Common Foundation Problems that can affect Residential Roofing Systems

Residential roofs are significantly different from commercial roofs with respect to design, material, and type of roofing system. It should be chosen wisely, considering several factors, especially the weather conditions of that area.

Long shot man working on roof



Jan 21, 2021

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From foundation to roof sums up the whole house. The problems arising at the foundation can reach up to the roofs and vice versa, so both components should never be neglected. This blog will unfold the concept of residential roofing along with its common types. Furthermore, the main components of roofing systems will be discussed in detail. It will be concluded by shedding light on the common problems that can affect the rooftops.

What is Residential Roofing?

It is a process of the construction and maintenance of residential roofing in a way that protects the whole house from weather, including rain, snow, wind, and sunlight while ensuring an aesthetic appeal. There are a variety of styles and materials available in the market, but it is always recommended to choose wisely. Accurate installation and regular maintenance are the key features. In case it is not installed professionally, then it might lead to leakages. Most of these come with a longer lifespan but with a clause of regular inspection and maintenance.

Types of Residential Roofing

The material being used for residential roofing is segregated into three categories, and these are explained below:

  1. Shingle Roofing:

The most common type is asphalt shingles. It comes with a lifespan guarantee of 15-20 years, along with extraordinary features like fire-resistant coating, unique colors, easy installation, and a light in the pocket.

  1. Tile Roofing:

Tile roofing is preferred for areas with harsh weather conditions. Like the shingle ones, these can also withstand fire uncertainties. These come with a unique selling feature of being environmentally friendly. Being energy efficient, it lowers the energy cost gradually. 

  1. Metal Roofing:

It is a versatile option as it comprises zinc, copper, aluminum, and steel. It is an amalgamation of the features of the above options along with a distinct feature of a 50-year life span guarantee. The initial cost of purchasing and installation might be higher, but it offers long-term benefits with low maintenance.

Main Components of Residential Roofing System

It is never too late to learn about the main components of the roofing system. These are briefly discussed below:

  1. Drip Edge:

At the edges of the roof, a metal flash is attached to keep water from the fascia board. The sole purpose is to protect the underlying components of the roof during heavy rainfalls. In most of the areas, it is part of the required building code as well. However, roofers avoid it, considering it as an additional cost.

  1. Roof Decking:

Before installing the roof, the entire area is prepared using wooden boards, and those are called roof decking. These make up the foundation for the roofing system to be installed. It comprises two types such as sheet decking and plank decking. It should be immediately replaced if rotten; otherwise, it won’t support the foundation.

  1. Roof Underlayment:

As the name signifies, it is an extra layer added below the final layer of the roof for protection. It is installed to prevent water intrusion. Even if it enters the top layer, it can refrained by roof underlayment. Amongst felt and synthetic options available, it is recommended to choose a synthetic one for extra functionality.

  1. Ridge Capping:

The bending area of two slopes is covered using ridge capping to seal that area. It comes pre-bent to provide 100% coverage and is applied on every type of roofing, irrespective of the material or design being used. At times, roofers avoid this step and use 3-tab shingles instead of ridges to cut down the cost.

  1. Roof Flashing:

Water ponds can lead to roof leakage, and this can be avoided by installing roof flashing. It is a metal material and is installed to redirect water from areas where there are chances of water accumulation. Amongst all the options available, steel is the most economical and viable option to be used for roof flashing.

  1. Ice and Water Shield:

This protective layer is applied in areas with harsh weather conditions such as frequent snowfalls etc. It is like the underlayment, and the only difference is that it is applied under the roof; however, ice and water shields are applied at certain areas on the roof, including roof valleys, etc.

  1. Roof Vents:

The quality of indoor air gets compromised when roof vents are not installed. It reduces the roof’s lifespan to half and doesn’t allow the home to breathe. It increases the energy bills as well. Amongst the active and passive ventilation systems, it is recommended to use active ones and install roof vents accordingly.

Common Foundation Problems Affecting Residential Roof

The foundations often come across several foundation repair problems that result in their movement. It is mainly because of soil conditions, and any such situation directly impacts the roof as well. In such scenarios, the following situations might arise:

  1. Foundation Settling:

It is a normal procedure as every house takes time to settle after the completion of the construction phase. It is a gradual process and takes years to complete. Mostly, it is unnoticeable, but it becomes worrisome if the foundation settles unevenly. It will directly impact the roof, lowering one side more than the other.

  1. Foundation Upheaval:

Broken water pipes or damaged sewer lines can result in foundation upheaval. It can also result due to soil expansions or frost heaves. Such circumstances can lead to severe issues such as cracked titles, uneven floors, misplaced slabs of roofs, etc. It is recommended to conduct soil testing on a patch before carrying out construction.


Residential roofing is such an element of the house that changes the entire look, making it aesthetically beautiful and noticeable. From foundation repair to residential roofing, every component is interlinked and should never be taken for granted as it may lead to heavy replacements. It is always recommended to fix the foundation issues first before undertaking the roof situation to avoid duplicate work and expense.

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March 14, 2024
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