. These sorts of warranties are generally offered by roofing contractors themselves.

Down similar lines is the labor-only warranty, which covers the labor costs of the installation – but not the materials used. If you’re being offered a labor-only policy, be sure you’re 100 percent clear on exactly what it covers and how you’re protected.

Material-Only Warranties

In other cases, you may be offered what’s known as a material-only warranty. This is a guarantee that the roof will avoid certain defects even after it’s installed – again, however, proper installation is usually a must to keep these warranties active and valid. In addition, if it can be proved that improper or absent maintenance on your end led to the roofing damage, a materials-only warranty generally will not hold up.

System Warranties

For a warranty that covers both labor costs and materials alike, you need a system warranty type. These are offered by roofing manufacturers, and protect you from both installation issues and future damage that takes place to materials. Like with material-only warranties, however – and honestly, similar to virtually any warranty you can obtain – they will be voided if the damage comes from a lack of maintenance on your end.

Manufacturer Warranty

Finally, there’s the manufacturer’s warranty, one that may cover materials, labor and the system all together. These warranties are the longest-lasting of the group generally, often running between 10 and 30 years or even for the full life of the roof.

The purpose of the manufacturer warranty is to guard against roof damages to any part of the roof that was created by the manufacturer themselves. Like with the system warranty, it’s vital to ensure you’re fully aware of precisely what this warranty covers, as not all manufacturer warranties are the same and you could quickly get into trouble if you’re unsure about the details.

For more on roofing warranties and which you should consider, or to learn about any of our roofing repair or contractor services, speak to the staff at Knockout Roofing today.

Importance of Proper Ventilation for Roofing Systems

With the Utah summer quickly approaching, your home or building’s roof takes on increased importance in different ways than over the winter. The roof is now one of your top assets in terms of protecting your home from the heat, and a big factor in allowing this to happen properly is ensuring your roof has the right ventilation technology.

At Knockout Roofing, we’re proud to offer a wide variety of commercial and residential roofing packages to improve or upgrade any area of your roof’s performance. Let’s go over why ventilation is important, both for your comfort and the long-term viability of your roof, plus some options available for ventilation and the potential issues that can arise if you don’t ensure proper ventilation. 

importance ventilation roofing systems

Ventilation and Your Roof

Roof ventilation is primarily in charge of maintaining air flow and circulation around roofing areas. This is beneficial for a few important reasons, from ensuring too much heat doesn’t flow down into your home to preventing condensation from building under the roof. When your roof is properly ventilated, your cooling system will work more efficiently due to less heat making its way into the living space.

Roof Ventilation Options

There are a few types of common vents available that pertain in some way to your roof or the nearby areas:

  • Roof vents: Vents that connect to the roof itself and allow hot or highly humid air to escape through the attic. These vents are primarily used to protect the roof from damage.
  • Ridge vents: Vents placed underneath the roof to make sure it’s ventilated and will not become overheated or filled with moisture that cannot escape.
  • Intake vents: Vents that allow for effective air movement and increase overall roof performance.

Issues With Lacking Ventilation

There are numerous issues that can result from lacking ventilation, including all of the following:

  • Damage issues: Hot temperatures that are not cooled in any way by ventilation may lead to significant damage to the roof itself, including expansion of roofing joints or wood beams, shrinkage or blistering of shingles, general damage to flashing and several other areas. In some cases, this damage will be so significant that it will require replacing the entire system.
  • Water concerns: If your roof is significantly damaged, your home or building is susceptible to leaks and potentially major water damage during storms.
  • Cooling costs: When heat is allowed to push down into your home through the roof, your cooling and utility costs will almost certainly increase, possibly significantly.
  • Humidity, moisture and mold: In other cases, weakened ventilation will allow excess humidity to build up in certain areas, often giving way to mold formation. Not only is mold harmful to human health, it can also weaken your roof sheathing and separate plywood layers, creating another repair area you may have to deal with.

