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Roofs are the head of any building, and are exposed the most to forces of nature – fluctuating temperatures, hail, storm, heavy rains, snow, etc. – all gradually adding to the wear and tear of the roof. The life of a roofing system depends upon the material used, the surrounding climate, the design and orientation and the maintenance provided. On average, a roofing system may last for 15-30 years, whereas a building lasts between 50-100 years; that means each building would require at least one roof repair or replacement in its lifetime. This article talks about the different types of roofing systems we come across, several problems they face, some roof repair solutions and roof repair for flat rubber roofs.

Types of Roof Materials:

Roofing system protects your home from all types of weather hazards. The importance of using a quality roofing system with the best material and the right installation cannot be stressed enough. Different materials work for different houses, depending upon the budget, the climate, the design and the aesthetics of the house. The most common of these materials include:

  • Asphalt Shingles: This is the most popular roofing material in the west, given the advantages of low cost, easy installation and a long life
  • Wood Shingles: Pricey and complex to install, these shingles,(individual roof elements, square or rectangular in shape), however, are lasting and resistant to pest damage
  • Synthetic Roofing: These include using synthetic materials like rubber, plastic, polymer, etc. They are cheap, sturdy and easy to install and maintain
  • Metal Roofing: Used commonly used for commercial buildings, these are sturdy and resilient to damage caused by force
  • Concrete Roofing: These heavy-weight roofs are inexpensive and long-lasting and bear most weather hazards. However, they are prone to leakage and cracks.

Common Roofing Problems:

Like any other part of a household, a roof is also prone to wear and tear and needs to be taken care of.  Proper installation and timely maintenance can increase the life of a roofing system by almost 10 years – that is a lot if one considers. It’s important to pay attention and detect early signs of damage to save cost and effort. Let us look at some common issues you may face with your roofing system:

  • Inefficient installation: A poor installation can add to other roofing problems and is often the most common of all problems that households face.
  • Leakage: Heavy rain, snowfall and ice cause major problems for your roofing system. Moisture can seep through the system and create fungus, moulds and rot, compromising the integrity of the system
  • Punctures and holes: Many forces of nature can force a puncture or hole into your roof, exposing your roof to further damage and degradation
  • Clogged gutters: A faulty gutter system in your roofing can force the water to get collected and lead to problems
  • Tree Damage: Most constructors would advise against a house next to a big tree, as a tree limb can sometimes come crashing down onto your roof can and cause damage.
  • Shrinkage: If a roof shrinks, it can cause an imbalance in your roofing system, leading to severe damage.

Roof Repair Solutions:

The most usual roofing damages include missing shingles/tiles, leakages and punctures caused by different factors of nature. Taking care of the following issues would help control the damage. Let us look at some roof repair solutions and tips to address these problems:

  • Changing the Flashing: Old or damaged flashing (sealing between the roof and vents like a chimney, skylight, window, etc.) can cause leakage and other damages, and it is important to maintain it in good health. Choose the best among metal, cement or polymer flashing
  • Fixing Punctures: Holes or punctures in the wall often require re-framing or patching up the spot
  • Fixing Vent Boots and Sealants: These prevent moisture from seeping through vents, the damaged boot should be replaced, and the worn-out sealant should be re-applied
  • Corroded Shingles: This could result from natural depreciation or an accident, and may require replacing the shingles with new ones

Flat Rubber Roof Repair:

A rubber roofing can break down due to several factors like punctures in the membrane, shrinkage, incorrect installation, improper flashing, etc. These damages most commonly result in a leakage in the system. For a cohesive flat rubber roof repair, timely inspection and cleaning are the beginning steps. This is followed by identifying and fixing the source of leakage; the water may not directly be coming from the wet patch on the roof. A flat rubber roof repair work may include re-laying the entire system or part of the membrane, applying a patch or replacing the flashing, depending upon the requirement.


Roofing systems are made of different materials; however, they are all prone to some form of damage. Timely inspection and proper repair done by a professional could result in a long life for your system.