The roof of your porch takes the most beating from the harsh weather, be they storms or winds. Normally, the damage goes unnoticed or is largely ignored because it sits outside and the leaks and other kinds of damages do not affect you directly. However, the condition of your porch roofing is still critical for the structural integrity of your building.
You should replace your porch roofing once it has crossed a certain “danger zone” when the cost of repairing and maintaining it will far exceed the cost of carrying out a roof replacement.
Most roofs have a “use by date” which is specified in the warranty. Beyond this date, the roofing begins to degrade with the shingles falling off and you begin seeing more serious leaks or sagging of the roof. Most standard porch roofs have a warranty of about 20 years from the date of installation. After that, even a sturdy and premium quality porch roof will begin to give way. Eventually, this damage is going to compromise the structural integrity of the entire roofing.
But how will you know whether your porch roofing needs a complete overhaul instead of just simple repairs? Here are some of the obvious signs to look out for:-
Your Roofing Has Inadequate Flashing
Inadequate flashing on the porch roof will pose a serious problem for your roofing. You should always inspect your porch roof to ascertain whether there is sufficient flashing where the roof meets the side of the house. If the flashing is no longer there or if it is showing signs of damage or deterioration such as warping, then you will need to replace the entire porch roof. With damages, water may seep into the roofing structure and cause rot or destruction that eventually compromises the entire structure. At this stage, replacement is generally the most prudent measure as it is going to save you money over the long term.
There is presence of dips and valleys on the porch roofing
If porch roofing has more pronounced dips and valleys, then it will need replacing. Noticeable dips and valleys show that the roof is likely to cave in soon. These deformities are caused by water leaking into the wooden structure of the porch roofing over an extended duration of time. This will cause widespread rotting in the structure which cannot be repaired easily and the roof is likely to cave in at any time. In this case, the entire porch roof needs to be replaced in order to restore the structural integrity of the roof. You can also test the soundness of the roof framework by stepping lightly on your porch roof. If it feels bouncy, then roof decking might have been weakened and will require a “wholesale” replacement and not just simple fixes. Make sure you contact a professional roofing expert to carry out a comprehensive roofing inspection and installation on your porch.
Check if there is damage in the shingles
If the shingles of the porch roof are showing signs of damage or being worn out, then the roof needs to be replaced. Check if there are areas where the shingles are missing completely. If the shingles are showing signs of damage such as broken shingles or warping of the shingles at the edges, then you will need to replace them. You can also inspect the downspouts of the porch roof for any signs of shingle grains which is generally a sign that the shingles in the area are getting worn out.
Dark Trails on the Underside of the Porch
If the underside of your porch roof is showing some dark trails or streaks, then the porch roof may have been undergoing some water damage and mould growth. Depending on how far and wide these streaks are spread on the underside of the roofing, you will need to make a determination on whether to repair or overhaul the porch roof.
The Condition of the Gutter has deteriorated beyond Repair
If your roof gutters of your main house are showing signs of serious damage such as cracks or bends, there is a high likelihood that the damage has had a “spillover” effect on your porch roof. These kinds of gutter damages will likely have caused a continuous overflow of water over the porch roof over a period of time. The damage will be more pronounced if the porch roof does not have any gutters installed. Inspection should reveal serious damage as all the water will have seeped into the eaves of the porch roofing causing irreparable damage. The best option for you would be to replace the entire porch roof.
Look for Signs of Rot
Once the rotting has started at any part of the roof, it is likely to spread very fast. The rot is rarely localized. If it starts at the beams that support the porch roof, it will spread quickly to the roof columns and other porch structures. This will pose a serious danger as the roof could cave in at any time and fall on someone. Even if it does not fall off, the porch roof may sag if the support beams are weakened and this will ruin the curb appeal of your home.
With roof rots, spot remedies rarely work. Minor repairs might fix a problem somewhere but it is likely to emerge in another part of the porch roof. If the rot is still spreading in the roof framework after localized repairs, it is advisable to replace the whole roofing structure. Temporary fixes may only work over the short term.
Sometimes, your porch roofing may be deteriorating due to a host of issues rather than just a specific issue. In that case, replacement would be a prudent option. The rule of thumb is to replace the porch roof if the cost of repairs is no longer justifiable.
Call in a professional roofing specialist with years of experience to carry out a thorough inspection and replacement of your porch roof where required.