For more on why ventilation matters for your roof, or to learn about any of our re-roofing services or roofing repair offerings, speak to the staff at Knockout Roofing today.

Choosing Between Shingle Repair and Roof Replacement

After the long winter they’ve just been through, your home or business’s shingles should be inspected carefully during the spring or early summer period. Noting any minor damage or upkeep issues that have arisen over the winter is valuable, allowing you to assess them before they worsen and increase your costs.

choosing shingle repair roof replacement

At Knockout Roofing, we’re here to help with any such commercial or residential roofing repair, whether for your shingles, leaking areas, ventilation or others. One of the more common questions we’re asked by homeowners who have had repeated shingle issues, or for whom shingle damage was particularly significant over the past winter: Does it make more sense to repair this shingle damage, or replace the shingle roof system as a whole? There are circumstances where each of these options is the proper route, and our roofing technicians will help you assess every factor to make a final call. Here are some basic areas we’ll go over.

Repair or Replace?

There are a few considerations at play when choosing between repairing shingles and replacing the system, and one of the primary ones is leakage. When significant enough leaks begin to form through damaged shingles, water damage may seep into the attic, significant limiting the lifespan of any wood and often speeding up the rate at which shingle replacement is needed – to the point where repeatedly replacing these shingles over and over again actually costs more and brings you a greater hassle than just overhauling the entire system.

On the other hand, if your roof is just missing a few shingles, or if some have been warped or bent due to a recent storm, repair is usually the way to go. We can offer high-quality, lasting shingle repair for these areas that comes at an affordable rate.

Considering Budget and Safety

As we alluded to above, the primary factor in this decision is budgeting – will it cost more in the long run to repair shingles or replace the roofing system? This is the major question you’re asking yourself, but it’s also vital to consider the safety of building occupants. If continuing to stubbornly order repairs over and over on badly damaged shingle roofing systems will put the occupants of any structure at risk, it becomes more than just a budgetary call, and could seep into liability and other concerns as well.

How Professionals Will Help

Whether you’ve chosen to replace the roofing system or repair individual shingles, both these jobs should be left to our professional roofing technicians. Improper installation often leads to exacerbation of the exact issues you were trying to get rid of in the first place, plus can risk your safety and the structural integrity of your home or building.

For more on how we’ll help with shingle repair or total roof replacement, or to learn about any of our other quality roofing services, speak to the pros at Knockout Roofing today.

Determining Whether Roof Issues Are Leaks or Condensation

If you’re a home or business owner and you spot the signs of water stains or damage on or around your ceilings, this will naturally be concerning. These signs are often the first that lead to significant water damage issues if proper action is not taken.

At Knockout Roofing, we’re proud to offer both residential and commercial roofing repairs for any such issues, plus other areas you may be concerned about. Any water making its way in from the roof is an issue we’ll help you correct, no matter where the water came from – that said, though, understanding the source of moisture making its way through the roof can be very important for making the proper fixes. Specifically, while certain water issues in the home or building might be caused by roofing leaks that need to be addressed, others may be caused by roof-related condensation. Here are some signs that will help you figure out which issue you’re dealing with, plus some tips on what to do in both cases.

determining roof leaks condensation

Signs of Condensation

Condensation refers to the output when moisture in the air contacts a cold surface – it’s most well-known on windows, which may form droplets of water when the outdoor temperature and the indoor temperature are far apart and there’s moisture in the air. This is often due to poor insulation or airflow regulation.

If you’ve begun to notice water spots on the ceiling in areas where moisture is common, such as the bathroom, laundry room or even the kitchen in many homes, there’s at least a chance this is due to condensation rather than a leaking roof. Condensation may also form near vents, light fixtures and other openings in the roof.

Signs of Leakage

If you’re noticing water issues in areas where indoor moisture isn’t common, or if you’ve been through the risk factors on condensation and are confident this is not the issue, we recommend taking a basic walk around the exterior of your property to inspect the roof. Check for any missing shingles or other damage you can see, particularly in or around the area where you’re noticing stains.

