Is Roof Sagging a Problem? | Your Guide to Roof Issues

May 4, 2021

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Roof sagging is a problem for homeowners and one you shouldn’t ignore! A sagging roof is at risk of cracking or collapsing, and can lead to costly interior damage including wood rot and mold. A collapsed or cracked roof can also let rodents, insects, and other pests into your home!

Roof sagging problems are often serious; however, repairs are easier and more affordable the faster you schedule those repairs. Ignoring a sagging roof so that it eventually collapses means more damage and even costlier fixes, and can lead to secondary damage inside the home.

Because roof damage gets more expensive to fix the longer it’s ignored, and because a collapsed roof can be dangerous in certain cases, consider some vital information about keeping your home’s roof in good condition. You can then discuss this information with a roof repair contractor near you as needed and know that your home’s roof is always in good repair.

roofing contractor looking at sagging roof

Is Roof Sagging a Problem?

A sagging roof doesn’t necessarily mean that the roof is in immediate danger of collapsing, but keep in mind that the sooner you act to repair the roof, the less likely it is that it will collapse. Note a bit more information about sagging roofs so you know when to call a roof repair contractor near you.

What causes a dip in the roof?

There are a few different common causes of roof sagging or dipping, including:

  • Excess weight on the roof surface can lead to sagging. A buildup of snow, ice, storm debris, or heavy branches can be too much weight for a roof to bear, so it begins to sag.
  • Along with adding excess weight, snow and ice can also lead to water damage along roofing materials or the framing under the roof. Water damage allows wood pieces to soften and then shift or even crack, which leads to dips or sagging along the roof’s surface.
  • Clogged gutters lead to standing water along the roof’s edge. Roof decking and other materials then absorb that water, leading to weakening and sagging.
  • Foundation issues can also cause a sagging roof. A weak foundation allows a home to settle and shift in one direction or the other, and then eventually sink. As the home sinks, it pulls on the roof so that it begins to dip or sag.
  • Structural issues can also lead to a roof sagging. Poor-quality materials or design, undersized rafters, missing bracing between rafters and joists, age, and other construction issues allow a roof to dip and sag over time.
  • Roofs need proper ventilation, to let out humidity trapped in the home. When roof vents are clogged or damaged or insufficiently sized for the home, this can lead to trapped humidity in the attic and eventual damage to roof rafters and joists.
  • Adding new roofing layers over existing shingles or tiles can mean too much weight on a roof, leading to sagging and dipping.

Is it normal for a roof to sag?

tools for roof sagging problem

While it’s not unusual for a roof to sag over time, this doesn’t mean that it’s normal or that you can simply ignore the issue! As with any needed fixes for your home, once a roof starts to sag or dip or show any signs of damage, it’s best to find the root cause of that damage and address it as quickly as possible.

How do you know if your roof is going to collapse?

While roof collapse is somewhat rare, knowing the signs of severe roof damage can alert you to the need for immediate repairs, including:

  • Sections of interior ceilings that have started to sag or crack
  • Windows and doors that become sticky or difficult to operate
  • Bent ductwork and other fixtures that run under the ceiling
  • Water stains along ceilings or in the roof rafters and joists

Regular roof inspections are an excellent investment for any home, but especially if you notice any of these signs of serious roof damage. Timely repairs can prevent that collapse and keep costs to a minimum!

Sagging Roof Dangers

 A sagging roof is dangerous to walk on and can eventually collapse, as said. A collapsing roof is dangerous to anyone standing underneath it, risking serious injury and even death. Collapsing ceiling tiles can also cause injury to anyone standing under those tiles.

roof repair contractors

However, there are even more reasons to consider timely roof repairs if you notice sagging, dipping, buckling shingles and tiles, or other signs of roof damage to your home. It’s especially vital to schedule repairs if that sagging has resulted in cracks along roof layers!

  • Roof cracks allow moisture into the home. This trapped moisture can lead to wood framing rot, mold growth, damaged drywall, and mildew underneath carpets and other flooring.
  • Roofs are designed to encourage debris runoff. When a roof dips, those crevices can hold leaves, twigs, and other residues that then make their way underneath tiles and shingles, loosening them and increasing the risk of losing roofing materials in high winds.
  • Cracks let out your heated and cooled air while letting in outside heat, cold, and humidity, so that your HVAC appliances need to work harder to maintain interior temperatures. This puts added wear and tear on those appliances and spikes your utility costs!
  • The longer you ignore weak, dipped areas of a roof, the more likely it is that rafters and joists or the roof decking will split and crack, leading to even costlier repairs.
  • A damaged roof can affect property values, even making it more difficult to sell your home or qualify for home equity loans and lines of credit.

How Do You Fix a Sagging Roof?

There are two parts to fixing a sagging roof; the first step of these vital repairs is to determine what caused the roof to sage and then address that issue! A homeowner might need to clean off snow and ice more frequently during wintertime or invest in new gutters that can manage rain and melting snow, or otherwise ensure the roof is protected from future water damage.

repairing a sagging roof problem

If you’ve added new roofing layers over existing shingles or tiles, a roofer might remove all those materials and install new shingles. He or she might even recommend a lighter roofing material, such as metal or wood. This can alleviate weight from the roof and ensure it stays strong and secure.

