Roofing- The Top 7 Most Common Roof Problems and Their Solutions

common roof problems roof repair

For most homeowners, your roof is something you don’t really think about until it develops a problem. It really is something we should pay more attention to, especially as it protects our possessions and family. 

Depending on where you live, the climate, and what type of roof you have, there are a number of common roof problems that can develop with your roof. 

Before we dive into the most common problems that affect roofs and how how to solve them, keep in mind that Roof repairs should always be carried out by a professional.  

Here are 7 of the most common roof problems found in residential houses and how they can be fixed. 

Broken or missing roof tiles 

Missing tiles means it’s only a matter of time before you can expect to see leaks. These can be caused by bad weather or a failed roof tile. If there are multiple tiles experiencing damage or slipping then there could be a problem with the deterioration of the roof battens or corrosion of the nails. 

Depending on the cause, a roofing company will simply replace the broken or damaged tiles or replace any rotten battens. 

Broken or slipped ridge tiles 

If you have a pitched roof, ridge tiles are placed on the top of the apex and overlap both sides. They can be made of slate, clay, concrete, or plastic. 

Often, the mortar that keeps them in place can crumble away, either through age or weather damage. 

A roofer will clear out the existing mortar and replace any damaged ridge tiles. 

Blocked valleys

The valley runs between two sections of a sloped roof and is often lead-lined. It is a way for water to run off the roof. These sections are prone to get blocked and damaged. 

If this is the cause of your leak then any blockage will have to be cleared and any cracked or broken lead replaced. 

Blocked or damaged guttering

Guttering is vital for protecting your home. It takes rainwater away from the roof and funnels it safely away into a drainage system. If it becomes blocked or damaged then the excess water can damage other areas of your property. 

Blocked guttering can be cleaned relatively easily. If the guttering is coming away from the roof it can be affixed back on. More extensive damage will need to be replaced entirely. 

Damaged felt

Roofing felt provides an extra layer of protection that sits underneath the roof tiles. If this starts to fail then water can leak into your home. 

Small areas of damage can be patched with flashing tape. If there are multiple areas of damage, then the roof might have to be completely refelted. 

Rotting roof timber

Missing tiles or failing roof felt can cause water to get into the roof timber, which can be catastrophic for your roof. In the first instance, you need to remedy whatever issue causes the water to get in. If you do this in time, then the timber should dry out. 

If you leave it too long, then the timbers can start to rot and the entire roof timber will need to be replaced, which can cost a lot of money. 

Roof space condensation

Older roofs are often made with felt that was not permeable, leading to moisture accumulating in the roof space. The water can then fall to the ceiling below causing dampness and damage to your ceilings. There’s also the risk of dangerous mold developing due to the moisture.  This problem became less common when, in the 1980s, permeable felt was introduced.  

Depending on your budget, you can install a roof ventilator to release moisture, or replace the entire roofing felt. 


As with most things, small issues can become big roof problems if they are left too long. Though you should use a professional for roof repairs, there are certain things you can do in order to prevent some problems. For example, make sure that your guttering is cleared regularly, to prevent damage. Check your ceilings carefully, so that you can spot leaks early and get them fixed before they do a lot of damage

Get yourself a pair of binoculars and check the external condition of your roof, especially after bad weather. Look for any loose mortar, broken or slipping tiles, or loose guttering. If you do notice anything, get it repaired as soon as possible. 

This is not an exhaustive list. Depending on the style and age of roof you have, there could be a number of issues that could affect your particular property.

If you’re in the Greater Northwest we’d love to serve you! Our roofing contractors and roof repair specialists in Portland, Vancouver, and Salem serve all of NW Oregon & SW Washington. You can get in touch with us at (503) 659-7663 for all your roofing needs.



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