If you have an attic you can access, you should also enter it, preferably on a sunny day. In these situations, you’ll often be able to spot the signs of roof damage and resulting leaks through sun that shows through the roof.

How to Respond

If you pinpoint condensation as the issue causing your water stains, the name of the game is insulation and ventilation. Both your roof and your attic should be properly ventilated, as should any pipes in the attic. This will prevent the kind of temperature imbalances that lead to condensation.

If you’ve discovered specific damage and resulting leaks, on the other hand, call our pros for roof repair services immediately. To learn more about this or any of our other roofing services, speak to the staff at Knockout Roofing today.

Color Considerations When Installing New Roof Shingles

Like several major exterior building areas, roofing materials serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. This is particularly true for shingles, which are vital for protecting a structure from the elements and also play a significant role in the property’s appearance and curb appeal.

At Knockout Roofing, we’re proud to offer expertise and high-quality residential and commercial re-roofing services no matter which of these priorities is higher on your personal list. One big decision when it comes to shingle selection for any structure is choosing the color you want to use – here are a few themes we recommend following while making this decision.

color new roof shingles

Advanced Research

For starters, take the time before you spend any money to research the shingle options that might be available within your budget. Look online using virtual tools, which are readily available through many manufacturers.

In addition, consider getting some physical samples of different shingle materials. Compare these to the style of your home and spend some time figuring out what will look good compared to what might look somewhat off. If you are unable to get samples of a given shingle type, you can search for nearby homes that utilize it and simply drive by them to get a look.

Complementing Current Colors

In many cases, home or business owners choose shingle colors that will complement the rest of the structure. This means assessing the material used throughout the other parts of the building – are they brick, or do you use siding? Is the structure in a modern or traditional style?

There are plenty of themes available to you here, from sticking with the same colors as siding or other broad areas to going for a heavy contrast. Some people choose to match shingles with garage door color, for instance, while others match them to the trim of their windows.

Neighborhood Restrictions

In the case of homeowners who live in a community run by a specific homeowner’s association or a similar group, there could be restrictions set by this body on shingle color. Many such organizations prefer all homes in a given neighborhood to standardize areas like shingles.

Even if you’re not part of such an organization, look at the shingle styles your neighbors are using for some basic tips. If you enjoy a specific style, don’t hesitate to ask the owner about it.

Curb Appeal

Through all your investigations here, keep a theme called curb appeal in mind. This is a real estate term that describes the first visual impressions people will have of your structure when they see it, and shingles are naturally a significant part of where your curb appeal sits. If you’re looking to increase building value, we recommend a neutral shingle color that will maintain a modern look.

For more on choosing the right color for shingles, or to learn about any of our roofing services, speak to the staff at Knockout Roofing today.

How Your Roof Aids in Fire Protection

No matter the element, whether it’s wind, rain or snow, your roof is meant to protect your building. There’s another element that can be added to the list, even if home and business owners may not consider it as often: Fire protection.

At Knockout Roofing, we boast a wide variety of residential and commercial roofing products that can help keep you safe from any and all fire risks year-round (that’s right – these are important even during the winter). Let’s look at a few roofing factors you should be considering when fire protection is a priority for you.

roof aids fire protection

How Shingles Help

There are a few types of shingles out there, but the most common and popular around the United States are known as fiberglass-asphalt shingles. These are all rated against fires, meaning they’ll hold together and will not allow pieces to burn or fly off – this protects both the building and surrounding areas from burning embers that may fly off other surfaces.

These shingles are specifically called Class A-rated shingles, and they’re technically not “fireproof” – rather “fire-resistant,” which means they won’t contribute to the spread of a fire to any other location. It’s a bit unreasonable to expect shingles to totally prevent fires altogether, but they will help keep it dormant by refusing to slide off, break, crack, warp or otherwise expose the underlying roof deck. Both your interior areas and nearby exterior areas will be protected.