If a damaged foundation has led to a sagging and cracked roof, a homeowner might need to invest in underpinning or other such repairs, and then waterproofing, to keep the foundation strong. House leveling might also be needed for sunken homes, to return it to a level and even position.

Once the cause of sagging is determined and addressed, a roofing contractor will then move on to the second stage of repairs. He or she might install braces to shore up the roof rafters. New rafters, either in place of damaged framing or in addition to current rafters, can also brace up the roof and keep it strong.

Damaged sheathing, or the thin boards of wood that support the roof between trusses, might also need replacing or repair. Bracing those sheathing panels or adding new wood pieces under them can offer added support, putting a roof back to a level position and keeping it strong.

Cost to Fix a Sagging Roof

Fixing a sagging roof is often more expensive than other roof repair jobs, typically averaging between $700 and $2000 or more. Your costs to fix a sagging roof will depend on whether or not a contractor can repair rafters and joists or if they need replacing, and if other materials such as sheathing also need replacing.

Secondary damage will also add to those costs; for example, if trapped moisture has allowed mold to form, you’ll need to invest in professional mold cleanup and removal. Cracked ceiling tiles also need replacing, which then adds to your cost.

cost to fix a sagging roof

For the most accurate estimate when it comes to your roof, contact a roofing contractor near you. Many roofing companies offer free quotes for their work, so it can cost you nothing to find out the extent of damage to your home. Some companies also provide financing or work with customers to help them get the financing they need for repairs, so you can better afford to fix that roof!

Is a Sagging Roof Covered by Insurance?

Insurance companies might pay for damage caused by storms, falling tree branches, and other such issues. However, damage due to snow and ice buildup, clogged gutters, and other such neglect, as well as everyday wear and tear, is not typically covered under your homeowner’s insurance.

If your home needs roof repairs for any reason and you’re curious as to whether or not the cost of those repairs is covered by insurance, contact your agent. He or she can review your policy and any roofing estimates you’ve received, and then inform you of your coverage details.

How to Prevent a Sagging Roof

While a roof might start to sag due to age and common wear and tear, there is much a homeowner can do to help keep it in good condition and avoid otherwise preventable damage. Note some tips on how to keep a roof from sagging and avoid cracks, gaps, and other damage as well:

  • Clear gutters keep rainwater from washing back onto a roof. Invest in professional gutter cleaning as needed and note if your home’s gutters are undersized for managing average rainfall in your area.
  • Keep your home’s roof clear of snow and ice and especially if you’re in an area prone to heavy snowfall. “Heat cables” warm the roof and keep ice from forming while also melting snow, or you can invest in a roof brush to brush off snow during wintertime.
  • Ensure the roof vents are clear and in good condition, and invest in a dehumidifier for inside the home as needed to prevent humidity buildup.
  • Avoid adding layers to a roof, even if you need to invest in the cost of a roof tear-off and shingle disposal. Added roofing layers put weight onto the roof and increase the risk of cracks, dips, and sagging.
  • While roofs are typically designed to withstand the weight of roofing contractors and other foot traffic, avoid walking on the roof as much as possible and especially avoid heavy foot traffic! If you decide to power wash your roof or otherwise make repairs, invest in a lift or other equipment needed to keep you and heavy tools and materials off the roof.
  • Replacing shingles and tiles as needed to keep the roof dry and protected. Cracked, torn, and missing shingles allow water to collect on the roof decking and underlayment, increasing the risk of damage to joists and rafters.
  • Regular roof inspections can spot the first signs of damage and allow you to make timely repairs, preventing sagging, dips, and other costly fixes. A roof inspection can also note if the gutters need replacing or if you might invest in a rubber coating or treatment, to help repel water from the roof.

Signs of a Bad Roof

inspecting a sagging roof

Sagging is an obvious sign of needed roof repair, but it’s not the only indication that you have a bad roof overhead! Knowing signs of roof damage and needed fixes ensures you can schedule those repairs quickly and avoid otherwise unnecessary damage. Call a roof repair contractor if you notice any of these signs of damage along your home’s roof:

  •  Buckled or missing shingles need replacing right away.
  •  If you notice nails and other connectors in the home’s gutters or along your lawn close to the home, these are probably from the roof and indicate that shingles and other materials are at risk of falling or blowing away!
  • Moss and algae grow between shingles, lifting them from the roof and increasing the risk of losing them in high winds. If your home’s roof is covered in either of these contaminants, have it cleaned and then inspected for needed repairs.
  • A home’s roof is a major part of its overall insulation. Roof damage can mean spiked utility bills and an uncomfortable interior environment, so have it inspected if you notice heat, cold, humidity, and higher energy bills.
  • Roof cracks let in water that tends to collect around ceiling tiles, leaving stains and other unsightly marks. Don’t simply clean these away but have the roof inspected for needed repairs.

Note, too, that older roofs often need repairs even if they seem to be in good condition. Invest in regular roof inspections but especially for a roof older than 7 years, so you can schedule those fixes as quickly as possible.

Fort Collins Roofing Company is proud to provide this information to our readers and we hope it helped you understand why roof sagging is a problem, and how to address that issue as well. If you need roof repairs or a new roof installation, rely on our trusted Fort Collins roofing contractors to get the job done right! We offer FREE estimates and guaranteed services for every project. To find out more, give us a call today.

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