There are many ways a roof can be damaged, but there are also some simple solutions. Keep reading to find out how to fix the most common types of roof damage.

The 9 Most Common Roof Problems

Your roof is one of the most important parts of your commercial building, and when taken care of properly, it can last a long time. However, you can’t always keep a close eye on your roof, and sometimes problems can appear even when you take all the right precautions.

To protect your investment for the future, here are the most common roof problems along with some solutions.


Leaks are probably the most common roof problem around. Everyone experiences a leaky roof at some point, and the sooner you fix a leak, the better. Every type of roof is susceptible to leaks, including flat roofs. Why do flat roofs leak? Although they look completely flat, they’re not. They’re actually slightly sloped to allow water to roll down.

However, a flat roof with a shallow slope can be susceptible to wind. Strong gusts can lift up shingles, allowing water underneath. Another problem with flat roofs and leaks is blistering and bubbling. Sometimes air pockets develop between the layers of a flat roof because of the sun. To fix a leak, the first thing you need to do is find the leak. If you see any stains, start inspecting your roof uphill from them. Search around things that penetrate your roof, like vents, chimneys, plumbing, and dormers. Even if they’re several feet away from the leak, they could be the culprit.

It’s easiest to locate a leak through the attic, but if you don’t have an attic or it’s not accessible, you’ll need to get on the roof to take a look. If you need to do this, consider calling a professional. Getting up on a roof is the cause for many accidents and fatalities, especially when people are inexperienced. A professional roofing company is licensed, insured, and experienced. Fixing a leak can be easy or complex depending on the damage. For instance, if the leak has already rotted the walls, you’ll have to repair the leak as well as the walls.

Broken or Missing Roof Shingles

Shingles protect your roof from the elements, including rain, snow, and sunlight. If any of your shingles are missing or broken, you’re asking for leaks and other problems. However, shingles are easy to replace and you can even buy one at a time if that’s all you need.

Tree Damage

You might think a tree has to fall on a roof to cause damage, but the truth is that even small branches rubbing against a roof can cause damage. The more branches, the more of the roof’s top layer they erode. The best solution is to trim your tree branches back before they reach your roof. Or, if they’re already touching the roof, cut them back as soon as possible. If your roof experiences severe damage from a tree falling, have the damage inspected by an expert right away and get it repaired quickly.

Damaged Flashing

Damaged flashing is a common problem that causes leaks around walls and chimneys. If your flashing has been damaged, call a pro to replace it. Dealing with flashing takes time and skill, so it’s not something you want to attempt yourself.

There’s also a chance your flashing is really just roof cement. Inexperienced roofers sometimes use roof cement instead of proper flashing, but cement never lasts long. If you see a bunch of heavy tar on your roof, that’s a sign the roofers skipped the flashing and used cement instead. Call in a pro to have it fixed right away.

Clogged Downspouts

Do you have roof drainage problems? Downspouts are easily clogged by two things: debris and granules. Debris is easy to remove when you clean your gutters, but downspouts clogged by granules can indicate a deeper problem.

If your roof is new, a buildup of granules is expected. However, if your roof is old, built-up granules in your gutters is a sign that your shingles are weak and probably need replacing.

Pooling Water

There are many ways water can pool and become stagnant on your roof. For example, if you have a chimney wider than 30 inches, it can become a dam that holds debris and water, which rots and rusts your flashing. This is one of the most common roof drainage problems, and it’s not always noticeable from the ground.

The simple solution is to install a chimney cricket behind your chimney. A chimney cricket looks like a miniature roof and will direct water and debris to flow around the chimney and down the roof.

Ice Damage

Roofs have a shorter life expectancy in areas with freezing temperatures. The main problem is that ice melts slowly and can become stagnant water, which can find its way through the roof and create leaks. The other problem is that when water gets underneath your shingles and freezes, it expands. As the ice expands, the shingles are pushed further apart, letting more water inside.

The best way to fix cold weather damage is to have your roof inspected by a professional who can fix any problems they find.

Damaged Vents

A damaged vent will probably need to be replaced. If a vent is cracked, you might think it’s easy enough to caulk it, but that will wear down quickly. To avoid having to reapply caulk frequently, it’s better to replace the broken vent. When replacing the vent, use rubber-washed screws instead of nails.

Another potential problem with your vents could be failing vent flashing. Whether your plumbing’s vent pipes are made of all metal or they use a rubber seal, the only way to fix failed flashing is to replace it completely. And of course, if you don’t feel comfortable replacing damaged vents yourself, call in a pro to tackle the job.

Hail Damage

Hail can be destructive even at a relatively small size. When hail strikes a roof, it can strip the protective granules off the shingles. Shingles without protective granules are easily damaged by the sun. The problem is, once a shingle starts to lose granules in one spot, the surrounding granules begin to loosen and fall off as well.

Larger hailstones can knock shingles loose and even break them into pieces. If you think your roof has suffered hail damage, schedule a professional roof inspection as soon as possible.

Damaged Roof? Airtight Can Help

If your roof has been damaged by water, trees, or hail, contact Airtight for a free roof inspection. We’ll inspect your system to find out what’s causing the damage and fix it for you. Whether your roof is sloped, flat, shingled, or metal, we can help. We also specialize in flat roof bubble repair.