How Delaying Home Roof Repairs Becomes Costly

New Hampshire homes are cherished not just as places to live but as integral parts of the state’s heritage. However, maintaining these structures requires diligence and timely care. At Conde Roofing, we’ve encountered numerous cases where delayed roof repairs led to extensive damage. One such case involved a historic home, where waiting too long to address roof issues resulted in rotten boards, compromised vertical decking, mold, and extensive insulation damage. This story highlights the importance of timely roof maintenance and the expertise required to restore these cherished structures.

This particular home, located in the heart of New Hampshire, had stood for over a century. It had witnessed generations of family life, serving as a steadfast shelter. However, its age and exposure to the elements had taken a toll on the roof. The owner, preoccupied with daily life and responsibilities, had postponed necessary repairs, hoping to address them later. Unfortunately, the “later” came with a hefty price.

The Initial Signs of Trouble

The first signs of trouble were subtle. Small leaks appeared in the ceiling after heavy rains, and a musty smell began to permeate the air. These issues were easy to ignore initially, but over time, they grew worse. The once-sturdy roof had several areas where shingles were missing or damaged, and the underlying structure was beginning to show signs of distress.

rotten boards roofing
rotten barn board
wet and rotting plywood

The Inspection: Uncovering Hidden Damage

When the owner finally called Conde Roofing, our team, led by Mel Conde and Stephen Meader, conducted a thorough inspection. What we found was alarming. The roof had multiple areas where water had seeped through, causing significant damage to the wooden boards and vertical decking beneath. Vertical decking, which was commonly used in older homes, had several disadvantages. Unlike modern horizontal decking, vertical decking lacks the structural integrity needed to support the roof effectively over time.

The Importance of Professional Installation

Proper flashing installation requires skill and experience. At Conde Roofing, our team, led by Mel Conde, ensures that every piece of flashing is correctly installed to provide maximum protection. This involves:

  • Choosing the Right Material: Different areas of the roof may require different types of flashing materials. For instance, chimney flashing might benefit from the durability of lead or copper, while step flashing along roof walls might use galvanized steel.
  • Precision in Placement: Flashing must be placed with precision to ensure water is directed away from vulnerable areas. This includes overlapping pieces adequately and securing them with appropriate fasteners.
  • Sealant Application: The right sealant must be used to ensure a watertight barrier. It should be compatible with both the flashing material and the roofing material.
  • Regular Inspection and Maintenance: Even the best-installed flashing can deteriorate over time. Regular inspections help catch potential issues before they become major problems.
warped decking
damaged sidewall bad flashing
rotten vertical decking

Rotten Boards and Vertical Decking

The prolonged exposure to moisture had caused the wooden boards to rot. The vertical decking, already less structurally sound, was severely compromised. The damage was not just superficial; it had penetrated deep into the roof structure. We discovered white and black mold growing on the rotten wood, posing health risks and further deteriorating the material. Mold thrives in damp environments, and once it takes hold, it spreads rapidly, causing both health hazards and structural damage.

Mold Infestation: A Growing Concern

The presence of mold was a significant concern. White mold, although less dangerous, can cause respiratory issues and allergic reactions. Black mold, on the other hand, is toxic and can lead to severe health problems. Mold spores can easily spread through the air, contaminating not just the house but also nearby living areas. Addressing the mold issue was imperative to ensure the safety of everyone in the home.

white mold roof damage
damaged decking
bad pipe flashing

Insulation Damage: Compromised Efficiency

As water seeped through the damaged roof, it saturated the insulation. Wet insulation loses its effectiveness, leading to higher energy costs and creating a conducive environment for mold growth. The home’s insulation was compromised, necessitating a complete replacement to restore its thermal efficiency and prevent further mold infestation.

The Decision: Full Roof Replacement

Given the extent of the damage, a full roof replacement was the only viable solution. Repairing individual sections would have been insufficient, as the underlying vertical decking was structurally unsound. We recommended replacing the vertical decking with modern horizontal decking to ensure long-term stability and durability.

The Restoration Process

Restoring the home’s roof was a complex process that required meticulous planning and execution. Our team at Conde Roofing approached the project with the precision and care it deserved.

  1. Removing the Damaged Roof: The first step was to carefully remove the existing roof materials, including the shingles, rotten boards, and vertical decking. This process revealed the full extent of the damage and allowed us to address any hidden issues.
  2. Treating Mold and Mildew: We treated the affected areas with mold remediation products to eliminate the existing mold and prevent future growth. This step was crucial to ensure the health and safety of the home’s occupants.
  3. Replacing the Decking: We replaced the old vertical decking with high-quality horizontal decking. Horizontal decking provides better structural support and improves the overall stability of the roof.
  4. Installing New Insulation: We installed new, high-efficiency insulation to enhance the home’s thermal performance. Proper insulation helps regulate temperature, reducing energy costs and creating a more comfortable living environment.
  5. Laying Down New Shingles: Finally, we installed new shingles, chosen for their durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions. We used high-quality materials to ensure the roof would withstand the test of time and protect the home for years to come.

Lessons Learned: The Importance of Timely Roof Maintenance

This home’s story is a cautionary tale for all property owners. Delaying roof repairs can lead to extensive damage, higher costs, and potential health hazards. Timely maintenance and repairs are essential to preserving the integrity of any structure, especially historic buildings.

Preventive Measures for House Roof Maintenance

To avoid similar issues, we recommend the following preventive measures for house roof maintenance:

  1. Regular Inspections: Schedule regular roof inspections, especially after severe weather events. Early detection of problems can prevent them from escalating.
  2. Prompt Repairs: Address any roof issues as soon as they are identified. Small leaks and missing shingles can quickly lead to more significant problems if left unattended.
  3. Mold Prevention: Keep the house well-ventilated and dry to prevent mold growth. Address any water leaks immediately and ensure proper drainage around the house.
  4. Upgrade Materials: Consider upgrading to modern roofing materials and techniques. Horizontal decking, high-quality shingles, and efficient insulation can significantly improve the roof’s longevity and performance.
  5. Professional Maintenance: Engage a professional roofing company like Conde Roofing for routine maintenance and repairs. Our expertise ensures that your roof is in optimal condition and that any issues are addressed promptly and effectively.

Get High-Quality Roof Repair in New Hampshire

In the end, the homeowner was relieved to see the transformation. The new roof not only restored the home’s functionality but also enhanced its aesthetic appeal. It now stands as a testament to the importance of proactive maintenance and the expertise of a dedicated roofing company. At Conde Roofing, we are proud to be part of this journey, safeguarding New Hampshire’s heritage, one roof at a time.

Our commitment to quality craftsmanship and customer satisfaction drives us to deliver the best roofing solutions for every project, ensuring that these iconic structures continue to stand strong for future generations.

Have questions about your roof? Send us a message or give us a call at 603-838-7663 to get started today.