Now, it should be noted that shingles not A-rated should be avoided if fire resistance is important for you. These may allow flame to spread to unsafe areas.

Outdoor Fire Conditions

In addition to ensuring you have the proper shingles installed on your roof, it’s important to take some basic steps to avoid promoting fire-feeding conditions outside your building. This is particularly true if you are anywhere near power lines, electrical boxes or any form of utility that may have increased fire risks.

We recommend keeping an eye on things like overhanging tree branches, tall shrubs and bushes that are near your building. Cut these back regularly to avoid them contacting the building itself, and also gather up dry leaves during fire season to avoid kindling being present.

Fires Originating Indoors

In some cases, fires can originate indoors. In these situations, the flames will have a chance to build up on many other materials before they reach your shingles – to combat this, we recommend installing fiberglass attic insulation that will stop the flames once they reach this point. The nonflammable glass will completely block flames even as its paper backing burns off.

For more on your roof and protecting your building from fire risks, or to learn about any of our roofing services, speak to the pros at Knockout Roofing today.

Are Metal Roofs Noisy When It Rains?

Metal roofs, despite their many advantages, have earned a reputation for being excessively noisy when it rains.

This perception may have developed because barns, storage sheds and patio awnings with corrugated metal roofs do tend to be loud during rainstorms. But the type of metal roofing used for homes is a bit different than the kind used on secondary structures.

metal roof Utah

If fact, when properly installed, rain on a residential steel roof makes about the same amount of noise as it does on any other roofing material.

Decibel Levels Tell the Story of Metal Roof Noise

Sound levels are measured in decibels (dB). Whispering comes in at 30 dB, for example, and normal conversation ranges from 50 to 65 dB. At the higher end of the scale, lawn mowers, blenders and TVs rate between 85 and 90 dB, and high-powered stereo systems can reach 125 dB when you crank them to “11.”

So, how noisy are metal roofs when it rains?

According to a Swedish university study, the sound level of rainfall on metal roofing is actually only 52 dB – no louder than a regular conversation. Asphalt shingles rank only slightly lower, at 46 dB.

Factors Affecting the Sound of Metal Roofing

Why are today’s steel roofs so quiet when it rains, as compared to that barn or patio cover?

Metal roofing on most secondary structures is installed directly over an open frame, with nothing to serve as a noise dampener. That’s why normal rainfall sounds as loud as hail.

A residential steel roof, on the other hand, is installed over solid wood decking with a protective underlayment. In addition, the attic space below is insulated.

The roof deck, underlayment and attic insulation absorb and muffle sounds. And, although the additional layers used in the construction of metal roofing are primarily there for structural and insulation purposes, they also ensure that the sound of the rain is not an issue.

Utah Homeowners Love Metal Roofs

Metal roofing is growing in popularity across the state of Utah, as it offers a host of benefits to homeowners.

With proper professional installation, residential steel roofs can easily last for several decades – up to 50 years or beyond. Other roofing materials, like asphalt shingles or wood shakes, don’t have as long of a lifespan.

Metal roofing is highly durable, as it is resistant to fire, mildew, rotting and insects. The material can survive high winds and is nearly impervious to rain and snow melt. Plus, since it is much lighter than other roofing materials, less structural support is needed.

Homeowners also appreciate the energy savings that metal roofs provide. This roofing material reflects the sun’s heat during the day, which reduces the need for air conditioning.

Today’s metal roofing can mimic the design and style of other types of roofs, including asphalt shingles, wood shakes and clay or cement tiles. The wide range of colors and patterns allows homeowners to achieve whatever look they want, while enjoying the benefits of metal.

The professional roofers at Knockout Roofing offer free consultations and cost estimates. To learn more about the many options for metal roofs, contact our Salt Lake City office today.