Roof Rotting

How to Prevent Your Roof from Rotting

Savvy homeowners do everything possible to avoid roof-rot in property investment and catching it early is part of the solution. A rotting roof leads to internal water leaks and resultant mold or mildew growth, damaging a structure’s framework and corroding its building materials. It is also at risk of outright collapse!

If you suspect your home is suffering from roof-rot, count on the roofing experts at Elite Remodeling Services to bring it under control. Call us at (952) 646-2480 for fast, friendly service and quality roofing you can trust.

The Dangers of Roof-rot

Roof Collapse From Rotten Rafters

Roof-rot leads to cracks, holes, and other damages along the surface of the roof. These gaps allow water to leak through to the home’s interior.

As water leaks into a house, the home’s framework and building materials absorb moisture, soften, and weaken. Excess moisture also leads to the presence of mold and mildew behind a home’s walls and, potentially, under carpets and carpet padding. It’s a dangerous development that directly affects the health of your family, too.

An added danger of roof-rot is that damage along the roof doesn’t simply disappear! Small cracks and holes in a roof expand over time, and entire sections of a roof might collapse. All these repairs are expensive and difficult.

It is much simpler and cheaper to prevent roof-rot in the first place, addressing areas of damage as soon as they appear.

What Causes Roof-rot?

Understanding the cause of roof-rot can help a homeowner decide how to avoid it! In simple terms, excess moisture becomes trapped along the edges of a roof and degrades it, eventually turning it into what is often referred to as dry-rot.

There are many causes why roof-rot may occur, including:

  • Clogged and overflowing gutters or stagnant water in gutters
  • Poor ventilation under the roof
  • Trapped heat and humidity inside the home
  • Ice dams forming along the roof eaves
  • Missing or damaged shingles
  • Excess debris on the roof including tree branches, twigs, seeds, and birds’ nests.

How to Avoid Roof-rot

Take note of these eight vital tips for keeping your home’s roof dry and in good repair, thereby reducing the risk of roof-rot:

  1. Maintain a consistent temperature in the attic. An overly warm attic easily traps humidity under the rafters, while a cold attic allows ice dams to form in wintertime.
  2. Upgrade or replace the insulation in the home’s attic or crawl space as needed. Old and worn insulation is ineffective against humidity in the home’s upper levels. High-quality insulation repels outside heat and moisture alike, protecting your home from potential roof-rot in the long run.
  3. Invest in a quality dehumidifier for the summer. It reduces humidity levels indoors.
  4. Ensure the home is ventilated. Roof vents allow heat and humidity to pass through that would otherwise become trapped in the attic or crawl space. An attic fan also increases overall ventilation.
  5. Clean your roof consistently. A thorough power-washing removes wet debris that holds moisture against the roof. It also exposes areas in need of repairs.
  6. Invest in regular roof inspections. Don’t put off needed repairs even if they seem minor. Small gaps facilitate the absorption of moisture, so ensure missing or damaged shingles and damaged flashing is repaired and replaced as needed.
  7. Ensure the home’s gutters are always clean and in good repair. If you see water gushing over the side of your gutters or pools of water, have those channels cleaned out by a professional. If the problem persists, you might consider installing new gutters!
  8. Upgrade to high-quality asphalt shingles or a metal roof. The better the quality of your home’s roofing materials, the less risk of water reaching those components or seeping through to the rafters and joists underneath.

Do I Need to Replace Rotted Rafters

Rotten Roof Rafters Need Replaced

While minor instances of rot can sometimes be repaired, severe rot or widespread decay typically necessitates the replacement of rotted rafters. Having a roof inspection is crucial to accurately assess the situation and make decisions regarding rotten rafter repairs or complete replacements.

It’s important to consider the impact of the rot on the structural integrity of your roof. Rotted rafters can compromise the overall stability of the entire roofing system. If the rot has significantly weakened the rafter or if there is widespread decay, it is generally recommended to replace the affected rafters to ensure a safe and stable roof.

Replacing Rotten Rafters in 6 Steps

If your rafters are too far gone, a complete replacement is in order. Here’s what that process looks like:

  1. Remove the rotted wood using chisels and pry bars, ensuring efficient cleanup by discarding the wood in designated garbage bins.
  2. Utilize a measuring tape to determine the length of framing wood required. If the entire rafter is affected, measure the length based on another intact rafter. In case only a portion is rotten, measure the gap in the sound wood.
  3. Precisely cut the framing wood to fit using a circular saw. Take care to maintain a slow and controlled feed through the saw for optimal results.
  4. When necessary, create sister boards using a circular saw. In the case of partial rafter damage, cut four 12-inch pieces from 2-by-4 boards to facilitate joining the wood securely.
  5. Securely fasten the new rafter in place. If replacing the entire rafter, attach it by screwing down into the top and bottom joists. For partial rafter replacement, affix one end of each sister board through the existing rafter. Fit the new rafter between the sister boards and screw through the sister boards into the rafter. Repeat the process on the opposite side.
  6. Preserve the wood’s integrity by applying a waterproof wood sealant to prevent future damage. Employ a paintbrush to evenly coat the sealant onto the wood surface.

If you suspect roof-rot or worse, rotten rafters, call the home repair experts. A rotted and damaged roof is serious business for the professionals at Elite Remodeling Services. We’ve been providing outstanding roofing services in Minnesota for over 20 years! Call us at (952) 646-2480, for a thorough roof inspection and any roof repair work you need.

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