Roofing with Dry Rot Rafters [Roofers Advice]

Like a rotting tooth decaying on the inside, rafters can be rotting on the inside as well and we might not know how bad it really is until it becomes a real problem.

Dry Rot Roof Rafters

Dry rot can develop slowly over time weakening the roof and causing the roof to become a safety hazard under the weight of the shingles. It may begin with just a small crack in the wood allowing moisture inside to begin its rotting progression. The roof becomes unsafe when the dry rot eats away at the rafters causing them to crumble a little at a time.

Dry rot usually begins with the wood getting wet allowing fungus to grow.

Dry rot is not always visible and can be hard to detect. It can eat away at the inside of the wood and give little evidence that you have a serious problem that will have to be addressed. The best way to find out if you have dry rot damage is to get inside your attic space and look up at the decking for water stains. You can also call a professional roofer like Top Notch Roofing in Cabot Arkansas to do the roof inspection for you.

If water has been able to penetrate through the underlayment membrane then there is the possibility of dry rot.

Checking for Roof Damage

The best way to check for dry rot is to take a knife, screw driver, or other sharp tool and probe the wood where you might suspect dry rot damage. Your tool will easily enter the wood causing it to crumble. These areas will have to be removed and repaired. If it is a small area that can be removed and replaced easily, and you are handy at DIY projects, then it should be no problem for you. But, if it appears the entire rafter or rafters will have to be replaced then a qualified roofing professional should be called. This will require removing shingles, underlayment, and decking to reach the dry rotted rafters.

On many occasions it may not be dry rot decay alone that is causing the problem, but it could be that termites have entered the picture as well. Termites love wood that retains moisture. The dry rot along with the termites working together can do an enormous amount of damage to a roof structure. So the termite problem will have to be addressed too. A professional termite company should be called in to exterminate the problem.

Prevent Damage with Inspections

Prevention is always the best cure. Your roof and your roof structure should be inspected twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to check out the underside of your roof decking during or after a rain storm to see if you have any water leaks. Also walk around the perimeter of your house and check your gutters to make sure they are flowing freely and not backing the water up onto your roof. Keep debris cleaned from the valleys of the roof and check the metal flashing for rust that might allow water leakage.

Remember, roof repair is much like tooth repair… it’s expensive. You don’t want to go there.

The Roofing System

How low can you go?

Well, there are highs and there are lows. Usually the highest point you can go on a roof is the “ridge.” You know, where the two sides of a roof meet at the top. But the lowest place on a roof is usually the “valley.”

Roofing Valley

A roof valley is where the “V” shaped channels of the roof runs up and down the distance of the two sides of the roof. Where the two sides of the roof meet they create a valley for the water to enter and run off the roof.

Valleys are vulnerable to rain storms because they are considered a weak area in the roofing industry. Because they are susceptible to water leaks they must have special attention shown to them. To make sure they won’t leak during rain storms they will have special roofing material installed in them. There are several ways to protect the valleys on a roof.  Roofing contractors will vary in their choice of what they consider to be best product for protecting the valleys.

Roofing Materials

Most valley products can easily be purchased where roofing materials are sold. Which valley product is right for your roof? You can do your own research on line to help you find the right valley product for your roof if you are planning to do it yourself. But a word to the wise is; roof valleys are one of the most vulnerable places on your roof for water leaks so…  “Get It Right.” Take time to make sure your valleys will not leak. If you are using a Professional Roofing Contractor you should be able to rest easy that he will make sure your valleys will not leak. After all, he doesn’t want the headache of a valley leak to have to repair.

Valley Metal

There are two main types of valley products that are used to prevent the roof valley from leaking. First, there is “Valley Metal.” Most valley metal that is installed is aluminum and comes in different size widths and lengths. The valley metal is unrolled down the length of the valley from one end to the other. Because it is soft and easy to form the roofer will shape the valley and then nail it to the decking. Once the valley metal has been installed it will be covered with felt and then the shingles giving it a triple protection to prevent water leaks.

The second type of valley protection is “Ice and Water Shield.” Ice and water shield is a roofing underlayment that is self-adhering. It is used in valleys and other vulnerable areas to protect those areas from leaking. Ice and water shield works as a membrane to cover potential problem areas on the roof to prevent water from entering the interior structure. Ice and water shield is easily rolled out and cut to fit. It is self-adhering to the decking by simply removing the firm from the back side.

Which one is best is simply a matter of choice.